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Keywords:

  • institutionalism;
  • post-structuralism;
  • post-structuralist institutionalism;
  • rhetorical analysis;
  • Welsh Labour

The ‘new institutionalist’ approaches have recently been beneficially expanded by the introduction of a body of work which falls under the collective label of discursive-constructivist institutionalism. This article argues that the discursive analytical focus of these approaches would be complemented and extended by the application of the post-structuralist conceptual tool bag offered by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe. In so doing it advocates developing a post-structuralist institutionalism (PSI), detailing the approach's key theoretical underpinnings and differences from constructivist-discursive approaches. These are subsequently illustrated via an analysis of the arguments within Rhodri Morgan's Welsh Labour party over the use of private finance in health provision.