The Accountability Sequence: From De-jure to De-facto Constraints on Governments

49 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2017

See all articles by Valeriya Mechkova

Valeriya Mechkova

Göteborg University - V-Dem Institute

Anna Lührmann

Göteborg University - Department of Political Science

Staffan I. Lindberg

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

Date Written: November 2017

Abstract

Accountability is one of the cornerstones of good governance. Establishing accountable governments is a top priority on the international development agenda. Yet, scholars and democracy practitioners know little about how accountability mechanisms develop and thus can be supported by international and national actors. The present study tackles the questions of how, and in what sequence accountability sub-types develop. We consider not only vertical (elections and political parties) and horizontal accountability (legislature, judiciary and other oversight bodies), but also diagonal accountability (civil society and media) in both their de-jure and the de-facto dimensions. By utilizing novel sequencing methods, we study their sequential relationships in 173 countries from 1900 to the present with data from the new V-Dem dataset. Considering the long-term dimensions of institution building, this study indicates that most aspects of de-facto vertical accountability precede other forms of accountability. Effective institutions of horizontal accountability – such as vigorous parliaments and independent high courts – evolve rather late in the sequence and build on progress in many other areas.

Keywords: Accountability, Sequencing, Democratization, Government Oversight, De-facto Power

Suggested Citation

Mechkova, Valeriya and Lührmann, Anna and Lindberg, Staffan I., The Accountability Sequence: From De-jure to De-facto Constraints on Governments (November 2017). V-Dem Working Paper 2017:58. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3067246 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3067246

Valeriya Mechkova (Contact Author)

Göteborg University - V-Dem Institute ( email )

Sweden

Anna Lührmann

Göteborg University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 711
Göteborg, S-405 30
Sweden

Staffan I. Lindberg

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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