The study of institutions forms the core of political science. This course introduces students to the classics and cutting-edge of the so-called “new institutionalism”. It covers the three established variants of new institutionalism (rational choice, historical, and sociological) as well as more recent developments (especially discursive and feminist institutionalism). The focus is on the way in which institutions enable and constrain behavior, how institutions affect and embody power relations, on the real-world consequences of institutional design, and on the struggle for institutional reform. The course is particularly interested in the question how the new institutionalism informs research. Therefore, every week we discuss one theoretical article and one empirical study. A large part of the assessment will be based on in-class activities.