The Four Sub-Themes
The sub-themes of the research program draw on the comparative methodology of Charles Tilly to focus on four “large processes” of change (Market Transformation, Social Organizations, Central-Local Interaction and Transnationalization). We argue that such change processes shift institutional logics. Moreover, evidence of differences and similarities in how these processes impact changes within East Asia provides new insights into the interrelatedness of global, inter-regional and national institutional changes. The four “large processes” are universal processes driving “risk shifts”, which, in the spirit of Tilly’s comparative methodology, play out in the context of specific regional, national and local institutional constellations, preferences and beliefs about which players ultimately bear responsibility for risks. Questions concerning the nature of shifts and the players involved are explored through systematic empirical and comparative analysis in a series of doctoral and postdoctoral research projects proposed for the research training group on Risk and East Asia.
Research projects in each of the sub-themes focus on emerging institutional constellations (in contrast to the adaptation of established institutions) and both formal and informal institutional dimensions, the latter being of particular importance in the East Asian regional context, yet often neglected by European theories and research about institutional change.