Who are the Policy Workers and What Are They Doing? Citizen's Heuristics and Democratic Accountability in Complex Governance
Public Performance Management Review, Forthcoming
40 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2015
Date Written: December 14, 2015
Two critical questions for the study of accountability in contemporary governance can focus attention on the citizen, rather than the official. I begin with the question of whether a citizen can identify a policy worker — that is, the bureaucrat, contractor, or other actor acting in pursuit of a legislated policy goal. I then turn to 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, leaving accountability an important, but elusive, democratic value. This paper 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.
Keywords: Accountability, Governance, Heuristics, Democracy, Collaboration, Managerialism, Participation, Deliberation
JEL Classification: D73
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation