Bodil Damgaard and Jenny M. Lewis
This chapter provides an analytical framework aimed at measuring citizen participation in public accountability processes beyond the fundamental mechanism of parliamentary elections. The framework juxtaposes and adapts ideas from Arnstein’s ladder of citizen participation and Bovens’s notion of public accountability as containing important elements of learning. The resulting five levels of citizen participation in public accountability are based on increasing degrees of citizen participation, from non-participatory “education” (the lowest level) through involvement, advice, collaboration, and joint ownership (the highest level). As the levels are ascended, accountability-elements evolve from citizens’ passive reception of information to enabling citizens to pose questions, pass judgments, define and apply consequences and, finally, to engage in agenda- setting to ensure effectiveness and responsiveness. Some dilemmas and tensions arising from incorporating citizens into accountability measures at different levels are discussed.
Jerry L. Mashaw
This chapter puts the issue of time on the accountability studies agenda. It argues that time is a crucial consideration in the design of accountable institutions. But it also claims that while time adds to uncertainty, complexity, and normative ambiguity in decision-making, time does not defeat accountability even in extreme cases such as accountability for historic injustices and responsibility for intergenerational equity.
In the past decades we have witnessed an increase of public accountability obligations while trust in the public sector has become more volatile. Based on a literature review, different notions of trust are identified. This includes a review of trust enablers for the public sector as well as a presentation of different types of public trust. In the following the relationship between public accountability and trust is analyzed. Whenever possible, empirical findings are included. As trust and public accountability are elusive concepts the relationship between both is far from straightforward in New Public Management and Public Governance.
Mark H. Moore
Liberal societies have long been concerned about the effective control of the powerful governmental institutions that arise within them. Over the past decade and a half, governments have been reluctant to curb the power of private corporations, but the public has sought and found ways to call corporations to account without the mediation of government. In the “court of public opinion,” private “accountability agents” press their demands for accountability without legal backing. These accountability agents constitute the external accountability structure that all social organizations and enterprises face. The evolving processes are predicated on various legal structures and behavioral processes that help to endue organizations with social legitimacy by connecting external demands for accountability to the internal goals of the enterprise and its leadership.
Sanneke Kuipers and Paul 't Hart
Crises—be they natural disasters, industrial accidents or system collapses—are no longer seen as “acts of God”; they immediately invoke intense debates on culpability and consequences. Crisis management is scrutinized in and by different forums such as mass media, judicial authorities, independent investigators, and political inquiries. Strategies by accountees vary between blame re-allocation and exhibition of empathy (such as public apologies) and responsiveness. These strategies and the outcome of the accountability process affect private and organizational reputations, professional positions, public policies and, ultimately, such crisis-induced accountability processes produce societal re-equilibration.
This chapter discusses the concept of accuracy and how to measure it. It presents a chronology of the accuracy of the presidential pre-election polls during the 2008 election, and then studies the various ways to estimate election outcomes that do not include polls conducted by the analyst. The chapter also examines the impact of new technologies and evolving voting procedures on the accuracy of polls.
Walter J. Stone
This article describes the place of party activists in the electoral process, with attention to questions about whether and how they distort processes of electoral representation in the United States. In general elections, activists' strong partisanship is usually seen as pushing them inexorably to support their party's candidate. Furthermore a study of the 2006 midterm elections in the House of Representatives is elaborated. The effect of activist opinion in districts on incumbent position-taking and the influence of activist mobilization on incumbent vote share are reviewed. There is an increasing realization among scholars of the electoral process that activists are essential to understanding the connections between the public and candidates, party images, and processes of change. It is possible that the participation of activists contributes essentially to the health and functioning of the electoral system.
Kellee S. Tsai
Historical institutionalism (HI) has traditionally focused on formal institutions designed and enforced by official entities in advanced industrial democracies. Yet the modalities of endogenous institutional change delineated by HI reveal that the causal mechanisms of institutional transformation are typically informal. This chapter proposes a more inclusive ontology of institutions that views institutions as a single two-dimensional Möbius strip with both formal and informal components—regardless of regime type or level of economic development. Focusing on “adaptive informal institutions” that arise in a multi-tiered institutional context can show how informal institutions compromise, subvert, and even facilitate reforms of formal institutions.
