Tommaso Pavone, Politics

Reframing Historical Institutionalism: A New Analytic Framework

Wed, 11/12/2014
438 Robertson Hall
Event Category: 
Graduate Students

Please join us on Wednesday, November 12, for a seminar with Tommaso Pavone , , Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Politics.

LEGS, or "Law-Engaged Graduate Students," meets during the academic year to discuss a work in progress by one of our Graduate Associates. Academic papers, dissertation proposals, and dissertation chapters have been presented at these meetings, to an audience of fellow graduate students.

Abstract:  "This article reframes historical institutionalism (HI) into a new analytic framework with the goal of forging a shared conceptual foundation capable of accommodating a diversity of empirical research agendas. I begin by providing two justifications for HI and critically assessing the evolution of debates concerning critical junctures and the trajectories of institutional development with the aid of three-dimensional diagrams. I then construct an analytic framework that conceptually distills institutions to two components - an infrastructure and a mandate - and discuss both the distinction's fertility for analyzing institutional change and the dangers posed by its conation. I subsequently develop an original typology of change agents that directs attention to the political contexts that foster openings for institutional change. I conclude that HI scholars may forge perspectival unity by contributing to similarly general conceptual frameworks and accepting the need to supplement these with thicker, contextual explanatory theories to fully explicate contingent historical phenomena."

Tommaso Pavone is a second-year doctoral student in the Department of Politics. His research interests lie at the intersection of comparative politics and public law, with a regional focus on the European Union. He is particularly interested comparative political and constitutional development, but also has interests in the study of European integration, the institutional and comparative political analysis of courts, historical institutionalist approaches for sociolegal inquiry, and the role of human rights within European law. He received his M.A. in social sciences, with a focus on political science and public law, from the University of Chicago (2012) and his B.A. in public policy from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor (2010). Before coming to Princeton, he was a Research Technician Senior at the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR).