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Accountability and Abuses of Power in World Politics

by Robert Keohane, Ruth W Grant, Ruth W Grant, Robert O Keohane
American Political Science Review ()


Debates about globalization have centered on calls to improve accountability to limit abuses of \npower inworld politics.Howshouldwe think about global accountability in the absence of global \ndemocracy? Who should hold whom to account and according to what standards? Thinking \nclearly about these questions requires recognizing a distinction, evident in theories of accountability at \nthe nation-state level, between “participation” and “delegation” models of accountability. The distinction \nhelps to explain why accountability is so problematic at the global level and to clarify alternative pos- \nsibilities for pragmatic improvements in accountability mechanisms globally.We identify seven types of \naccountability mechanisms and consider their applicability to states, NGOs, multilateral organizations, \nmultinational corporations, and transgovernmental networks. By disaggregating the problem in this \nway, we hope to identify opportunities for improving protections against abuses of power at the global \nlevel.

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