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Strengthening the accountability of politicians

Glennerster, Rachel (2014) Strengthening the accountability of politicians. International Growth Centre Blog (07 Mar 2014). Website.

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Across much of the world, votes are often caste on the basis of regional ties, patronage politics, or simple bribery. In Freetown last week, politicians, civil society, academics, and media came together to discuss ways to make politicians more accountable and to encourage people to base their vote on policies and performance, rather than party loyalty and/or gifts. In the past few years, an increasing number of studies have suggested that voters in developing countries will respond to information about candidates and change their vote, rewarding high performing politicians and punishing poorly performing ones. This encouraging evidence on efforts to strengthen formal democracy has come from political systems as diverse as Brazil, India, Benin, and now Sierra Leone and is in contrast to the rather discouraging evidence on external efforts to change the workings of more informal institutions which I blogged about in the fall. While no study has yet linked the improvement in the workings of democracy to improved services for the poor on the ground, the hope is that by getting better politicians elected, and showing politicians that if they don’t perform they will be punished at the polls, these voter education campaigns will translate into improved services.

Item Type: Online resource (Website)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 The Author(s)
Divisions: International Growth Centre
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2017 09:39
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2021 23:20

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