Historical Institutionalism as Method: Applications and Uses at the Micro, Meso, and Macro Levels of Analysis

Research output: Contribution to conference (non-published works)Paper


Historical institutionalism is one of the three New Institutionalisms. As a research method, the approach typically involves archival research and semi-structured interviews - employing the research techniques of both the historian and the political scientist - to understand the impact of institutional legacies on the present. I have used historical institutionalism to analyse industry policy over time for cross-national comparisons of transport and telecommunications policies and have found the approach effective at the meso-level of analysis. Recently, however, I have applied this approach to the macro-level in geopolitics (to understand institutional exhaustion), and I am currently developing a research project focused on the micro-level to understand how institutions influence the development of military doctrine through a case study of operational tactics. This presentation will demonstrate the analysis of political phenomena over time, drawing on my model of path dependent, punctuated equilibrium. It will outline how to recognise and analyse exogenous and endogenous critical junctures in applying the model to temporal comparative and institutional studies. In doing so, I will share some of the unique insights I have developed as both a practitioner and an academic.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2022
Event8th Biennial ACSPRI Social Science Methodology Conference - Online via Zoom, Australia
Duration: 23 Nov 202224 Nov 2022


Conference8th Biennial ACSPRI Social Science Methodology Conference
Internet address


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