Mark E. Warren
Democracy, rule of the people, is comprised of complex webs of accountabilities between people and those who use power to govern on their behalf. Democratic accountability is comprised of justifications for these uses of power, combined with distributions of empowerments in such a way that those affected can sanction its use. Key problems for democracies include forming principals and agents among whom accountability relations might hold, designing institutions that limit costs of accountability mechanisms so they can be used by citizens, and developing forms of accountability that match the increasing scale and complexity of political issues and organizations.
This essay reviews much of the recent scholarship on the concept of agency, delineating its relevance for theorizing an inclusive and progressive ecological politics. Mindful of the intimacy between questions of agency and ontology, the essay urges the advantages of conceptualizing agency as collective, embodied, distributed, and emergent within discursive-material assemblages. In contrast to more traditional approaches that treat agency as a singularly human characteristic, this essay looks to identify agential capacity in both humans and non-humans and the interactions among them. It is argued that such an approach offers greater traction in tracing the discursive-material circuits of power and the theorizing of collective forms of responsibility than do traditional conceptions. The essay concludes with a brief example of wildfire to illustrate the advantages of the recommended approach.
This article elucidates some of the core ethical arguments surrounding welfare states. It addresses the concept of need and the principles of equality. It also looks at arguments surrounding the implications of the welfare state for liberty. Furthermore, some new normative issues likely to move to the forefront of debate in the future are mentioned. One important issue concerns immigration policy and its implications for the welfare state. Another important issue not addressed here is that of intergenerational justice. This issue is of obvious importance in considering pension policy. The philosophical issues discussed in this article largely reflect an agenda of debate shaped by the politics of the welfare state retrenchment and reconstruction which began in the 1980s.
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.
Melvin J. Dubnick
This chapter examines the emergence of accountability as a culturally significant concept that both reflects and shapes changes taking place in our understanding of contemporary governance. The author explores how its emergence as a “cultural keyword” has transformed both the form and function of accountability, and the challenges this development poses for the study of accountable governance.