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date: 18 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The simple aim of this chapter is to encourage some reflection on the accountability of those academics who study public accountability by locating them within the analytical construct of a social “accountability space” that is, by definition, replete with its own demands, expectations and tensions. This is achieved through a focus on the creation, management and politics of public expectations vis-à-vis accountability. Locating the issue of accountability within the parameters of a debate concerning the balance or relationship between “supply” and “demand” raises fresh questions about whether an “accountability gap” actually exists and how it might be closed. It also provides a distinctive twist to questions concerning the framing of various accountability “crises,” “gaps” and “deficits,” the professional responsibilities of academics to the public, and the future of “accountability studies” as a fledgling field of inquiry in its own right.

Keywords: expectations, relevance, framing, blame, accountability space, imagination

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