"[R]emarkably rigorous, original, and interesting work.... Blyth breaks new ground by using Frank Knight's concept of uncertainty as a linchpin for this theory of institutional change.... Highly recommended." Choice
"Economic historians frequently fail to connect their findings to broader political and sociological questions. Mark Blyth, a professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University, avoids that pitfall in Great Transformations. In a well-researched comparative study of the United States and Sweden, Blyth analyzes the impact of economic ideas on institutional change." History: Reviews of New Books
"Blyth's analysis is sweeping, thorough, and powerfully demonstrates the path-shaping power of ideas to frame and give substance to institutional reconfiguration." Governance
"[An] important new book." EH.NET
This book analyses political and economic change in the Twentieth century through an examination of institutional change in the United States and Sweden from the 1920s to the end of the 1990's. The key claim is that economic ideas are powerful political tools used by domestic groups in order to effect change since whoever defines what the economy is, what is wrong with it, and what would improve it, has a profound political resource in their possession. Blyth demonstrates why this is the case, and offers a theory as to why economic ideas are so politically important.