Horizontal Accountability: The Legal Institutionalization of Mistrust

Guillermo O'Donnell

in Democratic Accountability in Latin America

Published in print July 2003 | ISBN: 9780199256372
Published online April 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602368 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Democratization

Horizontal Accountability: The Legal Institutionalization of Mistrust

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This chapter examines horizontal accountability (HA) in Latin American state agencies. It considers two main directions in which HA may come into play: the unlawful encroachment by one state agency upon the proper authority of another; and corruption, which consists of unlawful advantages that public officials obtain for themselves and/or their associates. It argues that when the responsibilities of HA exist in the law but the respective agencies are made ineffective by superior powers, the transgressions of these powers will be facilitated, and agencies will be discredited.

Keywords: horizontal accountability; Latin America; state agencies; enroachment; corruption; institutionalisation; mistrust

Chapter.  8445 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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