Mapping Accountability: Core Concept and Subtypes

International Review of Administrative Sciences 79(2): 202-226.

26 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2014

See all articles by Staffan I. Lindberg

Staffan I. Lindberg

Göteborg University - Varieties of Democracy Institute; Göteborg University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

The recent surge in popularity of ‘accountability’ in public administration and international development seems in part divorced from centuries of conceptual and empirical work done in related disciplines of finance and accounting, and in political science. This article brings together the core meaning of accountability as used in hundreds of previous works, and seeks to bring order to the litany of subtypes in this literature. An organizing scheme with three dimensions (source of control, strength of control, and direction of relationship) captures all the existing varying types of accountability. The resulting typology also clarifies that varying subtypes have not only different actors and characteristics, but also seek to uphold varying values and are facing different challenges. These have important implications both for research and the (im)possibility of translating findings from one subtype field to another; as well as practical implications for the policy world.

Keywords: accountability, administration, concept formation, politics, principal-agent, types of accountability

Suggested Citation

Lindberg, Staffan I., Mapping Accountability: Core Concept and Subtypes (2013). International Review of Administrative Sciences 79(2): 202-226.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2376711

Staffan I. Lindberg (Contact Author)

Göteborg University - Varieties of Democracy Institute ( email )

Sprängkullsgatan 19
Gothenburg, Gothenburg 405 30
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://www.pol.gu.se/varianter-pa-demokrati--v-dem-/

Göteborg University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 711
Gothenburg, S-405 30
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://www.pol.gu.se

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