2023 (20), №1

Complexity-Oriented Paradigm in Institutional Economics

28.03.20234 апреля, 2023Без комментариев

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Frolov, D. P. (2023). Complexity-Oriented Paradigm in Institutional Economics. AlterEconomics, 20(1), 110–126. https://doi.org/10.31063/AlterEconomics/2023.20-1.6


Institutional economics has been at the peak of its scientific capabilities long enough to reach midlife crisis. Despite its growing interdisciplinarity and other positive trends, the field is now struggling with the lack of “big ideas” and inertia of its methodological approaches. The article considers the potential of the complexity-oriented paradigm in institutional economic theory. Firstly, one of the promising avenues for future research is to focus on the institutions of digital capitalism. They are much more complex than the institutions of industrial society and their analysis requires a move beyond the reductionist perspective. Digital technologies are both transformational and institutional technologies, which makes them suitable for testing new complexity-centric approaches. Secondly, there is a number of methodological steps that could be taken in order to overcome the reductionist approaches, for example, reconsider the concept of institutional evolution in light of the paradigm of extended evolutionary synthesis or bring the human actor model in line with the enactivist (dynamic-interactionist) paradigm. Finally, there is an obvious need for a serious revision of the philosophical foundations of institutional analysis. The article puts forward new principles for studying economic institutions, based on the ideas of post-structuralism, actor-network theory, object-oriented ontology, social constructionism and performativity theory, process philosophy and enactivist philosophy of mind. Introducing these new perspectives to economics will help us expand institutionalist imagination and supplement the standard institutional methodologies with more advanced interdisciplinary approaches.

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Daniil P. Frolov — Dr. Sci. (Econ.), Professor, Volgograd State Technical University; https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7873-2725 (28, prospekt imeni V. I. Lenina, Volgograd, 400005, Russian Federation; e-mail: ecodev@mail.ru).

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