Third WINIR Conference

2-5 September 2016

Seaport World Trade Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Download the call for papers

It is now widely accepted that institutions, broadly defined as systems of established social rules, play a major role in explaining human behaviour. Although scholars generally agree that institutions coordinate human behavior and to a certain extent mould it into recognizable patterns, there is much less consensus regarding the precise mechanisms involved. We also have yet to fully understand the ways in which alternative rule systems and behavioral patterns emerge, persist and evolve to create our complex social systems.

Theoretical and empirical research into these important topics needs to draw on insights from multiple academic disciplines, including anthropology, economics, ethnology, history, human geography, law, linguistics, management, philosophy, politics, psychology and sociology.

The Third WINIR Conference provided a forum for leading scholars from multiple disciplines and theoretical approaches to advance the ongoing conversation about these and other key issues in the growing area of institutional research.

The conference opened on the afternoon of Friday 2 September and ended on the evening of Sunday 4 September 2016. There was an optional walking tour of Historic Boston on the morning of Monday 5 September.

Keynotes lectures, representing four academic disciplines, were given by:


Daron Acemoglu
(MIT, economics)
John L. Campbell (Dartmouth, sociology)
Margaret Gilbert (UC Irvine, philosophy)
 Henry Hansmann (Yale, law)
Wendy Wood (USC, psychology) *

* Wendy Wood sadly had to cancel her lecture.


Abstract submissions from any discipline and theoretical approach were welcome.

Submissions were evaluated by the WINIR Scientific Quality Committee: Peter Boettke (George Mason University, economics), Simon Deakin (University of Cambridge, law), Geoff Hodgson (University of Hertfordshire, economics), Timur Kuran (Duke University, economics), Uskali Mäki (University of Helsinki, philosophy), Katharina Pistor (Columbia University, law), Sven Steinmo (European University Institute, politics), Wolfgang Streeck (Max Planck Institute Cologne, sociology).

206 delegates from 45 countries attended this event.

The conference was organised by Francesca Gagliardi (f.gagliardi@herts.ac.uk), David Gindis (d.gindis@herts.ac.uk), Geoff Hodgson (g.m.hodgson@herts.ac.uk) and Richard Langlois (richard.langlois@uconn.edu), with the invaluable help of the WINIR Event Manager, Vinny Logan (vinny@vivarias.co.uk).

Generous support for the WINIR Conference on Institutions & Human Behaviour was provided by