Democratic Order, Autonomy, and Accountability

Johan P. Olsen calls attention to how democracies search for, and struggle over, what are legitimate accountability regimes and political orders in this Governance article.

Abstract

Accountability is a principle for organizing relations between rulers and ruled, and making public officials accountable is a democratic achievement. There are, however, competing claims about what is involved in demanding, rendering, assessing, and responding to accounts; what are effective accountability institutions; and how accountability regimes emerge and change. This article provides a frame for thinking about institutional aspects of accountability regimes and their cognitive, normative, and power foundations. A distinction is made between accountability within an established regime with stable power relations and role expectations and accountability as (re)structuring processes in less institutionalized contexts and in transformation periods. A huge literature is concerned with the first issue. There is less attention to accountability as (re)structuring processes. The article, therefore, calls attention to how democracies search for, and struggle over, what are legitimate accountability regimes and political orders.

Full info

Johan P. Olsen
Democratic Order, Autonomy, and Accountability

Governance, vol. 28, no. 4, 2015, pp. 425-40
DOI: 10.1111/gove.12158

 

Published June 17, 2015 11:54 AM - Last modified Sep. 22, 2015 9:36 AM