Institutional development has attracted more attention in the past two decades. However, institutional theory finds itself in a pre-consolidated phase and there are various theoretical and methodological challenges. One is to respond to the question whether institutional change is a spontaneous evolutionary or a deliberately designed process or a combination of the two. Another question concerns institutional co-innovation: i.e. the interaction between technological innovations, changes in institutional arrangements and changes in the institutional environment. A methodological challenge concerns the study of common institutional needs, which under different conditions can give rise to various concrete institutional forms. This paper researches how a common institutional need to develop institutional arrangements for rural collective action in order to enable small farmers to participate in newly created export chains in different contexts leads to different institutional arrangements and outcomes. By comparing two cases, the paper seeks to unravel which factors and actors play what roles and how these explain differences in the process of institutional development and in that way to arrive at a better understanding of local institutional change. After a general introduction, I present an overview of the diverse literature on institutional change. After that, bird’s eye views will be presented of the two case studies. The first refers to the development of export agriculture around asparagus in the North of Peru and the second relates to the introduction of new apicultural technologies in the North West of Uganda. In the final section the main commonalities and differences in institutional development are examined and an attempt is made to respond to the main challenges formulated above.

Additional Metadata
Keywords local institutional change, institutional change, small farmers, export chains, Peru, Uganda
Persistent URL
Series ISS Working Papers - General Series
Journal ISS Working Paper Series / General Series
Helmsing, A.H.J. (2013). Analyzing Local Institutional Change. ISS Working Paper Series / General Series (Vol. 565, pp. 1–33). Retrieved from