"Seeking Salvation for Accountability," paper presented at the 2002 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, August 29-September 1, Boston.
This is a paper in defense of a concept that is threatened by its popularity and undermined by those who use it most. It is a call for a reexamination and reaffirmation of “accountability” from the perspective of its central role in modern governance. It is a plea for saving the concept of accountability from the abuses it suffers in the hands of friends and advocates. It is an effort at salvation for a concept that has lost its meaningful “soul” in a world filled with rhetoricians, reformers, and functionalists – all well intentioned, but each contributing to accountability’s fall from conceptual grace.