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Western People to Understand the Global Village 代寫

MPRA
Munich Personal RePEc Archive
Institutional matrices theory as a
framework for both western and
non-western people to understand the
global village”
Svetlana Kirdina and Gregory Sandstrom
XVII World Congress of Sociology
4. July 2010
Online at http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/18642/
MPRA Paper No. 18642, posted 7. August 2010 21:27 UTC
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“Institutional Matrices Theory as a Framework for both Western and Non-
Western People to Understand the Global Village”
Draft
Prof. Dr. Svetlana Kirdina
Institute of Economics, Russian Academy of Sciences
Moscow, Russia
kirdina@bk.ru
PhD Gregory Sandstrom
Autonomous National University of Mexico
Institute for Applied Mathematics and Systems
Mexico City, Mexico
gregsandstrom@yahoo.ca
For Session:
“Non-Western Challenges to Western Social Theory” (RC16)
World Congress of Sociology
International Sociological Association
July 11-17, 2010
Gothenburg, Sweden
Please, contact the authors for references
Neither criticising Western social theory nor constructing an alternative kind
of social theory is currently being thought of as a creative and fruitful method for
social theorizing around the world today. The development of a new theoretical
framework for understanding and explaining social origins and processes, both in
Western and non-Western countries is therefore a relevant challenge for human-
social sciences. It is also a real contribution to confront the limits of the dominant
Western-based social theories on the current global academic stage. The objective
of this paper is to present such a new theoretical framework: Institutional Matrices
Theory (IMT), or X- & Y-Theory (Kirdina, 2001, 2003, etc.), which attempts to
answer this challenge.
1. Practical challenges and significant pre-ideas of IMT (or X- & Y-Theory)
The main reason to create a new theoretical framework is provoked by the
inadequacy of actual theoretical schemes for understanding and predicting modern-
day Russian transformations.
The sociological theoretical mainstream is represented first of all by theories
of the so-called “western mentality”. The founding fathers of sociology as a
scientific and academic discipline were from Europe. Since then, scientists from
Europe and the USA have contributed and are still contributing to many of the
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basic ideas of the sociological theory. The ASA and the ESA are the largest
sociological associations in the world.
The concepts, frameworks and methods of American (cf. USA vs. ‘western’)
sociology work well as schemes for describing and explaining appropriate
societies, i.e. the societies in which the theories are produced. Russia genuinely
uses famous ‘western’ theories in analyzing various new phenomena, as far as they
are relevant and effective. But these same theories are not so effective in analyzing
long-term or special processes and tendencies in Russia’s development.
Therefore, Russia today needs new social theories to fill the gaps left by
‘western’ and ‘European’ ones, that have not satisfied the Russian ‘cultural’ or
‘natural’ mindset.
First of all, we have to acknowledge the most important intellectuals whose
thoughts have formed the preconditions of IMT/X&YT. It develops the following
people’s ideas:
1.  August Comte (1798-1857, French philosopher and social theorist) –
statics and dynamics; coined the term ‘sociology’;
2.  Karl Marx (1818-1883, German philosopher, sociologist, economist)
– materialistic conception of history;
3.  Emile Durkheim (1858-1917, French sociologist) – sociology as a
science of institutions and the concept of a sui generis society;
4.  Pitirim Sorokin (1889-1968, Russian-American sociologist) –
the idea of social and cultural systems;
5.  Talcott  Parsons  (1902-1979,  American  sociologist)  –
structural functionalism;
6.  Karl Polanyi (1886-1964, Hungarian intellectual, forced to flee to
Austria, USA and Canada) – economic anthropology and redistributive
economy concept;
7.  Douglass North (born 1920, USA, Economics Nobel Laureate “for
having renewed research in economic history”) – coined the ‘institutional
matrix’ term;
8.  Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980, Canadian socio-cultural philosopher)
– “global village” idea; and the notion of “human extensions”
9.  Harvey  Leibenstein  (1922-1994,  Ukrainian-born  American
economist) – first to use the idea of X-efficiency;
10. Olga Bessonova (born 1958, Russian sociologist) – “razdatok”
economic theory;
11. Alexander Akhiezer (1929-2007, Russian philosopher) – socio-
cultural evolution concept.
