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«Inaugural-Dissertation zur Erlangung des Doktorgrades des Fachbereichs Wirtschaftswissenschaften der Johann-Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am ...»

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altering existing institutions. Drift in particular is the ―result of deliberate, strategic neglect of institutional maintenance when external change produces slippage in institutional practice‖. This also suggests stability, because rules remain unchanged despite the fact that external conditions have changed.167 Displacement stands for the exchange of existing rules for new ones. It happens through rediscovery, or the activation of alternative or hitherto dormant institutional forms which were possibly previously suppressed or suspended, that then replace traditional institutional forms and behavior. Displacement may also occur by the invasion of foreign practices which supplant indigenous institutions. It can be an abrupt, radical change, but it also can be a slow process. Displacement and layering are modes of change neither of which rely on the exploitation of gaps between rules and their enforcement, which remains intact.168 The difference between rule makers and rule takers can most clearly be found in institutional change through the fifth mode of institutional change: exhaustion. Exhaustion ―refers to a process by which an institution ‗withers away‘ through ‗self-consumption‘‖, meaning that the normal functioning of an institutions leads to ―the undermin[ing of] its external preconditions‖.169 This type of institutional change is truly endogenous, in that it cannot be caused by externalities. It is a gradual breakdown of institutions over time.170 Common to all these processes of institutional change is the idea that time plays a critical role. They evolve over time, and the effect of this adds up over time. This is a constant, never-ending development that not only matters in certain periods of change, but continuously. This follows logically from the assumption that institutional change is a process of learning about ―the inevitably imperfect enactment of social rules in interaction with a complex and unpredictable environment‖ as the world constantly changes. It also means that institutions age. The probability of an institution being changed by one or the other mode of institutional change increases with chronological time, but also with the location of the institution in historical time, implying a sequence of ―historically unique, contingent conditions and events‖.171 These types of institutional change are similar to Veblen‘s notion evolutionary change (see above), as in the case of drift. Dewey‘s instrumentalism, in contrast, which features active and purposeful selection of specific institutions, has little in common with this approach to institutional change.

Mahoney and Thelen, 2010, p. 21, 26, Streeck and Thelen, 2005a, p. 24ff., 31.

Mahoney and Thelen, 2010, p. 19f., 27, Streeck and Thelen, 2005a, p. 19ff.

Streeck and Thelen, 2005a, p. 29ff.

Streeck, 2009a, p. 124f.

Streeck, 2010b, p. 665.

To a certain extent institutional change is irreversible; what historically happened cannot be undone. Institutional change occurs over time, and is always conditioned by past experiences and preconditions. ―The idea that one cannot step in the same river twice would have to be translated to mean that the historical process alters not just the properties but the property space of institutions and social orders, by turning variables into constants and constants into variables, redefining variable ranges, resetting parameters, introducing new kinds of units, and undoing or reversing causal links between properties as well as creating new ones. What happens changes the rules that govern what happens next, confronting actors at any given time with a world that is in part unexplored and will have changed further by the time it could, perhaps, be understood‖.172 As will be outlined in more detail throughout this work, transformation in China did not lead to the replacement of the existing institutional framework, but rather to new arrangements, by layering and conversion.173 In the words of Joseph A. Schumpeter: ―Capitalism…is by nature a form or method of economic change and not only never is but never can be stationary. And this evolutionary character of the capitalist process is not merely due to the fact that economic life goes on in a social and natural environment which changes and by its change alters the date of economic action…Nor is this evolutionary character due to a quasi-automatic increase in population or capital or to the vagaries of monetary systems…The fundamental impulse that sets and keeps the capitalist engine in motion comes from the new consumers‘ goods, the new methods of production or transportation, the new markets, the new forms of industrial

organization that capitalist enterprise creates‖.174 Streeck summarizes this as follows:

―Change...is the only thing that is constant about capitalism‖.175 Streeck, 2009b, p. 11f, fns 10, 11.

ten Brink, 2010, p. 3.

