Two critical questions for the study of accountability in contemporary governance focus attention on the citizen rather than the official: (a) whether a citizen can identify a policy worker, that is, the bureaucrat, contractor, or other actor acting in pursuit of a legislated policy goal, and (b) whether a citizen can evaluate policy work that is done to further a legislated policy goal. Both identification and evaluation prove tricky to assess in a great deal of policy work, rendering accountability an important, but elusive, democratic value. This article provides a framework for analysts to understand when and why accountability works from a citizen’s perspective and what incentives policy workers and politicians have when it does.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Administration
- Strategy and Management