Chapter

Identifiability

Myrto Tsakatika

in Political Responsibility and the European Union

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780719075155
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701621 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719075155.003.0004
Identifiability

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Identifiability is a feature of the organisation of political institutions which ensures that the following question can always be answered in the operation of a system of governance: who was responsible? This is an important political question—especially when things go wrong. If it cannot be answered, accountability is rendered impossible. It is therefore important to explore how we go about answering the identifiability question. This chapter presents two accounts of how one is to answer: the ‘causal’ and ‘institutional’ accounts. It argues that the causal account runs into trouble when confronted with the problem of ‘many hands’. The institutional account is more helpful despite the fact that it runs up against the problem of ‘personification’.

Keywords: political institutions; governance; EU; causal accounts; institutional accounts

Chapter.  10976 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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