Accountability Politics: Power and Voice in Rural Mexico by Jonathan A. Fox

By Jonathan A. Fox

How can the seeds of responsibility ever develop in authoritarian environments? Embedding responsibility into the nation is an inherently asymmetric, partial and contested method. Campaigns for public responsibility frequently win constrained concessions at top, yet they could depart cracks within the process that function handholds for next efforts to open up the kingdom to public scrutiny. This booklet explores the how civil society ''thickens'' through evaluating twenty years of rural electorate' struggles to carry the Mexican country liable, exploring either switch and continuity sooner than, in the course of, and after nationwide electoral turning issues. The e-book addresses how a lot power-sharing relatively occurs in coverage suggestions that come with participatory social and environmental councils, citizen oversight of elections, neighborhood executive social funding money, participation reforms in global financial institution tasks, community-managed foodstuff courses, in addition to new social oversight and public info entry reforms. in the meantime, efforts to workout voice spread whilst rural voters contemplate their go out ideas, as hundreds of thousands migrate to the U.S., the place many have because come jointly in a brand new migrant civil society. on the grounds that reasons of electoral swap don't account for the way humans truly event the kingdom, this ebook concludes that new analytical frameworks are had to comprehend ''transitions to accountability.'' This comprises unpacking the interplay among participation, transparency and responsibility. Oxford experiences in Democratization is a sequence for students and scholars of comparative politics and similar disciplines. Volumes pay attention to the comparative learn of the democratization procedure that observed the decline and termination of the chilly struggle. The geographical concentration of the sequence is essentially Latin the USA, the Caribbean, Southern and japanese Europe, and appropriate stories in Africa and Asia. The sequence editor is Laurence Whitehead, professional Fellow, Nuffield collage, college of Oxford.

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Accountability Politics: Power and Voice in Rural Mexico

How can the seeds of responsibility ever develop in authoritarian environments? Embedding responsibility into the country is an inherently asymmetric, partial and contested procedure. Campaigns for public responsibility usually win constrained concessions at most sensible, yet they could depart cracks within the approach that function handholds for next efforts to open up the nation to public scrutiny.

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Moreover, while legislators may have an interest in bolstering their autonomy from the executive, they also have an incentive to gain autonomy from voters as well (Manin, Przeworski, and Stokes 1999). Legislatures’ second main accountability potential depends on their capacity to represent a more diverse array of interests than the executive, based on the assumption that legislatures are more permeable and responsive to organized citizens. In practice, the accountability of legislators to voters depends on their specific institutional characteristics, including exclusionary or imbalanced districting, party list rules, institutional capacity for autonomous oversight of the executive, as well as historical gender and racial constraints on suffrage.

The chapter also details the problems of ‘low accountability traps’ and the ‘positioning’ of accountability agents in terms of their relationships to state and society. ’ The ‘vertical integration’ of civil society actors takes into account the challenge of scale, followed by a questioning of the ‘power of sunshine’ to leverage accountability outcomes. These concepts offer analytical tools for understanding when voice can change the balance of power by embedding accountability reforms into the state.

Civil society actors clearly matter, but when, how, and to what degree? Through collective action, the media and the strategic use of information, they can expose abuses of power, encourage new standards of rights, and raise expectations of both public and private sector performance. Civil society actors can also go beyond ‘naming and shaming’, bringing political pressure to bear against impunity by targeting entrenched opponents of accountability. Such campaigns can also encourage governmental checks and balances to act, and sometimes drive the creation of new public accountability agencies.

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