Building Democratic Accountability in Areas of Limited Statehood

By Joe Siegle, Africa Center for Strategic Studies
March 31, 2012

Photo: Tommy Trenchard/IRIN

Paper Presented at the International Studies Association Annual Meeting, “Power, Principles, and Participation in the Global Information Age”

Institutions of accountability are instrumental to achieving sustained development and stability, but the starting point for many contexts of limited statehood—autocratic legacies, low social capital, and cultures of impunity—hobbles progress. Limited checks and balances over the executive branch, which often monopolizes power and defies oversight, is a critical problem. In such contexts, non-state mechanisms of accountability—often traditional authorities, media, information and communication technology, civil society groups, and external actors—play critical early roles.

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Security Topics: Stabilization of Fragile States