Public accountability
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  • 1. Public accountability
  • 2. • Dirty CRs, road accidents, akyat-bahay • Abductions, torture, pollution of rivers • Who is accountable? • How do we make them accountable? • What happens when they are not made accountable? • What happens when they are made accountable?
  • 3. • Chameleon-like • Ever –expanding • incomensurable • iconic
  • 4. Strands in accountability literature • Reductionist – focus on the officials Managerial – modeled after private sector (corporations) (NPM) • Partialist – ethics • Stewart Smyth: dialectical (civil society seeks to control and challenge the state)
  • 5. What is accountability? • Robert & Scapens (1985): giving and demanding of reasons for conduct - elements: relationship, an account of, power • Accountability vs answerability: one can fulfill answerability but not necessarily accountability • Rewards or sanction
  • 6. • Relationship: agent/actor and principal • Phases: giving of account, debating, judgment • Account given publicly • Relationship takes place in public sector • Managerial accountability (i.e. director and deputy director) • Public accntability: electorate and govt
  • 7. Critical, dialectic approach • 4 key concepts: totality, change, contradiction, mediation • “internally contradictory totality in constant change where part and whole condition or mediate each other “ (Rees) • State is aspect of capitalist relations – an org of intra-class competition and inter-class domination
  • 8. The neoliberal state • Neoliberalism: a theory of political economic practices that assumes that well being is best advanced thru individual enterpreneurial freedom within an institutional framework of strong private property rights, free markets and free trade; by maximizing the reach and activities of the market, human welfare is promoted (Harvey 2005)
  • 9. NPM • Introduced in public sector as NPM • Did it reduce spending by govt: - No it did not but it changed priorities for spending - In UK, this reduced military spending and more for health but resulted to re- establishment of wealth & power of the ruling elite
  • 10. Civil society in critical PA • Lies between the family, the market and the state • Centre of opposition • Elements of critical PA: relationship, exchange, control, public