Democratic Accountability, Political Order, and Change: Exploring Accountability Processes in an Era of European Transformation by Johan P. OlsenDemocratic Accountability, Political Order, and Change: Exploring Accountability Processes in an Era of European Transformation by Johan P. Olsen

Democratic Accountability, Political Order, and Change: Exploring Accountability Processes in an…

byJohan P. Olsen

Hardcover | April 8, 2017

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Ongoing transformations of the political organization of Europe, where both the nation-state and the European Union are challenged, make it possible to explore phenomena that are difficult to see in stable periods. An upsurge in accountability-demands, where political leaders are required toexplain and justify what they are doing, is one such phenomenon. Mainstream approaches to democratic accountability, assuming settled principal-agent relations may give insight into the routines of institutional accountability. This book argues that it is not enough to analyze how accountability processes contribute to routinized maintenance of an establishedorder within relatively stable, simple, and well-known situations. We need to understand accountability in eras of institutional confusion and contestation and in dynamic, complex, and unknown situations. First, variations in the relations between democratic accountability and political association,organization, and agency are endogenous to politics. Second, accountability processes take place within both settled and unsettled orders. They can be both order-maintaining and order-transforming. Third, accountability involves sense-making as well as decision-making. Fourth, accountability mayinvolve mass mobilization or go on largely unnoticed by the public. Fifth, accountability processes may or may not foster new ideas about political order, government, and the role of rank-and-file citizens in political life. They may or may not affect what democracy will mean and imply in thefuture.The aim of this book is twofold: to contribute to the theorization of democratic accountability and to discuss what accountability processes tell us about political order and orderly change in general.
Johan P. Olsen is Professor Emeritus in Political Science and Founding Director of Arena, Centre for European Studies, University of Oslo. He has publicized widely in international in international journals and authored several books, among them Europe in Search of Political Order (OUP 2007) and Governing Through Institution Building (...
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Title:Democratic Accountability, Political Order, and Change: Exploring Accountability Processes in an…Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pagesPublished:April 8, 2017Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198800606

ISBN - 13:9780198800606

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Table of Contents

1. Democratic Accountability and the Terms of Political Order2. The Organizational Basis of Accountability: Settled and Unsettled Policies3. Order-Maintaining and Order-Transforming Accountability Processes4. Ambiguity and the Politics of Accountability5. Accountability and the Separation of Talk and Action6. Political Order and Citizens' Involvement in Accountability Processes7. What Accountability Processes in an Era of Transformation Tell Us