Advertisement

Introduction

  • Anne Marie Goetz
  • Rob Jenkins
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)

Abstract

Accountability is a perpetual struggle when power is delegated by the many to the few in the interests of governability. To complicate matters further, in most systems of government the task of holding accountable those to whom power has been delegated is itself delegated — again, to a relatively small number of individuals: senior judges, auditors-general, members of legislative public accounts committees. The question of who will watch the watchdog is as old as it is unavoidable.

Keywords

Powerful Actor Ordinary People Accountability System Democratic Accountability Democratic Deficit 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 2.
    Joseph Nye, The Paradox of American Power: Why the World’s Only Superpower Can’t Go It Alone (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), p. 78.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Amartya Sen, ‘Democracy as a Universal Value’, Journal of Democracy, vol. 10, no. 3 (1999).Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    The basic components of this definition are drawn from Andreas Schedler, ‘Conceptualizing Accountability’, in A. Schedler, Larry Diamond and Marc F. Plattner (eds), The Self-Restraining State: Power and Accountability in New Democracies (Boulder and London: Lynne Rienner, 1999), pp. 14–17.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    Guillermo O’Donnell, ‘Delegative Democracy’, Journal of Democracy, vol. 5, no. 1 (1994), pp. 55–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 7.
    Robert S. Barker, ‘Government Accountability and its Limits’, Issues of Democracy, vol. 5, no. 2 (2000).Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    The study of financial regulation in the south includes similar attention to sequencing and periodization. Brownbridge, for instance, argues that a reform priority should be introducing ‘prompt corrective action rules’ for banks that fail to meet prudential norms, lest the exposure of a few risk the well-being of the many. This, it was felt, would help by ‘enhancing the regulators’ independence from political interference in operational issues’, while still ‘making them more accountable ex-post’. M. Brownbridge, ‘Policy Lessons for Prudential Regulation in Developing Countries’, Development Policy Review, vol. 20, no. 3 (2002), pp. 305–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 9.
    Pratap Bhanu Mehta, ‘Is Electoral and Institutional Reform the Answer?’ Seminar 506 (’Reforming Politics: A Symposium on Rethinking Democratic Institutions and Practice’), October 2001.Google Scholar
  8. 10.
    Harry Blair, ‘Participation and Accountability at the Periphery: Democratic Local Governance in Six Countries’, World Development, vol. 28, no. 1 (2000), p. 24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 11.
    John Lonsdale, ‘Political Accountability in African History’, in Patrick Chabal (ed.), Political Domination in Africa: Reflections on the Limits of Power (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986), pp. 126–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 12.
    In many developing countries dual legal systems give customary and religious law dominion over certain social affairs, most typically familial relationships (marriage, inheritance, child custody) and the use of common property (such as tribal lands). Such systems tend to lock less powerful plaintiffs into legal forums where they have reduced rights, allowing more powerful plaintiffs or defendants to ‘forum-shop to find an avenue for evading a duty’. Doris M. Martin, ‘Women in Development: The Legal Issues in Sub-Saharan Africa Today’, Working Paper No. 4, Poverty and Social Policy Division, Africa Region (Washington, DC: World Bank, 1992), p. 17.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Anne Marie Goetz and Rob Jenkins 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne Marie Goetz
  • Rob Jenkins

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations