- List of Figures
- List of Tables
- List of Contributors
- Public Accountability
- Accountability as a Cultural Keyword
- Accountability and Democracy
- A Contingency Theory of Accountability
- Process Versus Outcome Accountability
- Accountability and Principal–Agent Theory
- Accountability and Ambiguity
- Experimental Analysis
- Quantitative Analysis
- Qualitative Analysis
- Visual Accountability
- Accountability and Constitutional Law
- Accountability in Public Administration
- Accountable Civil Servants
- Accountable Networks
- Accountability and Citizen Participation
- Accountability and Multi-Level Governance
- Accountable International Relations
- Accountable Public Services
- Accountability and New Public Management
- Accountability and the Nonprofit Sector
- Accountable Corporate Governance
- Accountable Global Governance Organizations
- Accounting and Auditing
- Performance Reporting
- Independent Regulators
- Audit Institutions
- Watchdog Journalism
- Accountability Deficits
- Accountability Overloads
- Accountability and Time
- Accounting for Crises
- Accountability and Blame–Avoidance
- Accountability and Trust
- Accountability, Legitimacy, and the Court of Public Opinion
- The Ontological Challenge
- The Need for a Systemic Approach
- The Future and Relevance of Accountability Studies
- Meaningful Accountability
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.
Mark Bovens is Professor of Legal Philosophy and of Public Administration at Utrecht University and Research Director of the Utrecht School of Governance.
Thomas Schillemans is a public administration scholar. He received his PhD with honors in 2007 for his thesis on Horizontal Accountability in the Shadow of Hierarchy. His working experience includes seven years at the council for social development, an advisory body of the Dutch government. His research aims to make sense of dispersed practices of governance through empirical studies that examine the interactions of executive agencies, regulators and nonprofit organizations with relevant stakeholders: clients, professional peers and the newsmedia. Public accountability is a key concept in his work. He is assistant professor at the Utrecht University School of Governance.
Robert E. Goodin is Distinguished Professor of Social and Political Theory and Philosophy at the Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University.
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