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Explaining the complexity of social life remains the central challenge of the social sciences. This book offers a variety of theoretical-empirical explorations and applications inspired by an important neo-institutional approach to tackling this complexity - the rule systems theory. Its point of departure is the assumption that institutions and cultural formations possess causal powers and relative autonomy, constraining and enabling people’s social actions and interactions. Structural and cultural properties of society are carried by, transmitted, and reformed by human agents whose interactions generate, reproduce, elaborate and transform structures. The contributors are highly accomplished economists, sociologists and political scientists who come from the US and several European countries. The book is meant as a Festschrift for Tom Burns, a central figure in the development of the rule systems theory.