Historians and social scientists struggling to redefine the relationship between synchrony (structure) and diachrony (events and human agency) have recently turned to the notion of path dependence, the core idea of which is that history matters. But history and path-dependence theory have less in common than might appear at first glance. Actor-network theory (ant) helps to bridge the gap between history and path dependence by incorporating the complex, layered, open, and hybrid nature of interlocked economic, symbolic, institutional-political, and socio-technical systems.

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