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In recent years there has been a considerable effort in some transnational organizations and institutions to confront a crisis of legitimacy by promising more accountability and openness. This volume takes as its central focus the role of accountability in democratic governance, and attempts to position a broad understanding of the notion of accountability within the overall context of the evolving political system of governance in Europe and in particular of the European Union. Bringing together new work by some of the leading scholars in the field, this volume considers the relationship between accountability and a wide range of other themes in European governance such as problems of representation, transparency, bureaucracy, and transnational relations. The volume also deals with the role of accountability in multi-level governance, and its relationship to both direct democracy and civil society. This book was published as a special issue of West European Politics.
Deirdre Curtin is Professor of European Law at the University of Amsterdam and director of the Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance (ACELG). She also holds the Chair in International and European Governance at the Utrecht University School of Governance. She has recently published Executive Power of the European Union: Law, Practices and the Living Constitution (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009) and her latest book is The Real World of EU Accountability: What Deficit? (Oxford University Press 2010, with Mark Bovens and Paul 't Hart). Peter Mair is Professor of Comparative Politics at the European University Institute in Florence and is co-editor of West European Politics. He recently co-edited Political Representation and EU Governance, a special issue of the Journal of European Public Policy, and a companion volume to this book. Yannis Papadopoulos is a professor of political science at the University of Lausanne. His main research interests are on multi-level governance, the democratisation of the EU, and the europeanisation of national political systems. He co-edited with Arthur Benz and Carol Harlow in 2007 a special issue of the European Law Journal on 'Accountability in the EU multi-level system'. He is currently working on a book manuscript on the transformations of democracies.
1. Positioning Accountability in European Governance: An Introduction Deirdre Curtin, Peter Mair and Yannis Papadopoulos 2. Two Concepts of Accountability: Accountability as a Virtue and as a Mechanism Mark Bovens 3. Representation and Accountability: Communicating Tubes? Christopher Lord and Johannes Pollak 4. Accountability and Transparency: Siamese Twins, Matching Parts, Awkward Couple? Christopher Hood 5. Accountability as a Bureaucratic Minefield: Lessons from a Comparative Study Edward C. Page 6. Accountability and Multi-Level Governance: More Accountability, Less Democracy? Yannis Papadopoulos 7. Reflexive Accountability and Direct Democracy Alexander H. Trechsel 8. Meeting the Challenges of Representation and Accountability in Multi-party Governments Wolfgang C. Muller and Thomas M. Meyer 9. Political-Bureaucratic Accountability in the EU Commission: Modernising the Executive Anchrit Wille 10. How to Put Matters Right? Assessing the Role of Civil Society in EU Accountability Beate Kohler-Koch 11. Accountability in Transnational Relations: How Distinctive Is It? Mathias Koenig-Archibugi
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