The last two people are both from Russia and are not so well-known in the
international context. (By the way, a maternal grandfather of Polanyi was Russian,
too).
This list of main 11 pre-ideas outlines some of the basic themes and
methodological approaches of Institutional Matrices Theory, or X- and T Theory
(IMT/X&Y-Theory).
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2. Synopsis of Institutional matrices Theory, or X- and T Theory
Here is a scheme of our modeling what a society is (see image 1).
Image 1. The main spheres of a society
Human society is seen as a social system, as multiple inter-related social
systems, with the main “sociological co-ordinates” being economics, politics and
ideology. These value spheres are strongly interrelated morphologically as parts or
sides or components of one complete whole. In this model:
•  Economic interrelations are related to resources used for reproducing
social entities;
•  The political sphere has regular and organized social actions to
achieve the defined objectives; and
•  The ideological sub-system embodies important social ideas and
values.
These spheres are strongly interrelated morphologically as parts or sides of
one whole. It is impossible to change or reform only one sphere successfully,
without those changes also influencing the other spheres.
We can observe that IMT/X&YT offers a simple and basic model – neither
cultural nor social institutions like family, religion, or education are here. This
absence of certain chosen institutions is an imperative point for constructing a
theoretical model that can be successfully used for comparative studies of different
countries. In this way we can narrow the number of our variables, thus constraining
the realm of our potential results, but at the same time improving our scientific
rigour.
Basic human-social institutions are the subject of analysis. Institutions
permanently reproduce the staples of social relations in different civilizations and
Economics
Politics
Ideology
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historical periods. Basic institutions integrate a society into one ‘whole’ that is
developing, sometimes with conflicts and at other times with harmony, sometimes
with competition and at other times with cooperation.
Institutions have a dual natural-artificial character. On the one hand,
institutions manifest self-organizational principles in a society as a co-extensive
natural-social system. On the other hand, institutions are the result of purposeful
human-social reflection with regard to relevant laws and rules; they emerge and are
shaped as ‘human-made’ entities.
Aggregations of interrelated basic economic, political and ideological
institutions are defined as institutional matrices. Historical observations and
empirical research as well as mathematical modelling and a broad philosophical
approach provide a ground for our hypothesis about two particular types of
institutional matrices existing around the world. Namely, we call the two types X-
matrices and Y-matrices and compare the unique identities of each one (see image
2). This is the first fundamental hypothesis of IMT/X&Y-Theory.
Image 2. Institutions of X- and Y- matrices
An X-matrix is formed by institutions that centre on a redistributive
economy (Karl Polanyi’s term, 1997), a unitary political order and a
communitarian ideology, i.e. with priority placed on the “We” over the “I”. A Y-
matrix is formed by institutions with a market economy, a federative political order
and an ideology of subsidiarity, i.e. with priority on “I” over “We.”
The second fundamental hypothesis is that the institutional structure of each
society can be represented as a combination of these two basic institutional
matrices.
In real-life societies and nations, X- and Y-matrices interact, with one of
them permanently prevailing. Nevertheless, the matrices are not entirely exclusive
of each other, given that both X- and Y-matrices co-exist concurrently in a given
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case. The dominant institutions of the prevailing matrix define a society or nation
and serve as a performance framework for alternative/complementary institutions
from the other matrix (see image 3).
In some societies X-matrix institutions prevail, while Y-institutions help
them. We contend this is true for Russia, China and most Asian, Latin America,
some other countries and maybe India.
At the same time, in other societies Y-matrix institutions predominate,
whereas X-matrix institutions are complementary and additional, as, for example,
in most western European countries and the USA.
Image 3. Combinations of X- and Y-matrices
The main task of social and economic policy in each country is to support
the optimal combination of predominant and alternative/complementary
institutions. For example, economic policy has to find the best proportion between
market and redistributive institutions as well as modernizing their forms.
