Historical institutionalism applied
Pages 13

Guiding principles such as Keynesian-inspired economic policy approaches can play an important role in shaping patterns of party policy-making, even though they may be difficult to quantify and thus represent a challenge to those whose theory building tends towards the algebraic. However, polity structures as well as the inputs of social, economic and political forces often have a consequential impact on policy outcomes.12 In such an approach, institutions play a key mediating and directing role; however, as pointed out by Simon Bulmer, institutions certainly have not provided the fundamental dynamics of politics, but instead structure the access of political forces as they form actors’ and, in this case, key policy-makers’ behaviour, a process that is of vital importance for policy process outcomes.13