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Sequence organization was the pioneering insight that gave rise to conversation analysis (CA) and it remains the primary assumption in CA studies about how discourse is structured and how speakers manage their talk. In order to study discourse in an empirically grounded way, we must demonstrate how our analysis reflects the participants’ understanding of their own talk. CA does this through the concept of “response relevance.” When a speaker talks, they make relevant some “next” response, so speakers are always responding to some prior turn and simultaneously making relevant a next turn. In this way, participants demonstrate their understandings of prior talk while responding. These demonstrations form the basis of the “next turn proof procedure,” which is how CA uses participants’ responses as demonstrations of participants’ own analyses of prior talk. In this chapter, I explain how CA’s focus on sequence and “next” turns allows for an empirical understanding of how discourse is organized. I first outline the principles of sequence organization, starting with the concept of response relevance and adjacency pairs, before explaining pre-, insert and post-expansion components. Next, I review sequence research from the past four decades, highlighting the focus on specific sequences such as pre-sequences, storytelling and the effect of institutional contexts. More recent streams in sequence research include the investigation of “lapses” or discontinuities in interaction, the attempts to describe overall sequence structures of full (typically institutional) encounters, the focus on temporality, and investigations of closing sequences. Finally, I discuss the (sometimes uncritical) use of the words “activity” and “project” in CA research, and what evidence is presented for its effect on sequence.
Using the case of two important British colonial governors, this chapter argues that there was a humanitarian governance organized around humanitarianism that highlighted protection of the local populations from the settlers, and a humanitarian governance organized around rights that considered the local populations as having a case for independence.
Embedded in psychological ethics is the principle of nonmaleficence – psychologists should endeavor to “do no harm.” Consistent with fundamental human rights, psychologists aim to protect integrity and dignity; secure development and fulfillment of lives; and ensure the well-being of individuals, groups, and communities. Psychological science and practice contains knowledge and insights that can be used to promote these aims. Unfortunately, this knowledge too often has been used to obstruct human integrity, destroy mental capacity and psychological health, and diminish the well-being and security of both persons and peoples. This chapter focuses on ways in which psychologists and psychological knowledge in different ways and at different levels may become part of an abusive culture that both violates human rights and fosters social injustice. In this chapter, we discuss psychologists’ involvement in torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment across a range of settings. Through a case example, we highlight the interplay between direct and structural forms of violence and the path to harm created by ethical decision making devoid of human rights analyses. The need for a clear ethical and human rights–based approach in psychology is argued, including ways of dealing with violations and claiming accountability for crimes against humanity.
Locke was a mortalist, as he argued that the soul dies with the body. He thought that the resurrection of the dead will take place by divine miracle on Judgment Day, when the saved will be admitted to eternal beatitude while the wicked will experience a second, final death. He was also agnostic about the ontological constitution of thinking substances or souls. Moreover, he questioned the resurrection of the body, since he argued that our corruptible, mortal bodies will be changed into incorruptible, spiritual bodies at resurrection. Locke’s position on the soul and the resurrection of the dead implies that personal identity is neither in the soul, nor in the body, nor in a union of soul and body. In "Essay" II.xxvii (1694, 2nd ed.), he argued that consciousness alone makes personal identity. To Locke, the same self exists diachronically, in this life and beyond it, “by the same consciousness.” However, Locke’s “annexing” of punishment to personality, and of personality to consciousness, does not contradict his notion of repentance, for he saw repentance as necessary but not sufficient to salvation and, emphasizing faith, he believed in God’s forgiveness of the repentant faithful.
This chapter looks at how the government should be held accountable for the purpose of the ideal accountability benchmark. This requires attention both to the procedures by which accountability is delivered (eg the nature of the accountability forum and how it performs its role) as well as the ultimate consequences of the accountability process (eg sanctions and remedies). This chapter explores these two ideas, asking what processes and consequences might be most relevant for the purpose of each of the various accountability rationales. For example, if the goal is to punish wrongdoing, it might be appropriate to apply highly punitive sanctions tempered by procedures with built-in protection such as a high burden of proof. On the other hand, if the goal is to ensure redress for those who suffer harm as a consequence of government wrongdoing, it might be more appropriate to apply restorative remedies via victim-friendly procedures. In order to design an accountability benchmark that can be used to identify accountability deficits and overloads, it is necessary to consider the most suitable means to achieve whatever ends we assign to the overarching concept of accountability.
This chapter demonstrates the utility of adopting a ‘systemic’ view of accountability mechanisms by analysing the operation of the mechanisms which were brought to bear in three real-world scenarios of government wrongdoing and maladministration. So, for example, this chapter notes that anti-corruption commissions and the criminal law can operate in a staged and co-operative manner, and that judicial review and tort law can operate in an interdependent manner. This chapter makes clear that any potential deficits and overloads identified using an accountability benchmark may be resolved or ameliorated by mapping out the ways in which accountability mechanisms interact with one another.
