Cultural Revivals

A number of my recent posts have discussed different ways that culture and institutions interact with each other. It’s something I am interested in, and it is one of those areas where I believe historical political economy can really tell us something about the present. Anywhere you look, culture seems to impinge upon formal political … Continue reading Cultural Revivals

Culture, Institutions, and Economic Divergence

I have already posted a few times on here about the interaction between culture and institutions in history. So forgive me for indulging again. Most of my career I have focused on this interaction. At the broadest level, I have long been interested in why some societies have been relatively successful economically and others have not. … Continue reading Culture, Institutions, and Economic Divergence

What the Hell Happened on January 6? Critical Junctures and Institutional Theory

So, I had been planning on writing a post on religion in historical political economy. It is something I have long been interested in, mainly for the role that religion plays in legitimating political rule. Then January 6 happened. The freaking Capitol was stormed. Spurred on by the president! That post on religion is gonna … Continue reading What the Hell Happened on January 6? Critical Junctures and Institutional Theory

Political Legitimacy: Lessons from Institutional Theory

So, there is an election tomorrow. A pretty big one. One that makes you want to curl up with a big bottle of whiskey. A really big bottle. But why is it so important? Why does so much of our future — not just for those of us living in the US, but the world … Continue reading Political Legitimacy: Lessons from Institutional Theory

On the Frontier Thesis

Economics and history Twitter are all abuzz about a HPE paper! That’s good, right? Even if there is occasionally discord between economic historians and historians? Oh, wait ... the comments are something. Fortunately, one of the paper’s authors, Martin Fiszbein, has a response to many of the comments. There have also been a few threads on it. I … Continue reading On the Frontier Thesis

Culture in Historical Political Economy

I decided to use my first post to talk about culture. Culture is one of those things that social scientists have long known affects all types of actions, interactions, and outcomes. Yet, until very recently we shied away from analyzing culture. There is good reason for this. In the first half of the 20th century, … Continue reading Culture in Historical Political Economy