Article Title

Institutional Theory and Cross-Cultural Comparison


Author #1


Following a critique of positivist methodology, which still prevails in international comparative studies, this paper proposes a framework for cross-cultural comparison based on institutional theory. I suggest that we can overcome the positivist paradigm and conduct cross-cultural comparisons that acknowledge both the singularity of each society, in time and space, and its interconnections with other societies in the global era.

This paper examines existing uses of institutional theory in comparative research, pointing to what are, in my view, its main contributions and its omissions. Subsequently, I outline what I regard as key methodological components and the main aims of this approach. In particular, it is suggested that comparative institutional analysis should prioritize the identification of the social meanings embodied in institutions, their historical trajectory, as well as their interrelations with other institutions.

Finally, I propose an approach that I call by the Greek term syncrisis, to denote a form of cross-cultural comparison at the center of which is the quest for the truth and the critique of both ‘their’ and ‘our’ institutions.