This chapter explores the complex question of for what an agent should be held accountable for the purpose of defining the ideal accountability benchmark. Given the breadth of this question, this chapter focuses on two of the 'building blocks' that might be relevant in defining the standards of conduct against which government performance might be measured: fault and outcomes. Even at this level of abstraction, the task of establishing an accountability benchmark is a difficult one, with each accountability rationale suggesting a different approach. For instance, if our goal is punishment we might think it appropriate to limit accountability to cases of intentional wrongdoing. On the other hand, if our goal is redress we might be more concerned with the outcomes of an official's actions rather than their intentions. In order to define a benchmark, it would be necessary to engage with difficult philosophical questions about when it is appropriate to hold another person accountable for their actions, and the inherent complexity of this task might be one explanation for the lack of detailed consideration of these ideas in the existing literature.
This chapter explores two key difficulties encountered in deciding to whom an agent should be accountable for the purpose of an ideal accountability benchmark. First, there are a multiplicity of factors that might influence a prosecutor’s capacity and interest to undertake that role (eg resources, skills and motives). Secondly, we will likely reach differing views on the best choice of prosecutor depending on which accountability rationale we are interested in promoting. So, for instance, if our goal is punishment of wrongdoing we might think it appropriate that this is managed by a state prosecutor to reinforce the seriousness of a transgression. On the other hand, if our goal is to control public power we might think it appropriate to have a very open regime in order to maximise the likelihood that a prosecutor will volunteer for the task. It would be necessary to confront and resolve these difficult questions in order to define a benchmark of accountability.
UN peace operations have increasingly focused on the importance of “local ownership.” The logic is simple. For peace operations to succeed in helping war-torn states to create accountable, democratic institutions grounded in the rule of law, peace operations need to internalize democratic principles by making UN missions accountable to different domestic constituencies—crossing ethnic, religious, racial, social, and gender lines—within the war-torn country. As part of a special issue on “The United Nations at Seventy-Five: Looking Back to Look Forward,” this essay argues that while there is widespread consensus among UN member states and UN bureaucrats that local ownership is necessary, UN peace operations have faced significant obstacles to creating true local ownership. These obstacles include the UN's focus on host-government ownership; the challenge of creating trust with different domestic constituencies that represent diverse perspectives; the supply-driven nature of UN intervention; and the mismatch between the UN's ideal post-conflict state and the preferences of post-conflict societies. To make UN peace operations more responsive to post-conflict societies, UN staff often have to bend or break rules established only to hold them accountable to their member states.
Part one of this book introduces readers to the concept of accountability, setting out the range of current theoretical debates on the meaning and scope of the concept. It further introduces readers to the concepts of accountability deficits (ie too little accountability) and accountability overloads (ie too much accountability), explaining the role that these concepts play in the context of discussions about public governance. Ultimately, it is argued that more theoretical work needs to be done to give shape to these ideas.
Accountability is often referred to as an essential feature of modern democratic society, said to underpin the legitimacy of government. In this context, it is common to hear claims of accountability ‘deficit’ (ie that a particular mechanism or area is lacking in accountability) and ‘overload’ (ie that a particular mechanism or area over-delivers on accountability). Despite the frequency of references to these concepts, their precise content remains undeveloped. This book offers an explanation of the concepts of accountability deficit and overload, as well as a framework for future discussion and exploration of these ideas. It outlines the scale of the challenges of defining an accountability benchmark and developing a picture of accountability mechanisms as a system. While difficult, if accountability is indeed a foundational concept underpinning our system of government, there is merit in meeting these challenges head-on.
In order to further demonstrate the difficulties inherent in defining an accountability benchmark, this chapter describes a hypothetical benchmark which offers tentative answers to the series of questions posed in foregoing chapters. It then deploys that benchmark in three real-world scenarios of government maladministration and wrongdoing that might be thought to demand an accountability response. This exercise reveals the difficulty of defining and deploying a benchmark of accountability in the effort to identify areas of deficit and overload, as well as offering a number of areas for further investigation in future accountability studies.
This chapter explores the first key idea that must be considered in order to understand accountability mechanisms as a system, which is to appreciate that the system strikes a delicate balance of features as between mechanisms. In many cases, claims about accountability deficits or overload rest on assumptions about particular ‘strengths’ or ‘weaknesses’ of a mechanism. For instance, the high costs of legal proceedings might be cast as a ‘weakness’ of that accountability mechanism and therefore as an accountability deficit. The argument made in this chapter is that these features must be contextualised within the system before such a claim can be made, as the ‘weaknesses’ in one mechanism might be ameliorated by the ‘strengths’ in another. The features reviewed include accessibility, cost, flexibility, coerciveness, autonomy, independence and permanence.
