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​Old Institutionalism and Anglo-American Economic History

March session of the YSI Online Seminar in History of Economic Thought

Mar 16, 2016 Download .ics

Webinar | 16:00 - 18:00 UTC (please check corresponding time at your location)

The webinar will contain young scholar presentations by Denilson Beal and Aqdas Afzal. Anne Mayhew and Geoffrey Hodgson will discuss the papers followed by a general discussion.

You can access the papers by clicking on their titles below. To attend the session, click on “Join the webinar”.


Denilson Beal , Universidade Federal do Paraná

Institutional Economics and Communitarian Philosophy on the Discontent of American Farmers in the Late Nineteenth-Century

The chief purpose of this article is to delineate spaces for constructive dialogue between the school of original institutional economics and the communitarian philosophy portrayed by Michael Sandel. Ultimately, three main contact points are emphasized, regarding the interrelated concepts of individual, community and freedom that, according to the philosopher, informed the republican tradition. Moreover, it is claimed that the two main causes of democracy’s discontent suggested by Sandel might be understood in a more comprehensive way when both institutionalism and communitarianism are considered. Overall argumentation is supported by the historical example of socioeconomic and political distress experienced by American farmers especially during the second-half of the nineteenth-century, a period characterized by increasing industrialization and commercialization along with the establishment of a quantitative ethic based on individualism and monetary canons of value.

Discussant: Anne Mayhew , University of Tennessee (Professor Emerita)


Aqdas Afzal , University of Missouri - Kansas City

What Does the Glorious Revolution Really Tell Us About Economic Institutions?

This paper critically examines the relative merits of New Institutional Economics (NIE, hereafter) versus the “critical institutionalist” method of institutional analysis. I sketch how the Glorious Revolution, a seminal event in British economic and political history, has been analyzed by NIE. I argue that the examination, in general, and that of the Glorious Revolution, in particular, shows a considerable amount of theoretical weakness. Instead, I use the critical institutionalist method to present a comprehensive institutional analysis of the Glorious Revolution. I forward the changing nature of resource distribution and culture in Britain as key variables. I also highlight the role of the “Whigs” as key agents in bringing about the necessary events of the Glorious Revolution.

Discussant: Geoffrey Hodgson , University of Hertfordshire



Full 2016 Program of the YSI Online Seminar in History of Economic Thought