CSH Workshop: “Measuring institutional integrity with the judiciary”

Oct 18, 2021Oct 20, 2021

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This workshop is organized by Eddie Lee, researcher at the Medical University Vienna and the CSH, and will take place from October 18 to 19, followed by a day of sub-group work on October 20.




The study of institutions and institutional performance is a long-standing topic in the social sciences. Institutions (political or otherwise) are often the means by which the preferences of individual actors are channelled into collective social choices. In democracies, political institutions including legislatures, bureaucratic agencies, and courts help organize social, political, and economic affairs. Among the topics highlighted in the study of institutions are integrity and degree of conformance with the rule of law.


There is a tendency to characterize institutions as singular entities, but they are really composed of multitudes of people, documents, and traditions dispersed over different times and places. Their dispersed nature means that few institutions are monolithic. Institutions change over time. Some face internal contradictions such as when different courts in the judiciary come to opposing conclusions. Sometimes disagreements may be formally reconciled through a hierarchical structure of appeals. In other cases, fragmentation may lead to polarization, gridlock, and even violence that tears the institution apart. When are such discrepancies substantial enough that we can consider institutions to fragment and to no longer be institutions at all? To answer this question, we begin by asking, “What is a principled, quantitative, and generalizable definition of an institution?”


While we are particularly interested in the context of the judiciary, we are hoping to convene a broader group to discuss the following questions:


1. What is an institution?
2. Why and how do institutions form?
3. Why and how do institutions end?



Eddie Lee, CSH & Med Uni Vienna

Fariba Karimi, CSH

Tuan Minh Pham, CSH & Med Uni Vienna

Daniel Chen, World Bank

Leonhard Horstmeyer

Marion Dumas, LSE

Sandeep Bhupatiraju, World Bank


Oct 18, 2021
Oct 20, 2021


Eddie Lee


Complexity Science Hub Vienna
Josefstädter Straße 39
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