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Path Contingency in Postcommunist Transformations

Juliet Johnson
Comparative Politics
Vol. 33, No. 3 (Apr., 2001), pp. 253-274
DOI: 10.2307/422403
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/422403
Page Count: 22
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Path Contingency in Postcommunist Transformations
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Abstract

The effectiveness of institutional design policies in postcommunist states depends upon interactions among policy choice, institutional legacies, state capacity, and policy sequencing. Institutional change is path-contingent. It is explained neither by the voluntarism of agency-centered approaches nor by the determinism of structural, path-dependent approaches. Path contingency explains why institutional designs intended to decentralize the Russian commercial banking system and wean it from the state instead reinforced the banks' formal and informal ties to the state.

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