Public Accountability

There is an ongoing perception that public accountability in modern-day governance is in crisis, caused by globalization and the increasing power of private economic interests. This book responds to that idea, providing the most comprehensive survey to date of how different organizations hold persons acting in the public interest to account, and the various problems they face. The book shows how key issues, such as public-mindedness, democracy and responsibility, and structures, such as bureaucracy, markets and transparency, adopt radically different and sometimes contradictory interpretations when viewed from different experiential perspectives. It also demonstrates how underlying all this are core communities of experiences that bind these diverse interpretations and perspectives into a complex web of mutual interaction and influence. The book includes studies not only of Anglo-American experiences, but also of the experiences of foreign and transnational organizations: NGOs, transnational resistance movements, the Indonesian labor movement, and the Chinese Parliament.

• Adopts an interdisciplinary approach, looking at legal, political science, public administration, sociology and philosophy issues • Takes on an international perspective allowing a better understanding of the global implications and dimensions of public accountability issues and problems • Offers an integrated approach throughout the chapters, allowing a better understanding of the commonalities that link what are often treated as distinct and insular issues and experiences


Introduction: accountability and method: 1. Public accountability: conceptual, historical and epistemic mappings Michael W. Dowdle; Part I. Accountability and the State: 2. Accountability and responsibility through restorative justice John Braithwaite; 3. The myth of non-bureaucratic accountability and the anti-administrative impulse Edward Rubin; 4. Extending public accountability through privatization from public law to publicization Jody Freeman; Part II. Accountability and Design: 5. Accountability and institutional design: some thoughts on the grammar of governance Jerry L. Mashaw; 6. Emerging labor movements and the accountability dilemma: the case of Indonesia Michele Ford; 7. Spontaneous accountability Colin Scott; Part III. Accountability and Participation: 8. Accounting for accountability in neoliberal regulatory regimes Christine Harrington and Z. Umut Turem; 9. The mark of responsibility (with a postscript on accountability) John Gardner; 10. Technocratic vs. convivial accountability Bronwen Morgan; Part IV. Accountability and Experience: 11. Understanding NGO-based social and environmental regulatory systems: why we need new models of accountability Sasha Courville; 12. Problem-solving courts and the judicial accountability deficit Michael Dorf; 13. Public accountability in ailen terrain: exploring for constitutional accountability in the People\'s Republic of China Michael Dowdle.