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
Responsibility is one of those big political words that are commonly used but whose precise meaning is often left obscure. Responsibility is a concept that implies a value judgment, but the values it embodies can differ according to the context, the discourse, and the views of the speaker. Responsibility is a state of affairs—more precisely, as the Oxford and Webster's dictionaries define it: the state, quality, or fact of being responsible. However, one can be responsible in a variety of ways, which signify various usages of the concept of responsibility. The concept of responsibility can be used to indicate that someone or something has had the power to cause a particular event to happen. In a mere descriptive sense, responsibility, in this sense of agency, coincides with causality . “Responsible for” can be replaced by “caused,” or any other expression that suggests a causal connection. Not only human agents but ...