Steven Rathgeb Smith
Accountability in nonprofits is complicated and multi-faceted. Nonprofits can also be sites of vibrant civic engagement, community governance, and providers of valuable local services. Contemporary accountability regimes emphasize organizational maintenance, competition, entrepreneurship, and sustainability. Civic engagement in the governance and operations of local nonprofits can be time-consuming, albeit very valuable. To achieve accountability and citizen engagement, nonprofits need to consult with their key stakeholders and think comprehensively and strategically about their mission. Government and private funders also need to approach accountability broadly and consider the different programmatic and community benefits of nonprofit programs.
This chapter explores the ways in which public standards of accountability are brought to bear on a nominally private institution: the commercial corporation. It considers several classic arguments in favor of widening the set of interests in society that the corporation should serve. These classic positions, it is argued, fail to capture the range of social issues facing the company. A different way of identifying those issues is proposed. This in turn permits one to identify three types of interest that stakeholders have in the company. With these distinctions in place, a map of different types of corporate accountability is drawn, aimed at underpinning policies shaping corporate governance.
Axel Dreher, Valentin F. Lang, and Sebastian Ziaja
This chapter reviews the aid effectiveness literature to assess whether foreign aid given to areas of limited statehood (ALS) can be expected to promote economic and social outcomes in the recipient country. It distinguishes between different types of aid, motives for granting it, recipient country policies and characteristics, and the modalities by which aid is delivered, as these factors have been argued to influence its effectiveness. This chapter then compares these properties between recipients most affected by limited statehood and those least affected. This allows us to assess the relative effectiveness of aid in countries with ALS. We conclude that on average aid given there is less likely to be effective than elsewhere. As countries with ALS, however, constitute a heterogeneous group, the specifics of individual countries and the types of aid given matter.
Sara Hughes and Megan Mullin
Decentralization in water management authority has shifted decision-making to the local level and expanded participation to include a wider set of actors. The result is a politics of water that is more variable than in the past, across space and over time, reflecting the diversity of local values and local water resources. Fragmentation of policy responsibility offers potential for more environmental and financial sustainability in the long term, but in the short term it requires management agencies and stakeholders to find ways to interact effectively. How we design our local institutions, and the incentives that higher levels of government provide for directing local decisions, will help determine whether the new approach produces a more sustainable and resilient water future.
R. A. W. Rhodes
This article looks at the study of political institutions. It defines and gives examples of four different traditions in the study of political institutions: modernist-empiricist, idealist, formal-legal, and socialist. The main goal of the article is to show there are several long-standing traditions in the study of institutions in the Anglo-American world, and to illustrate that variety worldwide.
Lowi’s paper, considered in this chapter, is an acknowledged classic. But this begs the question of what “classic” status amounts to. The chapter examines competing conceptions of “classicism.” It then sketches the intellectual background to Lowi’s work, examines the impact of the piece in the conventional language of bibliometric analysis, and analyzes the intellectual coherence of Lowi’s arguments. It shows how Lowi’s intervention was a significant dissent from two dominant forms of political analysis: that popularized by Dahl and the behavioralists; and that associated with the institutional analyses of power promoted by Wright Mills. But it argues that the “classic” status of Lowi’s work consisted of its respectful recognition as a document in the history of the discipline, rather than amounting to any enduring influence on modern political analysis.
Aili Mari Tripp
Women’s peace movements in the post–Cold War era frequently share three common characteristics: a grassroots and local focus due to exclusion from formal peace negotiations; an early and sustained commitment to bridging differences between factions; and the use of international and regional pressures to create success on the local level. This chapter reviews each of these characteristics through case studies. Examples from Sri Lanka, Somalia, and Nepal illustrate the successes and challenges of grassroots or local peace movements led by women. Peace processes in Burundi, led by women activists, exemplify a commitment to unity across ethnic lines. The chapter concludes with examples from Liberia and Sierra Leone, demonstrating the efficacy of international and regional organizations supporting local peace movements.