Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Electoral accountability is best interpreted as a three-phase process and a feedback. Political actors looking for election will first try to take into account the preferences of the voters. If elected, they will then keep into account what they have heard and learned during the electoral campaign. Returning to the voters, they will give an account of their behavior and their performance. Even those representatives who do not run again will retain some electoral accountability, because none of them would want to ruin the electoral chances of his or her party and successor. Electoral accountability lies at the heart of all processes of democratic representation. It is a complex, multilayered phenomenon entailing three quite distinct, though interrelated, phases and several individual and collective actors. It is significantly affected and, in some ways, shaped by the electoral system and, more generally, by the institutional arrangements. Electoral accountability begins when a relationship ...