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Civic Engagement and Public Accountability: An Analysis with Particular Reference to Developing Countries

PAM, Vol. 15 No. 2, (2010)

The role of civic engagement in ensuring public accountability has become a catchword in recent years. Over the years, there has been dissatisfaction with formal state mechanisms as well as newly introduced market mechanisms. Now there is a consensus that social accountability mechanisms based on civic engagement can hold public officials accountable by complementing state accountability mechanisms. However, there are a number of contextual factors facilitating as well as inhibiting the effectiveness of social accountability. This paper intends to (a) explore and analyze cross-cultural evidence of social accountability in the developing world and (b) evaluate the claims of the advocates of social accountability in view of the socio-economic and political dynamics.

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