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Accountability in Developing Democracies

1 November 2010

International structures tie the hands of policy makers in the developing world. Dependency on the world economy is blamed for low growth, high volatility and less redistribution of income than average, but the effect of international constraints on mass politics is relatively unknown. This study examines how citizens of developing democracies assign responsibility for policy outcomes. A theory of the distribution of responsibility, combining insights from the political economy of development and the study of mass behaviour, is presented. Evidence from seventeen Latin American countries shows that citizens often blame policy outcomes on international and private-sector actors, to which they, as voters, have no direct recourse. Ties to world markets and the International Monetary Fund, especially foreign debt, shift responsibility towards international actors and tend to exonerate national politicians.

Anyone wanna write the “Africa” version of this paper with me?

One Comment leave one →
  1. 1 November 2010 3:29 pm

    Interesting. I wonder how strong the connection is between citizens’ blame of international and private-sector actors and elected leaders’ claims of the same.

    Though China is by no means a democracy, they never had a problem that didn’t (according to their leaders’ claims) originate with foreigners.

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