Schumpeter, 1942, p. 82f.

Streeck, 2009a, p. 236.

3. Network theory

3.1. Social network theory 3.1.1. Social capital Social capital as a term has been made known by Pierre Bourdieu in 1980.176 According to Bourdieu, capital can be categorized in several forms, namely cultural capital in the form of the objectified state, the embodied state and the institutionalized state, as well as economic, symbolic and social capital.177 The latter Bourdieu defines as ―the aggregate of the actual or potential resources which are linked to possession of a durable network of more or less institutionalized relationships of mutual acquaintance and recognition…which provides each of its members with the backing of the collectivity-owned capital, a ‗credential‘ which entitles them to credit, in the various senses of the word…[T]he volume of the social capital…depends on the size of the network of connections he can effectively mobilize and on the volume of the capital (economic, cultural or symbolic) possessed in his own right by each of those to whom he is connected‖.178 The network, defined as the structural foundation of social capital, is a dynamic structure that permanently changes and needs continuing efforts to be maintained. The denser a networks is, the more social capital can be accumulated.179 Social capital is thus an immaterial resource and a means that helps individuals reaching certain ends.

One form of capital can principally be transformed into other forms of capital, but often not instantaneously as in the case of social capital ―the ambiguity of social exchange‖ needs a ―much more subtle economy of time‖ as for example economic capital. However, economic capital is ―at the root of all other types of capital‖.180 Social capital can explain how individuals, even when endowed with the same amount of cultural and economic capiBourdieu, 1980. His first English article mentioning social capital was published in 1986, in the Handbook of Theory of Research for the Sociology of Education, ed. by J. E. Richardson, re-published in Bourdieu, 1997 [1986]. However, the notion of social capital can already be found in Max Weber‘s work. Without using the terms ‗network‘ or ‗social capital‘, in Weber, 1976 [1930] Weber describes that the coherence and cohesion of a (religious) group can be decisive for its (economic) success. The first actual mentioning of the term itself seems to be in Jacobs, 1961: ―Networks are a city‘s irreplaceable social capital…‖, p. 138. An overview of history and development of the concept of social capital can be found in Woolcock, 1998.

Bourdieu, 1997 [1986], p. 47ff. Sometimes also the term ‗network capital‘ is found in the literature. It is defined as the use of networks, its role and extent dependent on a society‘s social structure. Its volume is equal to the number and size of networks an economic actor is involved in. Its value is accordingly a function of the number and availability of the other network members and their respective networks and resources.

Network capital can act as addition or substitution for market and state structures. See Ledeneva, 2005, p. 3.

Bourdieu, 1997 [1986], p. 51f. Elsewhere Bourdieu defines social capital as ―the sum of resources, actual or virtual, that accrue to an individual or a group by virtue of possessing a durable network of more or less institutionalized relationships of mutual, acquaintance and recognition‖. Bourdieu and Wacquant, 1992, p.


Bourdieu, 1997 [1986], p. 52.

Bourdieu, 1997 [1986], p. 54.

tal, can reach different positions in society by mobilizing their social capital.181 It results in a network of relations that is the product of individual or collective investment strategies which is – consciously or not – oriented towards immediate utility in the present or future.

Random and coincidental acquaintances (what Granovetter terms ‗weak ties‘, see below) can be transformed into durable relations that also include obligations. However, social capital entails not only utilitarian connections and in so far is virtual capital, still, it can be transferred into economic capital.182 Granovetter defines the link between the structure of social relations and economic action as embeddedness (see below, the excursus on embeddedness and trust).

