“History matters” is a cliché whose validity is widely assumed, but political scientist Paul Pierson shows precisely how history matters in his book Politics in Time: History, Institutions, and Social Analysis (2004). By extending economic historians’ concepts of positive feedback and path dependence to the field of politics, Pierson offers novel insights as to why some things in the social world change and others stay the same.

Andrew R. Rutten is a former Lecturer in the Department of Political Science at Stanford University.
American HistoryGovernment and PoliticsLaw and LibertyPolitical History
Other Independent Review articles by Andrew R. Rutten
Fall 2003 The New Economy (Pre)Dux; or, What History Teaches Us about the Wired World
Summer 2001 Rethinking the New Deal Court: The Structure of a Constitutional Revolution
Spring 1999 Can Anarchy Save Us from Leviathan?
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