chapter  1
Exploring institutional complexity in a less formal context
Pages 22

George Bernard Shaw once said that reasonable people adapt themselves to the world but unreasonable people adapt the world to themselves. Thus all progress must depend on unreasonable people. In a sense, this book explores how these ‘unreasonable people’ may interact to remould and refashion the world around them through the lens of institutional change. In this opening chapter, I consider evolving discussions on ‘institutions’, towards investigating in-depth institutional processes in women’s enterprise in the context of Afghanistan. I present the overall framework for the study, emphasising the epistemological departure, and guiding research themes. I reflect on the methodological techniques and fieldwork in the fragile and war-stricken Afghan setting. Introducing the research cases, I finally give a brief overview of the specific businesses featured in this book, describing their background, situation and reasons for selection. Looking ahead, I discuss the emerging book structure and arguments.