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Book Details

DEMOCRATIC ACCOUNTABILITY : WHY CHOICE IN POLITICS IS BOTH POSSIBLE AND NECESSARY


By   (Author)
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Price : $45.00  $36.00
ISBN : 0-674-02475-3   
Page : 0
Year of Publication : 2007    Edition : 1
Publisher : HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS
Subject : ECONOMICS & FINANCE



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Description :

It is common for political leaders to claim they have no control over bad outcomes. Indeed, they often cite the arguments of political theorists and public intellectuals as to why: history rushes onward oblivious of human will; force and violence overcome political aims; globalization undermines the actions of national leaders; the bureaucracy sabotages their intentions; bad outcomes are often the unintended result of actions. In Democratic Accountability, Leif Lewin examines these reasons and argues that they are unconvincing. He makes his case by describing and analyzing counterexamples in seven cases, including the prevention of a communist takeover in Europe after World War II, the European Union’s preventing another European war, and Margaret Thatcher’s taming of the bureaucracy in Britain. In a staunch defense of the possibility for meaningful and profound democratic decision making, Lewin finds that, in fact, not only do political leaders exert a good measure of control and therefore can be assigned responsibility, but the meaning of the functioning democracy is that the people hold their leaders accountable.


Content :

1. Introduction: The Politics of Blame Avoidance Accountability as a Democratic Value Politics as Rational Action Critical Cases as Counter-Examples 2. History Is Not Predetermined The End of History The Politics of Containment Accountability and Counterfactual Analysis 3. Nation-States Need Not Go to War The War of All against All L’Europe des Patries Accountability and Legitimacy 4. Globalization Has Not Wiped Out the Freedom to Choose The Globalization Trap Agenda 21 Accountability and the Market 5. Power-Sharing Does Not Exclude Responsibility Power-Sharing Mani Pulite Accountability and the Ethics of Conviction and Responsibility 6. Implementation May Well Be Immaculate The Theory of Budget-Maximization The Politics of Retrenchment Accountability and Bureaucracy 7. Consequences May Well Be as Intended Unintended Consequences The Gent System Accountability and Expertise 8. Action Can Be Meaningful Even if Irrational The Logic of Rational Action: The Roots The Logic of Appropriateness: Götterdämmerung Accountability and History 9. Conclusion: The Necessity of Choice Choice Is Possible Choice Is Mandatory Notes Bibliography Acknowledgments Index
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