12 July 2024
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Understanding the Importance of Accountability Standards in Democracy

In today’s world, where political violence is on the rise, the need for accountability standards based on the rules of democracy has become increasingly crucial. A recent study by Christopher Koliba, a distinguished professor at the University of Kansas, emphasizes the necessity for a renewed dedication to democratic values and the establishment of accountability standards for government workers and scholars. Koliba’s work, published in the journal Public Administration Review, sheds light on the importance of upholding liberal democratic principles in the face of growing populism, democratic backsliding, and polarization.

The Forgotten Rules of Democracy

Koliba points out that in many instances, individuals may not be familiar with the specific values and rules that underpin liberal democracy until they are violated. He highlights the need to revisit the essential principles of democracy, especially the small-l liberal variety that emphasizes values such as the avoidance of power abuse, respect for individual rights, promotion of tolerance and restraint, and adherence to reason and truth. These values, which have been foundational to democracies around the world, have come under threat in recent years due to the rise of populism, authoritarianism, and a disregard for truth-telling.

The Call for Liberal Democratic Accountability Standards

Koliba’s study outlines seven liberal democratic accountability standards that he believes public administrators and scholars should adhere to. These standards focus on aspects such as authority, rights, tolerance, truth claims, and professional deference. By establishing clear guidelines for accountability based on democratic values, Koliba argues that we can address the current challenges of distrust in government, polarization, intolerance, and apathy towards truth.

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Embracing Democratic Governance Principles

Koliba emphasizes the need for a collective effort to uphold democratic governance principles in the face of contemporary threats to democracy. He underscores the importance of incorporating liberal democratic accountability standards into public administration practices, empirical studies, and theoretical frameworks. By engaging in conversations and debates around these standards, public officials and scholars can work towards safeguarding democratic institutions and promoting a culture of accountability and transparency.

Links to additional Resources:

1. www.internationalidea.org 2. www.accountability-standards.org 3. www.transparency.org

Related Wikipedia Articles

Topics: Liberal democracy, Public Administration Review, Populism

Liberal democracy
Liberal democracy, western-style democracy, or substantive democracy is a form of government that combines the organization of a representative democracy with ideas of liberal political philosophy. Common elements within a liberal democracy are: elections between or among multiple distinct political parties, a separation of powers into different branches of government,...
Read more: Liberal democracy

Public Administration Review
Public Administration Review is a bimonthly peer-reviewed academic journal the field of public administration. It was established in 1940 and has been one of the top-rated journals in the field. It is the official journal of the American Society for Public Administration and is published by Wiley-Blackwell. The co-editrs-in-chief are...
Read more: Public Administration Review

Populism
Populism is a range of political stances that emphasize the idea of "the people" and often juxtapose this group with "the elite". It is frequently associated with anti-establishment and anti-political sentiment. The term developed in the late 19th century and has been applied to various politicians, parties and movements since...
Read more: Populism

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