Accountability through Public Opinion
538 Pages
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Accountability through Public Opinion


YouScribe would like you to have this content free of charge
538 Pages


"Accountability" has become a buzzword in international development. Development actors appear to delight in announcing their intention to "promote accountability"-but it is often unclear what accountability is and how it can be promoted. This book addresses some questions that are crucial to understanding accountability and for understanding why accountability is important to improve the effectiveness of development aid. We ask: What does it mean to make governments accountable to their citizens? How do you do that? How do you create genuine demand for accountability among citizens, how do you move citizens from inertia to public action?
The main argument of this book is that accountability is a matter of public opinion. Governments will only be accountable if there are incentives for them to do so-and only an active and critical public will change the incentives of government officials to make them responsive to citizens' demands. Accountability without public opinion is a technocratic, but not an effective solution.
In this book, more than 30 accountability practitioners and thinkers discuss the concept and its structural conditions; the relationship between accountability, information, and the media; the role of deliberation to promote accountability; and mechanisms and tools to mobilize public opinion. A number of case studies from around the world illustrate the main argument of the book: Public opinion matters and an active and critical public is the surest means to achieve accountability that will benefit the citizens in developing countries.
This book is designed for policy-makers and governance specialists working within the international development community, national governments, grassroots organizations, activists, and scholars engaged in understanding the interaction between accountability and public opinion and their role for increasing the impact of international development interventions.



