Sanctions, Benefits, and Rights: Three Faces of Accountability
As countries throughout the world democratize and decentralize, citizen participation in public life should increase. In this paper, I suggest that democratic participation in local government is enhanced when citizens can reply affirmatively to at least three questions about their ability to hold local officials accountable for their actions: Can citizens use the vote effectively to reward and punish the general or specific performance of local public officials and/or the parties they represent? Can citizens generate response to their collective needs from local governments? Can citizens be ensured of fair and equitable treatment from public agencies at local levels? The findings of a study of 30 randomly selected municipalities in Mexico indicate that, over the course of a decade and a half, voters were able to enforce alternation in power and the circulation of elites, but not necessarily to transmit unambiguous messages to public officials or parties about performance concerns. More definitively, citizens were able to build successfully on prior political experiences to extract benefits from local governments. At the same time, the ability to demand good performance of local government as a right of citizenship lagged behind other forms of accountability.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2010|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 79 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138|
Web page: http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/research/working_papers/index.htm
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp10-026. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.