Who are the Policy Workers and What Are They Doing? Citizen's Heuristics and Democratic Accountability in Complex Governance

Public Performance Management Review, Forthcoming

NYU Wagner Research Paper No. 2703639

40 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2015

See all articles by Anthony M. Bertelli

Anthony M. Bertelli

New York University - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service; Bocconi University - DONDENA - Carlo F. Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics

Date Written: December 14, 2015

Abstract

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

Bertelli, Anthony M., Who are the Policy Workers and What Are They Doing? Citizen's Heuristics and Democratic Accountability in Complex Governance (December 14, 2015). Public Performance Management Review, Forthcoming; NYU Wagner Research Paper No. 2703639. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2703639

Anthony M. Bertelli (Contact Author)

New York University - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service ( email )

The Puck Building
295 Lafayette Street, Second Floor
New York, NY 10012
United States

Bocconi University - DONDENA - Carlo F. Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

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