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Accountability within Minority Political Participation

Accountability within Minority Political Participation Oleh Protsyk * Accountability relations play a central role in the modern conception of democracy. To whom society should entrust the power to govern and how those entrusted should be held accountable are important questions in the context of the political participation theme. Accountability is intrinsically linked to such other concepts as representation and responsiveness. Th ose who are elected to represent and to govern are expected, by democratic theory, to be responsive to the needs and demands of their constituencies. Th e constituencies in their turn are envisioned to have the eff ective means to sanction representatives for their lack of responsiveness. Although any conceptualizing of accountability and representation has at its core the notion that representing implies acting in the interest of the represented, positive political theory makes us aware of the plenitude of situations in which normatively desirable outcomes are not easily achievable. Th e central concern in the analytical approaches to representation is a problem of politicians’ self-interest. As one group of scholars put it, “politicians have goals, interests, and values of their own, and they know things and undertake actions that citizens cannot observe or can monitor only at a cost”. Th is is http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png European Yearbook of Minority Issues Online Brill

Accountability within Minority Political Participation

European Yearbook of Minority Issues Online , Volume 7 (1): 12 – Feb 9, 2010

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
eISSN
2211-6117
DOI
10.1163/22116117-90001644
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Oleh Protsyk * Accountability relations play a central role in the modern conception of democracy. To whom society should entrust the power to govern and how those entrusted should be held accountable are important questions in the context of the political participation theme. Accountability is intrinsically linked to such other concepts as representation and responsiveness. Th ose who are elected to represent and to govern are expected, by democratic theory, to be responsive to the needs and demands of their constituencies. Th e constituencies in their turn are envisioned to have the eff ective means to sanction representatives for their lack of responsiveness. Although any conceptualizing of accountability and representation has at its core the notion that representing implies acting in the interest of the represented, positive political theory makes us aware of the plenitude of situations in which normatively desirable outcomes are not easily achievable. Th e central concern in the analytical approaches to representation is a problem of politicians’ self-interest. As one group of scholars put it, “politicians have goals, interests, and values of their own, and they know things and undertake actions that citizens cannot observe or can monitor only at a cost”. Th is is

Journal

European Yearbook of Minority Issues OnlineBrill

Published: Feb 9, 2010

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