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Published 10 May 2011
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EAN13 9780821385562
Language English
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From Inertia to Public Action
Sina Odugbemi and Taeku Lee, EditorsACCOUNTABILITY
Editors© 2011 The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank
1818 H Street NW
Washington DC 20433
Telephone: 202-473-1000
All rights reserved
1 2 3 4 14 13 12 11
This volume is a product of the staff of the International Bank for Reconstruction and
Development / The World Bank. The fi ndings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed in
this volume do not necessarily refl ect the views of the Executive Directors of The World
Bank or the governments they represent.
The World Bank does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this work. The
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do not imply any judgement on the part of The World Bank concerning the legal status of
any territory or the endorsement or acceptance of such boundaries.
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ISBN: 978-0-8213-8505-0
eISBN: 978-0-8213-8556-2
DOI: 10.1596/978-0-8213-8505-0
Cover photograph: Joseph Luoman; © / luoman
Cover design: Critical Stages
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Accountability through public opinion : from inertia to public action / [edited by]
Sina Odugbemi, Taeku Lee.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-0-8213-8505-0—ISBN 978-0-8213-8556-2 (electronic)
1. Government accountability. 2. Public services—Public opinion. 3. Organizational
effectiveness. 4. Performance—Management. I. Odugbemi, Sina. II. Lee, Taeku.
JF1351.A246 2010
Contributors xi
Acknowledgments xxi
Abbreviations xxiii
Section I Foundations 1
1 Taking Direct Accountability Seriously 3
Sina Odugbemi and Taeku Lee
2 The (Im)Possibility of Mobilizing Public Opinion? 11
Taeku Lee
3 The Public and Its (Alleged) Handiwork 25Sina Odugbemi
Section II Structural Context 35
4 Gaining State Support for Social Accountability 37
Harry Blair
5 The Workings of Accountability: Contexts and Conditions 53Enrique Peruzzotti
6 Associations without Democracy: The West Bank
in Comparative Perspective 65
Amaney Jamal
Section III Information and Accountability 83
7 Necessary Conditions for Increasing
Accountability 85
Arthur Lupia
vvi Contents
8 Information Processing, Public Opinion,
and Accountability 95
Charles S. Taber and Everett Young
9 Information, Social Networks, and the Demand
for Public Goods: Experimental Evidence from Benin 123
Leonard Wantchekon and Christel Vermeersch
Section IV Building Capacity through Media
Institutions (Media and Journalism) 137
10 Training Journalists for Accountability
in Argentina 139Laura Zommer
11 Well-Informed Journalists Make Well-Informed
Citizens: Coverage of Governance Issues in the
Democratic Republic of Congo 151
Mary Myers
12 Communication Technologies for Accountability 159Anne-Katrin Arnold
Section V Deliberation and Accountability 181
13 Minipublics: Designing Institutions for
Effective Deliberation and Accountability 183
Archon Fung
14 Deliberation and Institutional Mechanisms
for Shaping Public Opinion 203Baogang He
15 Creating Citizens through Communication
Education in the United States 215
William Keith
16 Participatory Constitution Making in Uganda 235Devra Moehler
Section VI Power and Public Opinion
(Mobilizing Public Opinion) 255
17 Collective Movements, Activated Opinion, and
the Politics of the Extraordinary 257
Taeku Lee Contents vii
18 Public Narrative, Collective Action, and Power 273
Marshall Ganz
19 “Social Accountability” as Public Work 291Peter Levine
20 Holding Government Accountable through
Informal Institutions: Solidary Groups and
Public Goods Provision in Rural China 307
Lily Tsai
21 Adult Civic Education and the Development of
Democratic Culture: Evidence from Emerging acies 319
Steven E. Finkel
Section VII Case Studies 331
22 Is Social Participation Democratizing Politics? 333
Vera Schattan P. Coelho
23 Stimulating Activism through Champions
of Change 347Samuel Paul
24 Informed Public Opinion and Offi cial Behavior Change 359Gopakumar Thampi
25 Overcoming Inertia and Generating Participation:
Insights from Participatory Processes
in South Africa 377
Imraan Buccus and Janine Hicks
26 Civil Society Representation in São Paulo 389
Adrian Gurza Lavalle
27 Embedding the Right to Information:
The Uses of Sector-Specifi c Transparency
Regimes 403Rob Jenkins
Section VIII Conclusion 413
28 How Can Citizens Be Helped to Hold Their Governments Accountable? 415
Taeku Lee and Sina Odugbemi
Appendix A 427B 479
Index 487viii Contents
1.1. The Missing Link in Direct Accountability 6
2.1. From General Publics to Stakeholders 17
2.2. From Passive Inputs to Direct Decision
Making 19
2.3. The Ladder of Participatory Inputs 20
2.4. From Ritual to Co-governance 21
2.5. Civil Society and Authorizing Public Opinion 21
3.1. Social Accountability Building Books 31
3.2. The Open, Inclusive Public Sphere 32
4.1. Spec trum of State Response to Social
Accountability Initiatives 38
4.2. Spectrum of State Support for Social
Accountability Mechanisms 39
12.1. Exchanges between States and Citizens 161
16.1. Predicted Values of Institutional Trust 240
18.1. Mobilization of Others 274
18.2. From Values to Action 276
18.3. Motivating Action 277
18.4. Elements of a Story 280
18.5. Self, Us, Now 283
19.1. Human Development and Voting 294
19.2. L ocal Community Action on Issues Such as Poverty
and Employment Housing 295
19.3. Spending Time Every Week with People at Sporting,
Cultural, or Communal Events 296
24.1. Group: Kisumu Government and Utilities 370
24.2. Institutional Setting for Implementing CRCs 371
28.1. The Process of Public Opinion Formation 418
28.2. Long and Short Routes to Accountability 422
28.3. The Stairway to Mobilization Process 423
28.4. Types of Public 424
28.5. Climbing the Stairway to Mobilization 425
4.1. Social Accountability Mechanisms and Their Origins 40
6.1. OLS Reg ression Analysis of the Relationship between
Demographic Variables and Levels of Interpersonal Trust
among the General Palestinian Population 75
6.2. Degree of Associational Clientelism and Levels of
Interpersonal Trust 76
6.3. M easuring Interpersonal Trust, Support for Democratic
Institutions, and Civic Engagement 77