During the last few decades, feminist affect studies have enunciated challenging epistemological and ontological questions based on numerous discussions and readings of affect as emotive intensities, intuitive reactions, and life forces. Affect has created a space for rethinking theoretical issues that range from the dualisms between body and mind to the critique of identity politics and critical reading. This theorizing has underlined the sensual qualities of being and the capacity to experience and understand the world in profoundly relational and productive ways. This chapter presents examples of the wide spectrum of contemporary feminist affect studies. It discusses the notion of “affective turn,” concentrating on the way it has been seen as a reaction and a challenge to alleged limitations of poststructuralism and deconstruction; describes definitions of affect; explores understandings of the linkages between epistemology and ontology, and offers some reflections on the feminist politics of affects.
Ann N. Crigler and Parker R. Hevron
Whether political observers and participants applaud or decry the presence of emotions in political decision-making, scholars have begun to view the relationship between affect and reason as a key component of decision-making. This chapter provides an overview of the research on affect and political choice. The authors argue that emotions undergird acts of political choice, not simply as additional variables to explain preferences or actions but also as integral to the processing of information and decision-making. They briefly define affect, emotion and mood and outline some of the methodologies commonly used to measure each of the four emotion functions that are central to political communication and choice. These four functions of emotion – expressive, perceptual/attentional, appraisal, and behavioral – are discussed in relation to political decision-making.
As Emancipation and Reconstruction eliminated much of the legal foundation of slavery, states and individuals became increasingly concerned about preserving the racial integrity of whiteness. The Reconstruction Amendments were intended to change not only the scope of matters over which states retained control but also the balance of power between the federal and state governments. Their ability to achieve these objectives, however, was limited by both the Tenth Amendment and principles of state sovereignty. Consequently, the Tenth Amendment became an increasingly important source of state power to make the privileges, immunities, and rights of state citizenship racially contingent. To the extent that the Fourteenth Amendment's federal citizenship had any effect, it required states to treat similarly situated individuals and situations equally. Moreover, sovereignty meant states continued to have the ability not only to define the particulars of race but also to determine when and how race would matter. Federal citizenship, however, did not make race constitutionally irrelevant.
At the end of World War I, whites tried to put blacks back in their place. They found, however, that the place of African Americans had changed. The Harlem Renaissance represented the soaring aspirations—including in the area of constitutional rights—in the African American community. As the country faced the economic exigencies of the Depression, the federal government took a more active role in protecting individuals' economic rights. Minimum wage and maximum hours laws, as well as legislation establishing federal social welfare benefits, marked a shift in the balance of power between the federal government, the states, and their citizens. Soon thereafter, the Court concluded that the line it had drawn between intra- and interstate commerce could not be maintained. The Court demonstrated its willingness to consider the substantial effect of individual activity on interstate commerce in the aggregate should every individual be allowed to do what the actor in question did. This change would signal a more expansive view of interstate commerce that allowed Congress to regulate matters formerly committed to the control of the states by way of the Tenth Amendment.
Gerrie Swart, Jo-Ansie van Wyk, and Maryke Botha
This chapter probes the past, present, and emerging scholarship in the study of African political leadership. Key questions the chapter will seek to address include: what is the state of the study of African political leadership? It provides a primer on some of the salient and distinctive scholarship and studies already produced in various realms of African political leadership. It concludes with a brief reflection on the challenges with which Africa’s political leaders are likely to be confronted with as well as the commensurate challenges, issue areas, and research that scholars of African political leadership should be expending greater focus, time, and energy on in order to energize and expand the field of African political leadership studies even further.