The third fundamental hypothesis is that the material and technological
environments in a society are key historical determinants of whether either an X-
matrix or a Y-matrix prevails. Along with culture and personality, these make up
the main factors in our institutional model. The human-social environment can be a
communal indivisible system, wherein removing some elements can lead to
disintegration of the whole system or it can be non-communal, with possibilities
for functional technological dissociation (Bessonova, Kirdina, O'Sullivan,
1996:17-18).
Communality denotes the features of a material and technological
environment that assumes it exists as a unified, further indivisible system, parts of
Y
X
X
Y
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which cannot be taken out without threatening its disintegration. A communal
environment can function only with public goods and cannot be divided into
consumption units and sold in parts. Accordingly, coordinated communal efforts
by a considerable part of the population, along with a unified centralized
government are normative. Therefore, the institutional content of a nation
developing within a communal environment is, eventually, determined by the tasks
of coordinating joint efforts towards effective use. Thus, X-matrices are formed
under communal conditions, with Y-institutions constituting a minority in the field.
Non-communality signifies technological dissociation, with the possibility of
atomizing core elements of the material infrastructure, as well as independent
functioning and private usage. A non-communal environment is divisible into
separate, disconnected elements; it is able to disperse and can exist as an aggregate
of dissociated, independent technological objects. In this case, an individual or
group of people (e.g. families) can involve parts of the non-communal environment
in their economy, maintain their effectiveness, and use the results obtained on their
own, not necessarily cooperating with other members of the society. If this is the
case, the main function of such human-social institutions is to assure interaction
between atomized economic and social agents. Y-matrix institutions are thus
shaped in a non-communal environment.
To be more accurate, in a communal environment X-matrix institutions are
dominant and Y-matrix institutions are complementary (e.g. in Russia, China,
India, most Asian and Latin American countries). In a non-communal environment
(e.g. in the USA and Europe) the institutional situation is vice versa.
Structures and functions of basic institutions in X- and Y-matrices are
briefly presented in Tables 1-3 (see in details: Kirdina, 2001, 2003).
Table 1. Economic institutions
Functions of institutions  Institutions of redistributive
economy in X-matrix
Institutions  of  market
economy in Y-matrix
Fixing of goods (property
rights system)
Supreme conditional ownership  Private ownership
Transfer of goods  Redistribution (accumulation-
coordination-distribution)
Exchange
(buying-selling)
Interactions between
economic agents
Cooperation  Competition
Labour system  Employment (unlimited-term)
labour
Contract (short- and
medium-term) labour
Feed-back (effectiveness
indices)
Cost limitation
(Х-efficiency)
Profit maximization
(Y-efficiency)
We can see that the same economic functions are enacted by specific
institutions in different matrices. All X- and Y-institutions coexist in actual
national and local economies in different combinations and are embodied in many
institutional forms. Thus, though we are outlining the general features of X- and Y-
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matrix economic institutions, in real-life situations the extreme cases are never
fully demonstrated this way.
The basic political institutions of X- and Y-matrices are presented in Table
2. The X-political order represents a top-down model of society. Therefore, the Y-
political order characterizes a bottom-up model. (Please note: this means that top-
down has an X-triangle shape – ? – and bottom-up has a Y-triangle shape – ? –,
which seems counter-intuitive).
Table 2. Political institutions
We distinguish 5 basic economic and political institutions in each matrix.
Also, we consider 5 pairs of ideological institutions in X- and Y-matrices (Table
3).
