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Dignified Public Expression: A New Logic of Political Accountability

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Research on political accountability emphasizes elections and popular control, but often neglects how ordinary people hold their leaders to account in the context of daily life. Dominant scholarly approaches emphasize the logic of electoral sanctioning and removal, missing the importance of mutual respect between representatives and citizens. This article introduces a new logic of democratic accountability based on the social practices, daily political behaviors, and public deliberation between representatives and citizens. Using urban Ghana as a study site, this article uncovers the mechanisms through which a theory based on respect works in practice. By reconciling theories of political representation with deliberative democracy, the article places the voices of urban Ghanaians in conversation with Western political thought to broaden understandings of accountability in African democracies.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2019

This article was made available online on July 12, 2019 as a Fast Track article with title: "Dignified Public Expression: A New Logic of Political Accountability".

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  • Comparative Politics is an international journal that publishes scholarly articles devoted to the comparative analysis of political institutions and behavior. It was founded in 1968 to further the development of comparative political theory and the application of comparative theoretical analysis to the empirical investigation of political issues. Comparative Politics communicates new ideas and research findings to social scientists, scholars, and students, and is valued by experts in research organizations, foundations, and consulates throughout the world.
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