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The Perils of Accountability After Crisis: Ambiguity, Policy Legacies, and Value Trade-offs

Hilliard, N., Kovras, I. ORCID: 0000-0003-2787-2389 & Loizides, N. (2021). The Perils of Accountability After Crisis: Ambiguity, Policy Legacies, and Value Trade-offs. Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 34(1), pp. 85-104. doi: 10.1080/09557571.2019.1710827


This article interrogates a tension at the heart of the principle of accountability: accountability as a principle of non-impunity of public officials versus accountability as a form of bureaucratic organisation and control. Although these dimensions are distinguishable in the abstract, their ambiguity has led to an expectations gap among both citizens and elites. The historical legacies of previous policies can exacerbate this expectations gap, leading to a variety of value trade-offs, with the potential to undermine other political values, such as political learning, consensusbuilding, and citizens' rights. We present examples of the trade-offs resulting from this expectations gap, focusing on moments of crisis in which such trade-offs can be seen most acutely, and highlight its role as a vehicle of global populism.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article has been published in Cambridge Review of International Affairs, published by Taylor & Francis.
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > International Politics
SWORD Depositor:
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