A different definition of social capital has been developed by Putnam. He defines it related to the notion of social organization, which means trust, norms and networks that support the cohesion of society ―by facilitating coordinated actions‖ for mutual benefit.183 Social capital is not only dependent on the individual, but even more on the social context and what Putnam calls the culture of ‗civicness‘. Norms, values and institutions are the base of a community that is shaped by trust, solidarity and tolerance. The totality of these values result in social capital that is expressed in generalized trust and spontaneous cooperation of the members of the community. A community possessing a high level of social capital is assumed to be ―safer, cleaner, wealthier, more literate, better governed, and generally ‗happier‘‖ because its members ―find and keep goods jobs, initiate projects serving public interests, costlessly monitor one another‘s behavior, enforce contractual agreements, use existing resource more efficiently, resolve disputes more amicably, and respond to citizens‘ concerns more promptly‖.184 However, this kind of social capital and its networks are more based on system trust than personal trust as well as on formal than on informal social capital. The latter means that formal connections like the membership in (voluntary) associations, like sport clubs or political parties, are essential for the type of social capital Putnam describes.185 Historically developed social capital like that can explain the economic success of certain regions, such as the Third Italy (see chapter 6.4.2.). Elsewhere Putnam adds that social capital is a feature of ―social life – networks, norms and trust – that enable participants to act together more effectively to pursue shared objectives‖.186 Putnam‘s macro perspective has been criticized for presenting a static, pre-determined, pathBourdieu, 1983, p. 191.

Walter, 2004, p. 27f.

Putnam; Leonardi and Nanetti, 1993, p. 167, Woolcock, 1998, p. 155f.

Woolcock, 1998, p. 155.

Putnam, 2001, p. 25, Putnam; Leonardi and Nanetti, 1993, p. 167.

Putnam, 1995, p. 664f.

dependent notion of social capital which would imply that regions are on certain trajectories and without an adequate original endowment of social capital can never improve.187 A third approach to social capital can be found in Coleman as part of the rational choice paradigm. For him, social capital is an ―informational resource emerging as a result of interaction between rational agents needing to co-ordinate for mutual benefit‖.188 Social capital is, like any other form of capital, also productive in the sense that it enables accomplishments based on network structures and trust that otherwise would be impossible or at least much more difficult to achieve.189 However, he interprets social capital as a characteristic of social structure and social relations in which the individual is embedded and thus takes on a more micro perspective.190 Insofar, social capital is not owned by an individual but is a public good.191 Social capital can not only be accumulated by individuals, but also by collectives, such as corporations, which can use it as competitive advantage (and as unique selling proposition).192 Even more so, the foundation of social capital are family and group solidarity, which means that the more stabile and closed to the outside a community is, the more social capital it has. Open structures that allow members to come and leave freely can, according to Coleman, not accumulate as much social capital, differing here from the concept of other authors, like Granovetter (see 3.1.2.). For Coleman, within a closed social community the cohesion, trust and mutual assistance are higher than elsewhere. Social capital is the ingredient that makes a group of individuals a community. Social capital functions as ―moral resources‖ but in contrast to other forms of capital does not decrease but increase with extensive use. Even more so, people who possess a lot of social capital tend to accumulate ever more.193 An entrepreneur uses social capital like all other forms of capital: she ―transforms financial capital into physical capital in form of building an tools…, human capital in the form of persons occupying positions and social capital in the form of organization of positions…Social capital (like other forms of capital) requires investment in the design of structure of obligations and expectations, responsibility and authority and Woolcock, 1998, p. 159, also Fukuyama, 1999.

Woolcock, 1998, p. 155f.

Coleman, 1990, p. 302, 304, 307.

Coleman, 1988, p. S105, Coleman, 1990, p. 302.

Coleman, 1988, p. S116f., Coleman, 1990, Putnam; Leonardi and Nanetti, 1993, p. 170, Walter, 2004, p.


Coleman, 1988, p. 116f., Coleman, 1990, p. 315. Here one of the main differences to Guanxi comes to light. Guanxi is highly individual and cannot be accumulated by collectives of any sort. Please refer for a further discussion to chapter 6.

Putnam; Leonardi and Nanetti, 1993, p. 169f., Dasgupta, 1988a, p. 56. Quote by A. O. Hirschman:

Against parsimony: three easy ways of complicating some categories of economic discourse, Proceedings of American economics Review, Vol. 74, 1984, p. 93, cited in Dasgupta.

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