2023 (20), №3

Synthesizing Institutional and Value Approaches to Modernization

For citation: 

Pliskevich, N. M. (2023). Synthesizing Institutional and Value Approaches to Modernization. AlterEconomics, 20(3), 712–730. https://doi.org/10.31063/AlterEconomics/2023.20-3.11


Scholars studying modernization processes often engage in debates between those who follow institutional paradigms and those who emphasize values, with each camp strongly advocating for its approach. However, the complex interplay of modernization changes, involving technology, institutions, and sociocultural aspects, points to the natural connection between these approaches. This article intends to explore moder­nization issues through the works of prominent advocates from both perspectives. By analyzing texts written by the leading figures in both paradigms, the author shows that their research consistently converges on one key area: the sociocultural dimension of social development. The article highlights that the success of social deve­lopment relies on aligning technology, institutions, and culture, often referred to as society’s techno-humanita­rian balance. This balance, crucial for stability, harmonizes technological progress with cultural and psycholo­gical control. Special attention is paid to the issues of value configurations in society, which is not a uniform entity but a combination of various value groups. The ability to construct an institutional environment that meets modernization needs depends on the power balance within these groups. It is particularly important to highlight the problem of value group configurations within elites, as they have the most significant impact on the evolution of the society’s institutional structure. In institutional development, this holds particular significance: on the one hand, elites must seek consensus within society to prevent rejection or distortion of the introduced institutions. On the other hand, despite all the compromises they have to make in this process, elites must adhere to a shared path of modernization that matches evolving technological needs. Society members should have a high level of education not only in instrumental skills but also in the humanities, which will ensure strategic stability in socio-economic development.

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Nataliya M. Pliskevich — Senior Research Associate, Institute of Economics of the Russian Academy of Sciences; https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0860-6229 (32, Nakhimovskiy Ave., Moscow, 117218, Russian Federation; e-mail: znplis@yandex.ru).

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