Politics in Time History, Institutions, and Social Analysis

ISBN-10: 0691117152

ISBN-13: 9780691117157

Edition: 2004

Authors: Paul Pierson

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Description:

This groundbreaking book represents the most systematic examination to date of the often-invoked but rarely examined declaration that "history matters." Most contemporary social scientists unconsciously take a "snapshot" view of the social world. Yet the meaning of social events or processes is frequently distorted when they are ripped from their temporal context. Paul Pierson argues that placing politics in time--constructing "moving pictures" rather than snapshots--can vastly enrich our understanding of complex social dynamics, and greatly improve the theories and methods that we use to explain them. Politics in Timeopens a new window on the temporal aspects of the social world. It explores a range of important features and implications of evolving social processes: the variety of processes that unfold over significant periods of time, the circumstances under which such different processes are likely to occur, and above all, the significance of these temporal dimensions of social life for our understanding of important political and social outcomes. Ranging widely across the social sciences, Pierson's analysis reveals the high price social science pays when it becomes ahistorical. And it provides a wealth of ideas for restoring our sense of historical process. By placing politics back in time, Pierson's book is destined to have a resounding and enduring impact on the work of scholars and students in fields from political science, history, and sociology to economics and policy analysis.
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Book details

List price: $37.50
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 8/29/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 208
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.660
Language: English

List of Figures and Tables
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Placing Politics in Time
Positive Feedback and Path Dependence
Timing and Sequence
Long-Term Processes
The Limits of Institutional Design
Institutional Development
Conclusion Temporal Context in Social Science Inquiry
Bibliography
Index
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