Table 3. Ideological institutions
Functions of institutions  X-institutions of
communitarian ideology
Y-institutions of subsidiary
ideology
Driver of social actions Collectivism  Individualism
Normative understanding of
social structure
Egalitarianism  Stratification
Prevailing social values  Order  Freedom
Labor attitudes Money-oriented  Well-being-oriented
Principles of academic and
social priority
Generalizing
/Holistic/Holism
Specializing
/Atomistic/Reductionism
Functions of institutions  Institutions of unitary political
order in X-matrix
Institutions federative political
order in Y- matrix
Territorial administrative
organization of the nation
Administrative division
(unitarity)
Federative structure (federation)
Governance system (flow of
decision making)
Vertical hierarchical authority with
Centre on the top
Self-government and subsidiarity
Type of interaction in the
order of decision making
General assembly and unanimity  Multi-party system and
democratic majority
Filling of governing positions
Appointment
Election
Feed-back  Appeals to higher levels of
hierarchical authority
Law suits
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Ideological institutions express a majority or minority social consensus on
the main rules and norms that regulate social actions and indicate what is fair and
just according to mass opinion. The ideology of a people, nation-state, community,
folk, etc. is less quantifiable, but in many ways more powerful than the political
and economic institutions in representing an inward and outward attitude and in
establishing the ways that individuals communicate with themselves and in groups.
The IMT/X&YT approach accepts two models as suitable for a nation’s
characteristics. It contends that trying to force an institutional framework (‘lock-
in’) on a society that does not inherently accept the same institutional values is
liable to lead to unsuccessful and potentially damaging results;
IMT/X&YT suggests that even if the ‘wrong’ institutional structures are
artificially or externally constructed in a nation-state, in the long-run those
institutions will fail (or will “lock-in by predominant institutional matrix”) and
ultimately revert back to their appropriate institutional model. “Institutional
matrices make institutional changes overwhelmingly incremental and path
dependent” (North, 1993).
3. Using Institutional Matrices Theory or X&Y-Theory
The source of information in this analysis was articles in journals, books and
textbooks on Sociology and Economics, including curricula, theses and
monographs with reference to Institutional Matrices Theory (IMT), which were
written in 2000-2010 on the Russian Internet and in e-mails. 206 items were
studied. The following three main areas, which deal with this theory, were
analyzed: IMT/X&YT application in thematic social research as a methodology
and as a framework for interpreting empirical data results.
The structures of Research Networks of ESA and of ISA Research
Committees were used to classify thematic social research published by Russian
(and some non-Russian) scientists. Table 4 presents the results.
Table 4. Classification of papers using IMT/X&YT,
by thematic topics, %, 2000-2010 (206 items)
Thematic research areas % of
papers
Economy & Society  17
Political Sociology  14
Social Transformation & Change 14
Environment & Society 11
Sociology of Culture  10
Logic & Methodology in Sociology  9
Other topics  25
Total  100
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IMT/X&YT is broadly applied in different sociological topics. The main
sociological research areas, in which the theory is used more actively, are
Economy and Society (16%), Social Transformation and Social Change (14%),
Political Sociology (14%), Environment and Society (11%) and Sociology of
Culture (11%). These topics constitute two thirds (66%) of all application areas.
The domination of these topics as research areas is explained by the
possibilities that IMT/X&YT gives for understanding and revealing modern social
changes in different spheres of Russian society. This is evident in the titles and
contents of the following published works within the above thematic areas:
- Economy and Society: many works are devoted to analysing institutions,
for example “Forms of ownership and institutional changes in banking” or “Path
dependency in the evolution of ownership institutions”. Authors remark that
“economic effectiveness is the factor of choice of ownership forms. The
probability of fixing for definite form is higher if it encourages expenses reduction
and enhancement of result” 1 (Volchik V., 2001). Therefore, increasing economic
X-matrix institutions is more advantageous for transforming Russia;
- Political Sociology: the author of one article, “The territorial organization of
Russia as a problem of the role of government” (Anokhin M., 2002), appeals to
IMT and proclaims: “At present we are not dealing with the substitutions of
unitarity for federalism rather we are dealing with the modification of unitarity
according to new conditions of state development”;
- Social Transformation and Social Change: the IMT is used as a framework
for explaining the essence of social transformation. With a ‘Western’ bias, the
latter is often presented as a process of Y-matrix institutional implementation
instead of developing improved X-matrix institutions (Dublikash T., 2001;
Zgonnick L., 2005; Kara-Murza S., 2008 etc);
- Environment and Society: “institutional matrices theory is used as the
methodology for analysis and decision making for qualitative transformation of
land-developing industry” in modern Russia (Asaul N., 2004);
- Sociology of Culture: there are “speak for themselves” titles, for example,
“Peculiarities of Russian economic mentality” (Balabanova E., 2001), and
“Social-cultural aspects of modernization process in Russia” (Gavrov S., 2004);
- Sociology of Law: in the thesis “Methodological background of sociology of
law in West-European sociology in XIX-XX” the author states that “the
effectiveness of legal and law institutions can exist if they are adequate to the in-
depth parameters of the dominant institutional matrix” (Glazyrin V., 2006). It
explains the limits and prospects for implementation of borrowing ‘western’
institutions.
