Cancelled: ARENA Tuesday seminar: Andreas Eriksen

Andreas Eriksen presents the paper 'The Accountability of Independent Agencies' on 28 May 2019 at ARENA.


Independent agencies are subject to many kinds of control mechanisms and analysts worry that they often suffer from an “accountability overload.” This paper argues that such diagnoses are typically set without any explicit demarcation criterion for identifying accountability practices and separating them from mere instruments of political publicity or institutional turf wars. This sometimes threatens to reduce accountability to practices of “managing expectations.” Instead, accountability practices should be restricted to procedures that track the mandate of the institution. This requires clarification of how mandates can be seen as more than a mere heap of conflicting standards. The concept of a “multidirectional mandate” is introduced as a hermeneutical device for thinking about the coherence of different kinds of considerations. It is argued that neither account-givers nor account-holders can legitimately treat different aspects of the mandate in isolation; there is no accountability without sensitivity to the intertwinement of the different dimensions.

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Published May 8, 2019 9:28 AM - Last modified May 28, 2019 11:10 AM