Conceptualising ideational novelty: A relational approach

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Research Highlights and Abstract This article Gives clearer conceptualisation of what an idea is., Provides clearer conceptualisation of how ideas may change over time., Uses central arguments from relational sociology and conceptual analysis in discursive institutionalism., Provides new theoretical perspectives on ideational change in wake of the recent financial- and economic crisis., How can we conceptualise the emergence of new political ideas? Demonstrating that the discursive institutionalist literature is silent on this question, the article links this theoretical lacuna to the problem of ideational infinite regress, i.e. that if we try to identify the absolute origin of an idea, we find that the relations to other ideational elements develop ad infinitum and the end or beginning of the idea never appears. Ideas do not emerge from an absolute origin but instead are created when a set of ideational elements are yoked together by political actors. Three ways that ideational change occurs is suggested: a change in the relations in the idea (recasting the idea), the replacement of at least one of the existing ideational elements with ideational elements hitherto not part of the idea (renewing the idea) and finally a wholesale change of ideational elements in the idea (revolutionising the idea).
TidsskriftThe British Journal of Politics and International Relations
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)284-297
Antal sider14
StatusUdgivet - 2015
Udgivet eksterntJa

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