Accountability Without Democracy: Solidary Groups and Public by Lily L. Tsai

By Lily L. Tsai

This booklet examines the elemental factor of the way voters get executive officers to supply them with the roads, faculties, and different public providers they want by way of learning groups in rural China. In authoritarian and transitional structures, formal associations for containing executive officers dependable are usually vulnerable. the reply, Lily L. Tsai discovered, lies in a community's social associations. even if formal democratic and bureaucratic associations of responsibility are vulnerable, executive officers can nonetheless be topic to casual ideas and norms created through group solidary teams that experience earned excessive ethical status in the neighborhood.

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The causal mechanisms that the model of informal accountability posits as linking embeddedness to good governmental performance and public 25 Evans, Embedded Autonomy. 17 P1: SBT 0521871976c01 CUNY805/Tsai 978 0 521 87197 6 September 22, 2007 17:49 Accountability without Democracy goods provision also differ from the ones highlighted by existing theories of social capital. 26 Higher levels of trust can facilitate higher levels of cooperation, which can lead to better governmental public goods provision, especially if public projects require inputs from both citizens and government.

Those who choose to be part of the solidary group have access to the group’s moral authority as long as they fulfill their obligations to the collective. When officials are embedded in 23 24 16 As Alejandro Portes has noted, levels of social capital are often equated with levels of associational involvement and civic participation and measured by indicators such as newspaper reading and membership in voluntary associations. Alejandro Portes, “Social Capital: Its Origins and Applications in Modern Sociology,” Annual Review of Sociology 24, no.

The interviews with current village officials, past officials, officials at higher levels, and ordinary villagers that I did for these case studies allowed me to do several things that I could not do with the survey data. Like the survey, the case studies were designed to evaluate and isolate the impact of the primary explanatory factors of interest so they allowed me to evaluate different theories in terms of the factors these theories identified as critical for governmental performance and public goods provision.

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