04/10/2017 Colloquium Series - Kenneth Shepsle: “Rules and Rule Breaking, Institutions and Institutional Change”
From David Price
The present paper begins with the well-traveled notion of institutions as “the rules of the game” and seeks to give some conceptual concreteness to the idea of rules in order to understand what it means to break the rules. While rules certainly channel and constrain behavior, and in principle require some actions and prohibit others, deviations from these requirements and prohibitions do occur. In addition, rules may be “interpreted,” and the rules, themselves, do change—what humans devise they may revise. With all this conceptual movement, are the rules of the game too wobbly a foundation for the study of institutions?