Historical Social Research

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Jürgen Kädtler: On Conventions, Institutions, Power, and Uncertainty – Some Cursory Remarks [Abstract]

There is no catch all theory in social sciences. The strength of convention theory does not consist in establishing the priority of conventions in the first place, but in providing more powerful analytical tools in view of social interaction and development by bringing both of them into play, with their respective influence as being part of the analysis itself for any given situation. There is no definite explanation for the very existence of conventions but at best some historical reconstruction of the processes in which specific conventions and conventional categories developed. The focus of empirical and historical analysis must be on the interplay between conventions being brought into play by actors and the institutional structures and the constellations of power that are influenced by but cannot be reduced on the impact of conventions.