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.
Mona Lena Krook
Comparative research highlights electoral systems as an important variable explaining cross-national variations in women’s political representation worldwide. This chapter summarizes key patterns in women’s representation globally. It maps existing research on gender and electoral systems, focusing on the role of electoral formulas, district and party magnitude, and ballot structure in shaping women’s opportunities to be elected. It then identifies three areas within the gender literature that have foregrounded elements of electoral systems to generate new insights into central dynamics of political life. The chapter concludes with a discussion of emerging areas of research related to gender, electoral systems, and political representation.
Herbert A. Simon, Administrative Behavior: A Study of Decision-Making Processes in Administrative Organization
In Administrative Behavior, Herbert Simon proposed a science of administration where organizational decisions represent the primary units of analysis. In constructing a conceptual framework to guide that science, Simon drew heavily on insights from cognitive psychology. Since its publication in 1947, Administrative Behaviorhas inspired researchers investigating institutional and organizational practices across many settings. Here, consideration is given to the impact of Administrative Behavior in public policy and public administration. Four legacies are highlighted. They are: scholarship on incrementalism in policy-making, scholarship on agenda setting, scholarship on choice architecture, and scholarship on expertise and learning organizations. Continuous improvements in information technology and its application, combined with increasing citizen demands for more effective and efficient government, suggest ideas introduced in Administrative Behavior will continue to influence theory and practice in policy design and public management for years to come.
Government transparency is increasing worldwide and political rhetoric assumes a strong positive relation between transparency and accountability. This chapter opens up the “black box” of the relation between transparency and accountability by examining the expanding body of literature on government transparency. Three theoretical relations between transparency and accountability are identified: transparency facilitates horizontal accountability; transparency strengthens vertical accountability; and transparency reduces the need for accountability. The review of studies into the relation between transparency and accountability show that, under certain conditions and in certain situations, transparency may contribute to accountability: transparency facilitates accountability when it actually presents a significant increase in the available information, when there are actors capable of processing the information, and when exposure has a direct or indirect impact on the government or public agency.
Research in public health approaches trust as a component of social cohesion, a characteristic of the social context in which an individual is embedded. This article discusses the theoretical mechanisms why living in a trusting environment might be associated with better health outcomes. A conceptual dilemma in health studies is that individual trust perceptions overlap with the personality trait of “cynical hostility” (from the field of psychology). Multi-level studies help to distinguish between the health effects of cynical distrust (an individual characteristic) and trustworthiness of the environment. I review the empirical studies linking trust and health outcomes. To date, trust has been examined as a contextual feature of residential neigborhoods and workplaces. Future research needs to strengthen causal inference.
Virginia Hooper and Bruce Lankford
This chapter argues that two types of process affect the allocation of water between users. The first of these are a set of intentional strategies, which dominate the literature on water allocation. These include institutional allocating mechanisms and the purposeful appropriation of water. The second type of process is unintended and occurs through indirect action or inaction. Through this second type of process, people, sectors, and places nevertheless gain water share. Unintended allocation arises from within the ungoverned spaces and “wicked problems” of land and water transformations in two interrelated ways: (1) via external changes in non-water sectors and (2) via internal changes within the water management sector. This unintended or hidden type of water allocation process is largely overlooked. Yet, it is potentially important because volumes of water moved through unintentional allocation can be large, and it can undermine well-intentioned policy interventions in the water and land management sectors.
Ben Crow and Brent M. Swallow
The use and transformation of water is intimately connected to wealth, poverty, and social change. Does the extension of irrigation, for example, allow escape from poverty or does it cause dispossession and deprivation? Can the transformation of water be shaped to increase opportunities for breaking free from deprivation and exclusion? Do infrastructure projects like big dams inevitably uproot and impoverish millions? This chapter employs ideas of income poverty and relational poverty to examine how uses of water are implicated in the making and the breaking of poverty. It considers three pathways of escape—the provision of irrigation, access to safe drinking water, and access to adequate domestic water—and examines two pathways causing descent into poverty. The evaluation suggests that escape can be facilitated and descent discouraged through initiatives to contest water injustice, to advance access to domestic productive water, and to develop anti-deprivation practices for irrigation and infrastructure.