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Political Science and the Three New Institutionalisms

            In Peter Hall and Rosemary Taylor's essay titled "Political Science and the Three New Institutionalism's" the authors aim to identify what the new institutionalism is and how we can identify it. The author's start off by describing how there are three key different approaches to how we can begin to understand what the new institutionalism is and that we can only understand it through the context of three separate elements. The different institutionalisms, as described by the authors are historical institutionalism, rational choice institutionalism, and sociological institutionalism.1 It is thought that these institutionalisms were created in response to the mid-20th century shift in perspective of the sociopolitical outcomes that each institutionalism is involved with. Both Hall and Taylor aim to identify the main arguments in the three differing schools of thought and the strengths and limitations that they are attributed. It is important to note that each institutionalism is not a concrete theory but rather, a school of thought in which a central question is presented, a critical juncture is identified, and a path-dependent development is presented. .
             Both Hall and Taylor emphasize how each institutionalism has developed overtime and manifested itself as its own paradigm, so that people who are biased towards it understand it as the sole way in which we can understand and approach political outcomes. Retrospectively, each school of thought has remained separate from the other, and the authors argue that it is high time we integrate the three of them, allowing for a more fluid interchange of ideas, which would eventually lead to a more sophisticated manner of approaching institutions. Hall and Taylor make it a point to note the importance of the fact that none of the institutions are wholly wrong or 'untrue' but perhaps provide one dimension of both 'the human action and institutional impact present there.

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