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Global Accountabilities
Participation, Pluralism, and Public Ethics


Edward Weisband, Alnoor Ebrahim, Ngaire Woods, Randall D. Germain, Anne Marie Goetz, Rob Jenkins, L. David Brown, Ian Smillie, David Lewis, Lisa Jordan, Coralie Bryant, Michael R. MacLeod, Kate Macdonald
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  • Date Published: September 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521700115

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About the Authors
  • Accountability is seen as an essential feature of governments, businesses and NGOs. This volume treats it as a socially constructed means of control that can be used by the weak as well as the powerful. It contributes analytical depth to the diverse debates on accountability in modern organizations by exploring its nature, forms and impacts in civil society organizations, public and inter-governmental agencies and private corporations. The contributors draw from a range of disciplines to demonstrate the inadequacy of modern rationalist prescriptions for establishing and monitoring accountability standards, arguing that accountability frameworks attached to principal-agent logics and applied universally across cultures typically fail to achieve their objectives. By examining a diverse range of empirical examples and case studies, this book underscores the importance of grounding accountability procedures and standards in the divergent cultural, social and political settings in which they operate.

    • The first book to examine accountability across the public, private and nonprofit sectors
    • Balances conceptual material with engaging case studies
    • Provides a strong critique of conventional 'rationalist' conceptions of accountability
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This book's creative critical (re)constructions of global accountabilities are extremely welcome. 'Accountability' is so ascendant in contemporary global governance, perhaps even aspiring to the kind of pivotal position once held by 'sovereignty' in Westphalian world politics. These authors show us how the new discourse can enable rather than frustrate societal betterment.' Jan Aart Scholte, Co-Director, Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation, University of Warwick

    'Global Accountabilities provides a treasure chest of analytic insights in this era where innovations are desperately needed to overcome fractured and ineffective accountabilities across the state, business and civil society.' Simon Zadek, Chief Executive of AccountAbility, Senior Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and author of the award winning book The Civil Corporation

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521700115
    • length: 368 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.49kg
    • contains: 4 b/w illus. 5 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Forging global accountabilities Edward Weisband and Alnoor Ebrahim
    Part I. Public Accountability: Participatory Spheres from Global to Local:
    2. Multilateralism and building stronger international institutions Ngaire Woods
    3. Global financial governance and the problem of accountability: the role of the public sphere Randall D. Germain
    4. Citizen activism and public accountability: lessons from case studies in India Anne Marie Goetz and Rob Jenkins
    Part II. Experiments in Forging NGO Accountability: Mutuality and Context:
    5. Multiparty social action and mutual accountability L. David Brown
    6. Not accountable to anyone? Collective action and the role of NGOs in the campaign to ban 'blood diamonds' Ian Smillie
    7. Bringing in society, culture and politics: values and accountability in a Bangladeshi NGO David Lewis
    Part III. Reflective Accountability: New Directions for Participatory Practice:
    8. A rights-based approach to accountability Lisa Jordan
    9. Evaluation and accountability in emergency relief Coralie Bryant
    10. Towards a reflective accountability in NGOs Alnoor Ebrahim
    Part IV. Global Accountability Frameworks and Corporate Social Responsibility:
    11. Financial actors and instruments in the construction of global corporate social responsibility Michael R. MacLeod
    12. Public accountability within transnational supply chains: a global agenda for empowering southern workers? Kate Macdonald
    13. Tripartite multilateralism: why corporate social responsibility is not accountability Edward Weisband
    14. Prolegomena to a postmodern public ethics: images of accountability in global frames Edward Weisband.

  • Editors

    Alnoor Ebrahim, Harvard Business School
    Alnoor Ebrahim is an Associate Professor at the Harvard Business School. His research and teaching focus on the challenges of accountability, performance, and organizational learning facing nonprofit and civil society organizations. He is also affiliated with Harvard University's Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations.

    Edward Weisband, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
    Edward Weisband holds the Diggs Endowed Chair Professorship in the Social Sciences in the Department of Political Science at Virginia Tech.


    Edward Weisband, Alnoor Ebrahim, Ngaire Woods, Randall D. Germain, Anne Marie Goetz, Rob Jenkins, L. David Brown, Ian Smillie, David Lewis, Lisa Jordan, Coralie Bryant, Michael R. MacLeod, Kate Macdonald

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