Democratic Accountability and the Changing European Political Order
Johan P. Olsen
This working paper is a preliminary version. It is about democratic accountability, about changes in the European political order, and also about the role of democratic politics in society and thus about political science. The paper is divided into five subthemes: first, the old issue of rules for living together. Second, principal-agent approaches to accountability and their emphasis upon control, compliance and order maintenance. Third, the importance of order-challenging accountability demands and order dynamics. Fourth, a discussion of the changing European political order, and finally, a return to the roots of political science, and its analysis of unresolvable tensions and search for unity.
This paper was prepared for presentation at Plenary Lecture “Democratic accountability and the changing European political order” at the ECPR General Conference in Oslo, 7 September 2017.