New Roles for Accountability Actors

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


The institutional and accountability failures described in Chapter 3, and the stunning range of human development deprivations they have permitted to persist, have catalysed demands for the creation of more effective ways of making both official state agencies and powerful private actors accountable for the full range of actions in which they engage. Civil society organizations and crusading individuals, operating within and across national borders, are demanding that public authorities answer more directly to the people affected by their actions. Concerns about the accountability of large corporations, for instance, intensified with the bankruptcies of US-based firms Enron and WorldCom in 2001–02, and the financial crisis that struck the Italian company Parmalat in late 2003. These corporations not only exercised enormous employment power, and influence over large economic institutions, such as California’s deregulated electricity market (Enron) or dairy cooperatives in a number of countries (Parmalat); they are trustees of ordinary people’s savings through both their internal pension funds and the financial institutions that purchase company stock on behalf of small investors. Multinational firms exercise vast power over citizens in the countries where they operate. Through industrial pollution and the ill effects of their products — cigarettes, drugs — corporations affect more than just the people who consume them directly.


Civil Society International Criminal Court Civil Society Organization Public Hearing Civil Society Group 
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.


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© Anne Marie Goetz and Rob Jenkins 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne Marie Goetz
  • Rob Jenkins

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