Democraticaccountability and the
institutionalisation of performance auditing
This chapter explores the changing role of supreme audit institutions
(SAIs), or national audit offices, in the institutionalisation of performance
auditing as a part of democraticaccountability. It examines how performance auditing of state and other public institutions has become increasingly important in most OECD countries (Posner & Shahan, 2014). Most
SAIs seem to have moved from a relatively narrow focus on technical and
legal accounting to a wider focus that now
Over half of England's secondary schools are now academies. The social and cultural outcomes prompted by this neoliberal educational model has received less scrutiny. This book draws on original research based at Dreamfields Academy, to show how the accelerated marketization and centralization of education is reproducing raced, classed and gendered inequalities. Urbanderry is a socially and economically mixed borough where poverty and gentrification coexist. The book sketches out the key features of Dreamfields' ethos before reflecting on the historical trajectories that underpin how education, urban space and formations of race, class and gender are discussed in the present. Academies have faced opposition for their lack of democratic accountability as they can set their own labour conditions, deviate from the national curriculum and operate outside local authority control. The book examines the complex stories underlying Dreamfields' glossy veneer of success and shows how students, teachers and parents navigate the everyday demands of Dreamfields' results-driven conveyor belt. It also examines how hierarchies are being reformulated. The book interrogates the social and cultural dimensions of this gift that seeks to graft more 'suitable' forms of capital onto its students. The focus is on the conditions underlying this gift's exchange with children, parents and teachers, remaining conscious of how value is generated from the power, perspective and relationships that create the initial conditions of possibility for exchange. Dreamfields acts as a symbolic and material response to the supposed failures of comprehensive education and public anxieties over the loss of nationhood and prestige of empire.
In the decades following Europe's first total war, millions of British men and women looked to the League of Nations as the symbol and guardian of a new world order based on international co-operation. Founded in 1919 to preserve peace between its member-states, the League inspired a rich, participatory culture of political protest, popular education and civic ritual that found expression in the establishment of voluntary societies in dozens of countries across Europe and beyond. Through the hugely popular League of Nations Union (LNU), this pro-League movement touched Britain in profound ways. Foremost amongst the League societies, the LNU became a pioneering advocate of democratic accountability and popular engagement in the making of foreign policy. This book offers an account of this popular League consciousness, revealing the extraordinarily vibrant character of associational life between the wars. It explores the complex constituencies making up the popular League movement and shows how internationalism intersected with class, gender, religion and party politics during a period of profound social, cultural and political change.
This book shows that neoliberalism is a complex phenomenon that is linked to public administration and management in no straightforward manner. The key problem for critical neoliberalism is how the state can and should govern in a situation of epistemological finitude without infringing on individual freedom. The book explores neoliberalism first in terms of a critical problematisation of government and then in terms of a constructivist problematisation. Over the last two or three decades, the public sectors of many liberal democracies have seen a tremendous surge of reforms, programmes and policies seeking to promote accountability, credibility and evidence. These include the institutionalisation of ever more sophisticated performance-measurement systems and the accreditation of institutions providing key public services. The ambition is to move from a rule-based to a result-based public sector. The book examines how performance auditing of state and other public institutions has become increasingly important in most OECD countries. It discusses the general shifts in the regulative ideals informing the making of the civil-servant persona in liberal democracies. The quest for accountability, credibility and the use of evidence in the public administration are examples of a more or less new form of power. This form of power is in turn informed by what the author calls 'constructivist neoliberalism'.
(absence of internal democracy, participation and accountability). In a similar vein Colás (2001) argues that ‘the democratic claims in favour of global civil society immediately raise thorny questions about its agents’. These include, ‘who are the constituents of global civil society? How has their mandate been legitimated? What is the remit of their representation? How can their actions be made accountable?’ For Colás, the evidence finds groups largely deficient in relation to direct, let alone representative democratic, accountabilities to either supporters or those
scholars – almost irrespective of which sub-literature or arena is considered – relates to whether groups that are not democraticallyaccountable to their constituencies should have their access to policy processes fettered. The question arises of whether groups that do not conform to the representation they are able to achieve, in principle, ought to be excluded from policy fora.
This debate has a strong practical dimension, not least because formal political institutions are seriously debating how to manage their engagement with groups in a
aspiration’ (DCFS, 2009; Adonis, 2008). Former Minister of State for Education
Lord Adonis described how these schools would build aspirational cultures and
act as ‘engines of social mobility and social justice’ at the ‘vanguard of meritocracy’ (Adonis, 2008). Poverty is not framed as a structural problem, but born out
of ‘cultures of low aspiration’. Academies have faced opposition for their lack of
democraticaccountability as they can set their own labour conditions, deviate
from the national curriculum and operate outside local authority control.
Urbanderry is a
although it may possess certain national particularities; rather, this chapter
will argue that to be properly understood it needs to be situated in the
international, and specifically European, crisis of capitalism. This crisis
is not only economic but also ideological in its dimensions, unleashing
an intensive ideological assault designed to rid the political system of the
last vestiges of democraticaccountability: in Europe right now, country
after country is undergoing the wholesale restructuring, not just of the
As the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire of 14 June 2017 has slowly revealed a shadowy background of outsourcing and deregulation, and a council turning a blind eye to health and safety concerns, many questions need answers. Stuart Hodkinson has those answers. Safe as Houses weaves together Stuart’s research over the last decade with residents’ groups in council regeneration projects across London to provide the first comprehensive account of how Grenfell happened and how it could easily have happened in multiple locations across the country. It draws on examples of unsafe housing either refurbished or built by private companies under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) to show both the terrible human consequences of outsourcing and deregulation and how the PFI has enabled developers, banks and investors to profiteer from highly lucrative, taxpayer-funded contracts. The book also provides shocking testimonies of how councils and other public bodies have continuously sided with their private partners, doing everything in their power to ignore, deflect and even silence those who speak out. The book concludes that the only way to end the era of unsafe regeneration and housing provision is to end the disastrous regime of self-regulation. This means strengthening safety laws, creating new enforcement agencies independent of government and industry, and replacing PFI and similar models of outsourcing with a new model of public housing that treats the provision of shelter as ‘a social service’ democratically accountable to its residents.
explored above, as well as by statements such as those investigated in Chapter 4 , are integral to the politics of identity made apparent through the proscription process. This is, not least, because of their contribution to a performance of democraticaccountability within the British political system.
1 These debates very occasionally include appeals for a slower decision-making process, as, for instance, in John McDonnell’s (2005) contribution to a House of Commons debate in which he argued: ‘I would welcome a longer time scale in terms of the indication