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Democratic Accountability in Latin America

ISBN-10: 0199256381

ISBN-13: 9780199256389

Edition: 2003

Authors: Scott Mainwaring, Christopher Welna

List price: $100.00
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This volume on democratic accountability addresses one of the burning issues on the agenda of policy makers and citizens in contemporary Latin America. In much of Latin America, disenchantment and cynicism have set in regarding the quality of elected governments raising the prospect of a new round of democratic erosion and breakdowns. One of the important emerging challenges for improving the quality of democracy resolves around how to build more effective mechanisms ofaccountability. A widespread perception prevails in much of the region that government officials are not sufficiently subject to routinized controls by oversight agencies. Corruption, lack of oversight, impunity of state actors, and improper use of public resources are major problems in most countries of theregion. Dealing with these issues is paramount to restoring and deepening democratic legitimacy.The fundamental question in this volume is how democratic leaders in Latin America can improve accountability while simultaneously promoting governmental effectiveness. These issues have acquired urgency in contemporary Latin America because of heightened public concern about corruption and improper governmental actions on the one hand, yet on the other, uncertainty about the potential tradeoff between tightened accountability of officials and effective policy results.The volume enhances understanding of three key issues. First, it enriches understanding of the state of non-electoral forms of democratic accountability in contemporary Latin America. What are some of the major shortcoming in democratic accountability? How can they be addressed? What are some major innovations in the efforts to enhance democratic accountability?A second contribution of the volume is conceptual. Accountability is a key concept in the social sciences, yt its meaning varies widely form one author to the next. The authors in this volume, especially in the first four chapters, explicitly debate how bet to define and delimit the concept.Finally the volume also furthers understanding of the interactions between various mechanism and institutions of accountability. Many of the authors address how electoral accountability (the accountability of elected officials to the voters) interact with the forms of accountability in which state agencies oversee and sanction public officials. The volume provides extensive treatment of this important but hitherto under-explored interaction.
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Book details

List price: $100.00
Copyright year: 2003
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/9/2003
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 360
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.144
Language: English

Conceptual and Theoretical Issues
Introduction: Democratic Accountability in Latin America
Horizontal Accountability: The Legal Institutionalization of Mistrust
Horizontal Accountability: Concepts and Conflicts
Legislatures, Executives, and Oversight Agencies
The Accountability Deficit in Latin America
Legislative Oversight: Interests and Institutions in the United States and Argentina
The Role of Congress as an Agency of Horizontal Accountability: Lessons from the Brazilian Experience
The Judiciary, the Public Prosecution Office, and Rule of Law
The New Brazilian Public Prosecution: An Agent of Accountability
Horizontal Accountability and the Rule of Law in Central America
Authoritarianism, Democracy and the Supreme Court: horizontal exchange and the rule of law in Mexico
Societal Accountability
Societal and Horizontal Controls: Two Cases of a Fruitful Relationship