How Proximate and ‘Meta-institutional’ Contexts Shape Institutional Change: Explaining the Rise of the People's Bank of China



This article charts and explains the rising authority of the People's Bank of China (PBC) within the steep hierarchy of the party state. The PBC‘s rise is explained by using a version of historical institutionalism which focuses on the dialectical or mutually shaping relationships between agents, institutions and wider contexts over time. Particular emphasis is placed on the way in which wider contexts such as crises, power distributions, ideational agendas and structural economic change shaped institutional change at the PBC. Theoretically, this approach moves beyond treating institutional contexts in an ad hoc manner, as existing theory does, and unifies the treatment of contexts within an agent-centred version of historical institutionalism.