One of the most prevalent themes in the accountability literature is claims about the ‘amount’ of accountability that applies in a given situation. There are claims of accountability ‘deficits’ (ie too little accountability) on the one hand, and claims of accountability ‘overload’ (ie too much accountability) on the other. This chapter draws out these claims and argues that, while these claims presuppose that accountability is a measurable concept, the literature often glosses over the underlying question of what is being measured, or how the measurement is to be conducted. This missing dimension of the literature is the core problem tackled in this book, which unpacks two of the hidden assumptions that underlie these claims. The first of these assumptions is that it is possible to identify some form of accountability benchmark, being a normative judgement as to the ‘ideal amount’ of accountability against which an arrangement can be measured and found wanting. The second is that it is possible to assess the universe of applicable accountability mechanisms against that benchmark, and to form a judgement as to whether the system underperforms (deficit) or overperforms (overload).
Part two of this book explores the various challenges that must be confronted in defining a ‘benchmark’ of accountability. It commences by identifying the underlying rationales for accountability, and then addresses the various issues thrown up when seeking to transform the mechanistic description of accountability (ie who is accountable, to whom, for what and how) into a normative account (ie who should be accountable to whom, for what and how). If we were able to do so, we would then have a yardstick against which we could measure the performance of accountability mechanisms and find them wanting.
Part three of this book unpacks the second hidden assumption underpinning claims of accountability deficit and overload, which is that the claimant has considered all available accountability mechanisms and identified either a gap or overlap in the operation of that system. The chapters in this part explore the ideas that must be addressed in order to conceive of accountability mechanisms as a system.
There is an extensive body of literature addressing the concept of accountability, replete with overlapping definitions. This chapter introduces readers to this wide body of cross-disciplinary literature to provide a picture of areas of agreement and disagreement amongst theorists. Though accountability remains a contested concept, there is general agreement that accountability refers to a relational mechanism that can be analysed within the framework of the questions: who is accountable, to whom, for what, and how? One of the largest unresolved questions about accountability, as explored in this chapter, is whether it is simply a mechanical concept (ie a description of a mechanism with certain attributes) or more broadly reflects a value or ideal (ie the notion of being an accountable person). The conclusion drawn here is that it is particularly difficult to divorce the concept of accountability from a normative background in discussing concepts of accountability deficits and overloads. Each of these concepts rests on the normative assumption that it is possible to identity an ‘ideal amount’ of accountability.
One of the most important questions that must be tackled in defining a benchmark of accountability is to identify its purpose, objective or rationale. The first challenge is to identify the underlying purpose or rationale for accountability. After all, we cannot hope to say whether an amount of accountability is ‘ideal’ unless we can indicate what an ideal status quo position looks like. This chapter identifies the overarching goal of accountability as being to reinforce the legitimacy of government. In a more concrete sense, that overarching goal is supported through five rationales. The first is transparency, which is concerned with providing the public with a means to scrutinise government decisions and operations. The second is control, which is concerned with providing the public with a means to ensure that the government complies with relevant requirements. The third is redress, which is concerned with providing redress to individuals harmed by government wrongdoing. The fourth is desert, which is concerned with condemning wrongdoing, and the fifth is deterrence, which is about encouraging improved processes going forward.
This chapter looks at the various choices that must be made in deciding who should be held accountable pursuant to an accountability mechanism. Some of the key difficulties discussed include the sheer size and complexity of modern government, particularly in a federal system; that government operations are increasingly performed via co-operation between different entities and individuals, making it difficult to pinpoint a ‘wrongdoer’; the increasing trend of privatisation and outsourcing; and underlying philosophical questions about our conception of government, including whether it should be treated as a corporate entity or a collection of individuals. Once those difficulties have been confronted, it is then necessary to make choices about what approach best suits the selected rationale(s) for accountability. For instance, the desert rationale might favour holding individual wrongdoers directly accountable, whereas the redress rationale might favour holding the government accountable as an entity on the basis that it is in a better position to provide an appropriate remedy.
This chapter explores the second key challenge in mapping out accountability mechanisms as a system, which is to appreciate the nature of the relationships between them. Often, claims of accountability deficit and overload presuppose that mechanisms operate entirely independently from one another. However, on closer inspection it is possible to see that there is a range of dynamics in play. In addition to independent mechanisms, this chapter canvasses situations where mechanisms may operate in a mutually exclusive, staged, interdependent and co-operative manner.