The Importance Of Institutions: Unger And Johnson

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Assignment 2 Institutions have been ubiquitous in the human experience, since the first civilizations. From simple councils of wise men in prehistory, to the deep rooted bureaucracy of the American executive, they have been indispensable in the carrying out of everyday life. Unger and Johnson both stress the importance of institutions- Unger because they can be used as tools to enhance democracy in markets, politics and empower individuals- Knight/Johnson because they should prioritize democracy and enable reflection on institutional arrangements. Institutions although resistant to change and liable to maintain outdated forms, must looked at critically and modified; the difficulty in doing this creates and sustains poverty in Rochester.
Institutions are structures within a community governing recurring patterns of behavior, they are above individual intentions and mediate rules that govern living behavior. In the context of Unger and Knight/Johnson, they are the private and public organization/policy/mindset that results in democracy, economic gain and equality being attainable to people and nations. Unger clearly thinks that these institutions have been corrupted and the vast majority of the world is in a “dictatorship of no alternatives”, where there is miniscule hope for
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Ranging from simple trades to the global financial industry. It's not up for debate whether control economies’ markets are institutions, however free markets are also institutions. The coordination and network of various independent agents, working together, in a repeated way to fill a demand is an institution (Lindbloom 35). Systems that are a combination of the two or free markets within control economies are also institutions (Lindblom 4). Organizations and markets are embedded in an institutional framework and overlap, giving birth to a hybrid form. No market exist as purely a control economy or like Smith’s laissez

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