Explaining the economic trajectories of civilizations: The systemic approach

Published

Journal Article

A civilization constitutes a durable social system of complementary traits. Some of the complementarities of any given civilization are between elements of "material" life and ones commonly treated as integral to "culture." Identifying the mechanisms responsible for a civilization's observed trajectory involves, therefore, causal relationships that cross the often-postulated "cultural-material" divide. Complementarities make it difficult to transplant institutions across civilizations on a piecemeal basis. They imply that reforms designed to jump-start an economy will fail unless they are comprehensive. Civilizational analysis can benefit, therefore, from attention to institutional complementarities, including ones involving both cultural and material variables. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kuran, T

Published Date

  • September 1, 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 71 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 593 - 605

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0167-2681

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jebo.2009.03.005

Citation Source

  • Scopus