More and more IMT is applied as a methodology for investigations (73%)
rather than as a framework for interpreting empirical data (27%). This shows that
1 All references in this paragraph are given according to the list (in Russian) on
http://kirdina.ru/links2.shtml
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IMT/X&YT has considerable advantages in terms of understanding a wide range
of social processes (Table 5).
Table 5. Classification of papers using IMT/X&YT for different purposes,
%, 2000-2010
As methodology
for theoretical and
empirical social
research
As framework for
interpretation of
empirical data results
Total
73
27
100
The regional geography of IMT/X&YT application is gradually enlarging
(~80% in Russia, ~10% in Former Soviet Countries and about 10% in other foreign
countries)
Besides that fact that the IMT/X&YT serves as the methodology in thematic
social research, it is often considered as the special subject for the analysis itself
(Table 6).
Table 6. Attitudes of other scientists toward institutional matrices theory,
publications and mass-media, 2000-01.08.2008
Active
supporters
Western People to Understand the Global Village  代寫
Neutral
analysis
In disagreement  Total
2
8  6  16
Discussions about the structure of the IMT/X&YT, its terminology as well as
its comparison with other concepts were presented in 16 publications (2002-2008
data). The scientists, who analyzed the Institutional Matrices Theory, can be
divided into three groups – active supporters, neutrals and those who are in
disagreement.
Western People to Understand the Global Village  代寫
4. The need for ‘non-western’ contributions to global social theory
The Russian-born IMT, or X-and Y-Theory is a “non-western” contribution
to global social theory. Russia has both accepted and resisted ‘westernizing’ in its
1000+ years. This gives it an unusual position from a geo-philosophical standpoint.
One example of a ‘non-western’ economics is the Soviet theories of
Extensive and Intensive Growth (EIG), which is being updated by Sandstrom since
2003 (ongoing). Another example is Ha-Joon Chang, a Korean-born professor of
economics at Cambridge University, who represents ‘heterodox’ economics in the
face of what he sees as historical revisionist policies that help maintain the most
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developed (western) countries on top of the development ‘ladder 2 ’ (Chang, 2002).
These ‘alternative’ or ‘non-western’ ideas are now being raised in dialogue about
world recovery from the global economic recession of 2008-2009 and the new
configurations in world inter-relations such as the G20 meetings suggest.
Indeed, what the 21 st century conversation seems to require is a view of
‘development’ and ‘transition’ that is ‘non-western,’ i.e. to move beyond some of
the theories in and about Russia put forward by western scientists, scholars and
economic advisors in the early years after the breakup of the Soviet Union. By
acknowledging that nations around the world, especially those from outside of the
‘Western’ sphere of influence, may choose their own (non-Y-, i.e. X-matrices)
pathways of production/consumption and development is a liberating notion for
those who feel institutionally pressured by their opposites. This is a perception of
development that allows for different nations to define it in different ways.
“Development,” says Chang, “is something centered around a process of
transformation in the productive sphere” (2010: 2). We can recognize the focus on
production that Marx also supported, and yet at the same time acknowledge that
the transformative aspect of the call to action in the socio-economic sphere
suggests that development economics based on an evolutionary theory modeled on
biology is likely not the best way forward. Let us recall that the Russian Academy
of Sciences hosted its celebration of Darwin events, including an international
conference (Sept. 2009), yet kept the door open for post-Darwinian and non-
Darwinian views of ‘change,’ including in the human-social sciences.
