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Capturing Critical Institutionalism Workshop

Capturing Critical Institutionalism

King's College London hosted this 2-day workshop 18-19 April 2013.

Critical institutionalism is a contemporary body of thought that explores how institutions mediate relationships between people, natural resources and society. It focuses on the complexity of institutions entwined in everyday social life, their historical formation, the interplay between formal and informal,  traditional and modern arrangements and the power relations which animate them. Critical Institutional approaches are increasingly exciting both academic and policy interest but lack impact because they derive from different disciplinary/conceptual bases and are insufficiently synthesised. Further, analyses emphasising complexity are often relatively illegible to policymakers.

This workshop therefore aimed to consolidate and ‘capture’ critical institutionalism and move it beyond the ‘emergent’ stage to make meaningful academic and policy impact. It drew together academics, policy-makers and practitioners from different disciplines (geography, sociology, anthropology, history, politics, economics) and sectors (water, forests, land, wildlife). In the workshop their task was to:

  • Define and synthesise key themes of ‘Critical institutionalism’.
  • Further develop concepts such as bricolage and hybridity.
  • Address the challenges of making these insights policy relevant.

If you have questions about this workshop, contact Michelle Drew ( at King's College London. +44 (0)20 7847 2612


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