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date: 23 January 2022

Abstract and Keywords

The rising prominence of “accountability” in public discourse has given rise in turn to a burgeoning of attention given to “accountability” in recent academic scholarship. It has been an object of scholarly debate and analysis in, for example, political science, public administration, international relations (IR), social psychology, constitutional law, and business administration. However, in each of the sub disciplines, scholars analyze concepts of accountability and practices of account-giving unaware of, and still less building on, each other’s achievements. This introductory chapter to the Oxford Handbook of Public Accountability provides a comprehensive overview of the current scholarship on public accountability. In the course of doing that, it will also provide an overview of recent work in accountability across various fields, illustrating some of the important commonalities and differences. It is argued that most researchers use fairly similar and reasonably comparable notions of what constitutes the core of accountability.

Keywords: Public accountability, Political accountability, Governance, Democracy, Accountability research

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