Journal article

Accountability and Abuses of Power in World Politics

Keohane R, Grant R ...see all

American Political Science Review, vol. 99, issue 01 (2005) pp. 29-43

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

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  • Robert Keohane

  • Ruth W Grant

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