Explaining the complexity of social life remains the central challenge of the social sciences. This book offers a variety of theoretical-empirical explorations and applications inspired by an important neo-institutional approach to tackling this complexity - the rule systems theory. Its point of departure is the assumption that institutions and cultural formations possess causal powers and relative autonomy, constraining and enabling people's social actions and interactions. Structural and cultural properties of society are carried by, transmitted, and reformed by human agents whose interactions generate, reproduce, elaborate and transform structures. The contributors are highly accomplished economists, sociologists and political scientists who come from the US and several European countries. The book is meant as a Festschrift for Tom Burns, a central figure in the development of the rule systems theory.
The Editors: Helena Flam is Professor of Sociology at the University of Leipzig. Her most recent works deal with institutional discrimination and the sociology of emotions. Marcus Carson is a researcher and senior lecturer at Stockholm University's Department of Sociology. His research explores the role of ideas, institutions, and organized actors in policy making.
Contents: Nina Witoszek: Comrade Don Quixote - Andreas Balog: Explaining Action and Explaining Social Phenomena - Rogers Hollingsworth/Karl H. Muller/Ellen Jane Hollingsworth/David M. Gear: Socio-economics and a New Scientific Paradigm - Tom R. Burns: Rule System Theory: An Overview - Ewa Roszkowska: Negotiation in the Context of Generalized Game Theory - Anna Gomolinska: Rough Rule-following by Social Agents - Hannu Nurmi: On the Art of Being Usefully Wrong: Lessons from Voting Paradoxes - Nora Machado: The Stabilization of Social Order: Social Cognitive Dissonance Theory Applied to Hospitals and Clinics - Beth Maina Ahlberg: Dare We Dream of a Future without Aids? Challenges and Opportunities for Responsive Social Science Research - Marcus Carson: Of Mind and Matter: Policy Paradigms and Institutional Design - Atle Midttun: Corporate (Social) Responsibility as an Arena for Partnered Governance: From the Business to the Public Policy Case - Svein S. Andersen: The Institutionalization of a Meta-order: Negotiating the Energy Charter Treaty - Hans L. Zetterberg: Opinion Polling on International Political Accords - Alberto Martinelli: The Political Systems of the United States and the European Union - Helena Flam: Germany and Migration - A European Case - Dusko Sekulic: Social Rule System Theory and the Disintegration of Yugoslavia - Christian Arnsperger/Philippe DeVille: Could Homo Oeconomicus Become a Revolutionary? Probing the Irrevelance of Standard Economics.