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This article attempts to build bridges in the formal study of policymaking across polities of different degrees of institutional development. It explores the reasons why policymaking is fairly institutionalized in some polities but not in others. It suggests extending standard models of institutionalized policymaking to allow for a wider set of actions, including the threat of violence or of damage to the economy. It engages the discussion of institutions as rules and institutions as equilibria, delivering multiple equilibria with different degrees of institutionalization. The likelihood of institutionalized policymaking increases as the cost of alternative political actions increases, as the damage these alternatives cause decreases, and as the economy becomes wealthier. In cases in which the distribution of de jure political power is more asymmetric, it is more likely to observe use of alternative political technologies as well as low degrees of institutionalization.