Public Accountability: Designs, Dilemmas and Experiences

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There is an ongoing perception that public accountability in modern-day governance is in 'crisis', caused by globalization and the increasing power of private economic interests. This book responds to that idea, providing the most comprehensive survey to date of how different organizations hold persons acting in the public interest to account, and the various problems they face. The book shows how key issues, such as public-mindedness, democracy and responsibility, and structures, such as bureaucracy, markets and transparency, adopt radically different and sometimes contradictory interpretations when viewed from different experiential perspectives. It also demonstrates how underlying all this are core communities of experiences that bind these diverse interpretations and perspectives into a complex web of mutual interaction and influence. The book includes studies not only of Anglo-American experiences, but also of the experiences of foreign and transnational organizations: NGOs, transnational resistance movements, the Indonesian labor movement, and the Chinese Parliament.