Technocratic and Convivial Accountability

B Morgan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


This chapter provides a fresh angle on debates about public accountability, many of which pit competing modes of accountability – judicial, bureaucratic and democratic – against each other. I argue that a critique of technocracy is the crucial axis in debates over accountability. Central to the argument is the suggestion that a particular institutional architecture is common to all those competing modes of accountability. This institutional architecture, a generalized version of the triadic logic at the heart of legal accountability, is essentially technocratic. Technocratic accountability is contrasted with convivial accountability, which captures a crucial aspect of social systems linked a sense of implicit community and historically associated with geographic and cultural commonality, revolving around shared identity and custom. The axis between technocratic and convivial accountability cuts across classifications of competing modes of accountability in a way that better reflects fits the emerging patterns of network or collibrated governance generated by privatization, globalization, and decentralization.
Translated title of the contributionTechnocratic and Convivial Accountability
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPublic Accountability: Designs, Dilemmas and Experiences
EditorsMichael Dowdle
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages243 - 270
Number of pages27
ISBN (Print)0521852142
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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