This chapter traces key developments in feminist thought on agency through an underlying tension between the descriptive and normative senses of the term. Feminist theories of agency as relational autonomy displace problematic ideas of sovereignty yet remain entangled in a problematic prescriptivism about the different ways women choose to lead their lives. This adjudicative agenda is overcome in feminist theories of agency as resistance that are grounded in less prescriptive ideas of emancipatory action as subversion from within. These, in turn, are subject to the criticism that resistance is a peculiarly Western preoccupation that leads to the ethnocentric discounting of other types of active agency where women in nonsecular societies create meaningful identities for themselves within, not against, the dominant cultural norms. The chapter goes on to consider how some theorists have sought to bypass the normative dilemmas that accompany the cross-cultural analysis of agency.
Bryan D. Jones and Zachary A. McGee
This chapter reviews the existing scholarship on agenda setting, focusing on two aspects of human choice. The first aspect centers on behavioral analyses of choice, especially cognitive limits to rationality (e.g., limits to the human attention span, the process of satisficing, and the use of heuristics), directed at understanding how individuals prioritize action. The second aspect focuses on organizational choice, with an emphasis on the impacts of information processing, search processes, and organizational structure. The chapter examines linkages between micro and macro processes, showing how studies of organizations and broader political systems based on a model of comprehensive rationality fail. Focusing on behavioral foundations allows for a more accurate and holistic explanation of issue prioritization (agenda setting) in complex organizations based on behavioral models of choice. The chapter concludes with suggestions for future directions of research.
G. Bingham Powell
This article talks about aggregating and representing political preferences. It presents the challenge of social choice analysis and identifies the conditions for representative democracy and preference aggregation. Multiple issue congruence, vote correspondence, and single dimensional issue congruence, which are the three major approaches to the comparative study of preference aggregation, are discussed as well.
Public opinion’s role in shaping governmental actions is a central concern of democracy, yet the absence of systematic state-level survey data has inhibited analyses of public opinion at the subnational level. This essay traces the evolution of studies of public opinion at that level, first reviewing studies using surrogates derived from demographic variables. It next considers methodologies that develop state-level opinion from aggregated national samples. Finally, it discusses recent efforts to develop state-level opinion measures using post-sample stratification integrating limited survey data with demographic variables. There is evidence of significant cross-sectional and temporal variation in public opinion and policy across and within the states. Research on subnational public opinion once hinged on assumptions about opinion surrogates, but is now based on abundant and progressively rigorous opinion data. These studies reveal that public opinion plays an enormous role in subnational politics, with effects varying across issues, contexts, and conditions.
Mark N. Franklin and Till Weber
This article concentrates on three areas in which American elections have features that are illuminated by voting behavior in countries with somewhat different features. These features are multiple elections, separated powers, and the locality rule. It also describes the aspects of electoral behavior: split-ticket voting, cycle of elections, and low voter turnout. Furthermore, a discussion on midterm loss and electoral realignments is presented. A comparativist perspective on US elections might show the study of realignments in much the same way as it could help to reshape thinking in such diverse subfields as turnout, party identification, and midterm loss.
William G. Jacoby
Ever since the appearance of The American Voter, there has been a general consensus among political scientists that three variables stand out as the most critical proximal influences on voting: personal attachments to political parties; individual reactions to public policy controversies; and evaluations of the candidates' personal characteristics. The theoretical importance of party identification stems from its temporal stability and broad influence across a range of other political beliefs, attitudes, and behavior. It is also significant because partisan attachments help to integrate individuals into the political world. Feelings about the candidates comprise a very reasonable heuristic device for cutting through the complexities that abound in any election campaign. The American Voter emphasized the importance of election-specific ‘short-term forces’.
Michael P. McDonald
This article tries to understand American voter turnout rates in a historical perspective. In order to do this, the pool of eligible voters, the voting procedures, and the political circumstances surrounding the elections in a given period should be addressed. The article discusses the four eras in American participation: Founding Era, Party Machine Era, Segregation Era, and Nationalization Era. The Founding Era witnessed the lowest voter turnout rates in American history due to measurement error. The Party Machine Era serves as an indicator of the important role political parties played in organizing American society. The Segregation Era marks a period of retrenchment in voter turnout. The overwhelming voting trend during the Nationalization Era has been a tearing down of walls, not building them. An active area of research is how procedural changes affect voter turnout, from how people are registered to when and how they cast their ballots.