Towards Middle-Range Theory Building in Development Research: Comparative (Historical) Institutional Analysis of Institutional Transplantation

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Abstract

The development studies community needs to work towards building cumulative knowledge that lies between all-encompassing universal truths that leads to a ‘one solution fits all’ approach, on the one hand, and empirically rich atheoretical context-specific details, on the other. Drawing on the comparative capitalism research, which operates at the ‘middle-range’, the article demonstrates the usefulness of comparative (historical) institutional analysis as a way of deriving middle-range insights on capitalism and development, and in particular, the highly contested practice of embedding foreign institutions in local contexts (often referred to as ‘institutional transplantation’) that prevails in development policy. It illustrates how middle-range theory building in this area can advance development research in a way that better informs policy and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-235
Number of pages15
JournalProgress in Development Studies
Volume14
Issue number3
Early online date19 May 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2014

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