Peter A. Hall, Governing the Economy (1986), Chapters 1, 10.

Summary: Seeks to explain why nations choose different economic policy paths and divergent political strategies to deal with similar economic problems. It’s main findings Britain’s economic problems resulted from the short-comings of British markets rather than public policy; the character and functioning of the French Plans can only be understood if they are seen as instruments for coping with political as well as economic problems.
Method: Paired comparison of British and French economic policy over the post-war period (and includes a bit of analysis of Germany).
Important Insight: There is a certain institutional logic to the process of economic intervention in the industrialized democracies. The volume’s fundamental contention is that the direction of policy was determined, not simply by prevailing economic conditions, but also by a political dynamic. That dynamic has multiple features, but one of the most central is the role that the organization of capital, labour, and the state play in the determination of policy. The cases of Britain and France suggest five sets of structural variables will be most important for the course of a nation’s economic policy: the organization of labour, the organization of capital, the organization of the state, the organization of the political system, and the structural position of the country within the international economy.
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Notes
-key point: seeks to explain why nations choose different economic policy paths and divergent political strategies to deal with similar economic problems. Through a comparison of British and French economic policy over the post-war period (and including a bit of analysis of Germany), it argues that there is a certain institutional logic to the process of economic intervention in the industrialized democracies. The volume’s fundamental contention is that the direction of policy was determined, not simply by prevailing economic conditions, but also by a political dynamic. That dynamic has multiple features, but one of the most central is the role that the organization of capital, labour, and the state play in the determination of policy.
-the volume is organized around a comparison of economic policy-making in Britain and France. For centuries these two nations have been eyeing each other’s political and economic institutions. In the face of similar economic challenges during the post-war period they moved along rather different policy paths; and the problem of explaining the divergence in paths is one of the principal puzzles addressed here.
-main findings: Britain’s economic problems resulted from the short-comings of British markets rather than public policy; the character and functioning of the French Plans can only be understood if they are seen as instruments for coping with political as well as economic problems.
-***the cases of Britain and France suggest five sets of structural variables will be most important for the course of a nation’s economic policy: the organization of labour, the organization of capital, the organization of the state, the organization of the political system, and the structural position of the country within the international economy.
-economic policy-making must be seen as a highly political process… Politics enters the policy process in multiple ways. Interested groups press for congenial policies; politicians and civil servants jockey for influence over the outcome; and political problems occur in the process of policy implementation… Any theory that is capable of explaining economic policies must be grounded in a broader view of the general determinants of state action.
-Consequently, this book is also about contemporary models of politics. It examines the interaction interests, institutions and ideas in the policy process; and it develops a conception of political action that puts particular stress on the critical role played by institutions in the definition and articulation of interests, the dissemination of ideas, the construction of market behaviour, and the determination of policy.
-this institutionalist approach contrasts those of:
-functionalism: explains too much, since they expect all states to reproduce the economic system. In general, when these theories are confronted with the need to account for systematic variation among the policies of different nations, they explain too much. The factors linking the system and its associated functions to actual policies remain underspecified.
-cultural analysis (political culture): explains too little. Why do such cultural differences occur in the first place? Ignores the effects of institutions on culture, and ascribes too much to cultural factors.
-public choice theory: often neglects the institutional structure of markets themselves. Often juxtaposes an idealized conception of market operation to more institutionally nuanced views of government behaviour.
-group theories: is missing a more extensive analysis of the basis for class interest and class power; and such an analysis would entail a more complete investigation of the organizations and institutional structures that envelop social classes and the state.
-state-centric theories: while the theory of social learning has the potential to be beneficial, how are we to know what lessons will be learned from the past, and which are to be embodied in future policy? What’s more, contemporary states do not seem to be as autonomous from societal influence as state-centric theories imply.
-the institutional approach: emphasizes the institutional relationships, both formal and conventional, that bind the components of the state together and structure its relations with society. While those relationships are subject to incremental change, and more radical change at critical conjunctures, they provide the context in which most normal politics is conducted.
-the concept of institutions is used here to refer to the formal rules of compliance procedures, and standard operating practices that structure the relationship b/w indvls in various units of the polity and economy. As such, they have a more formal status than cultural norms but one that does not necessarily derive from legal, as opposed to conventional, standing.
-throughout, the emphasis is on the relational character of institutions; that is to say, on the way in which they structure the interactions of individuals.
-institutional factors play two fundamental roles in this model: on the one hand, the organization of policy-making affects the degree of power that any one set of actors has over the policy outcomes; on the other, organizational position also influences an actor’s definition of his own interests, by establishing his institutional responsibilities and relationship to other actors.
-in contrast with the earlier forms of institutionalism that concentrated on the institutions associated with a country’s constitution and formal political practices, this approach ranges more widely to consider the role of institutions located within society and the economy, as well as less formal organizational networks, in the determination of policy.
-in contrast to organization theory, this approach is focussed more directly on the effects of historically specific patterns of organization (rather than principles that apply to all or most organizational behaviour.
-structural interdependence: the influence of capital, over economic policy at least, seems to have been greater than the influence of the working class. Equipped with an organizational analysis, however, we can see that this outcome derives from similar features of the institutional structure in both nations rather than from some systemic imperative per se.
-several factors limit the electoral power of the working class: cross-cutting cleavages, based on religious, ethnic, regional, or ideological differences became institutionalized w/in the party system… A variety of institutional factors, ranging from the impt role played by funding and access to the media in election campaigns to the inter-electoral impact of interest intermediaries on policy, also tended to offset the numerical advantage of workers in the political process.
-innovation and the political system: there is a dynamic element to state-society relations; and from time to time a measure of innovation in economic policy-making breaks through some of the conventional restraints… Political parties, in particular, have played a crucial role in the introduction of new economic policies (this contrasts with arguments (Heclo 1974; Sacks 1980) that the bureaucracy is the principal role of policy innovation).