Title: "Against Accountability"
Author: MANSBRIDGE, Jane
Series/Report no.: EUI MWP LS;; 2010/07;
Although relatively corrupt regimes require citizen monitoring and accountability enforced by the threat of sanction, this kind of relationship between citizens and their agents is inefficient and normatively unsatisfying. In relatively uncorrupt regimes, citizens do not need to depend so heavily on this "sanctions model", with its sanction-based accountability. Instead they can have a relationship with their representatives based on a "selection model" in which they select representatives who act "gyroscopically" from their own internal motivations and are replaced when the alignment between constituents and their representatives erodes. The more corrupt the regime, the more the relationship must be founded on sanction-based accountability. The less corrupt the regime, the more the citizens can afford representative relationships based primarily on a well-warranted sense of common purpose. The appropriate size of the selection "core" and sanction "periphery" depends in large part on the degree of corruption in the regime.
Subject: Accountability; sanctions model; selection model
The lecture was delivered on 25 October 2010. For an earlier treatment with complete references, see Mansbridge, A ‘Selection Model’ of Political Representation, The Journal of Political Philosophy, 2009, 17, 4, 369-398. Jane Mansbridge, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Type of Access: openAccess