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
Interinstitutional accountability is a form of horizontal accountability in which the different institutions provide a check on one another's behavior. The legislature is supposed to check the actions of the executive branch of government. The judiciary, especially constitutional courts, oversees the behavior of governing and representative institutions. Independent authorities—that is, all those agencies with power of oversight on specifically relevant aspects, such as central banks, regulatory agencies, and ombudspersons, or those authorities who oversee the regulation of media and communication or of competition—indirectly check the government and can be controlled by it in their actual working. Party government remains the best “mechanism” for interinstitutional accountability when party appointees and party representatives are accountable horizontally to their leaders and vertically to the voters. This entry first discusses the definition of interinstitutional accountability and its evolution in Europe and the United States. It then considers ways in which such accountability has been ...