Formal and Informal Institutions: On Structuring Their Mutual Co-existence

by Hans-Joachim Lauth,

The article deals with the relationship between formal and informal institutions. Firstly, informal institutions are defined in contrast to formal institutions. Informal institutions are also distinguished from culture and informal politics. In the second step various types of informal institutions are differentiated in order to structure the analysis of their relationship with democracy (and with the formal institutions of democracy). This analysis shows that informal institutions may support democracy, if they are provided with universalistic norms. Strong particularistic institutions, however, can imperil democracy and rule of law to great extent. The consideration of informal institutions is necessary for understanding the consolidation of democracies and creation of defective democracies.

published in Vol 4 - No 1 - 2004 // Comparing Transformations.The Institutional Reform
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  • Alina Mungiu-Pippidi (chair) Hertie School of Governance
  • Larry Diamond Stanford University
  • Tom Gallagher University of Bradford
  • Alena Ledeneva University College London
  • Michael McFaul Stanford University
  • Philippe Schmitter Stanford University
  • Helen Wallace London School of Economics and Political Science

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  • George Jiglau
  • Ingi Iusmen

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Societatea Academica Romana