We are waiting for more contemporary examples that will help to verify
Russia’s rightful sovereignty as an ‘X’-matrix modern nation-state as well as
cooperative and contributing member of the international community. We are
asking for examples of transition and transformation in the institutional matrices of
multiple countries, which will help us to work on our global modelling.
The result of our proposal is a ‘non-western’ contribution; it is based on
ideas formulated and/or elaborated in Russia, which is not an entirely ‘western’
nation.
In international relations, IMT/X&YT can serve as an example of a non-
western approach that validates the institutions that those countries construct. This
protects them against being forced into an inappropriate framework by others from
‘outside.’ The research made using IMT therefore operates with both identification
strategies and with a comparative method, which serves to distinguish the
institutional structures and systems present in various places, made by people
around the world.
Western People to Understand the Global Village  代寫
2 “Are the developed countries trying to ‘kick away the ladder’ by which they have climbed up to
the top, by preventing developing countries from adopting policies and institutions that they
themselves used?” (2002: 10)
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5. Conclusions
S. Arjomand wrote that “real changes in the world have always formed social
theories” (Arjomand, 2004). The Institutional Matrices Theory, or X&Y-Theory
confirms this statement. This social theory is being developed in Russia in a period
of dramatic social transformations, with a view to re-establishing the basis for its
sovereignty and uniqueness-in-community in the global village.
This new theory is actively being used in a variety of sociological disciplines
as well as in thematic social research. The regional geography of its networked
application is gradually enlarging
The main practical conclusions of IMT/X&YT are as follows:
• The ‘natural’ institutions of a society’s institutional matrix dominate over
alternative/complementary institutions
• The latter serve as auxiliary or additional, providing stability in national
institutional environments, depending on the dynamic and/or static relationship
between the two types of institutional matrices.
• Balancing development in the public sphere requires purposeful efforts by
social  agents.  Finding  an  optimal  balance  of  predominant  and
alternative/complementary institutions is a crucial challenge for today’s nation-
states, including politicians and civil society.
REFERENCES
Arjomand S.A. (2004). The Changing Role of the Social Sciences. An Action-
Theoretical Perspective. Symposium of Social Theory. Preface. / International
Sociology, 2004, № 3, p. 299.
Bessonova O., Kirdina S., O'Sullivan R. (1996). Market Experiment in the
Housing Economy of Russia. Novosibirsk.
Ha-Joon Chang (2002). Kicking Away the Ladder: Development Strategy in
Historical Perspective. London: Anthem Press.
Kirdina S.G (2001). Institutional Matrices and Russia Development. 2-d ed.
Novosibirsk, 2001. Summary in English
http://kirdina.ru/public/summary/index.shtml
Western People to Understand the Global Village  代寫
Kirdina S. (2003). Institutional Matrices and Development of Russia.
Proceedings of Hawaii International Conference on Social Sciences, June 12 - 15,
2003. (http://www.hicsocial.org/Social2003Proceedings/Svetlana%20Kirdina.pdf).
Kirdina S. Fundamental Difference in the Transformation Process between
Russia and East European Countries // Berliner Osteuropa Info, № 16/2001.
Liebenstein, H. (1996). Allocative Efficiency vs. X-Efficiency, American
Economic Review, 1966, Vol. 56, № 3. June. P. 392-415.
Leibenstein H. (1978). General X-efficiency theory and economic
development. N.Y. etc: Oxford Univ. Press.
Marx K. Capital, Vol. 2, Chapter 20, section 10.
North , D.C. (1993). Five Prepositions about institutional change. Washington
University, St. Louis. http://129.3.20.41/eps/eh/papers/9309/9309001.pdf
Polanyi K. (1977). The Livelihood of Man. N.Y. Academic Press, Inc.
Western People to Understand the Global Village  代寫

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