How does increasing government accountability to its citizens increase policy capacity? In this chapter, we build on the strategic interaction approach to provide a theoretical framework of governmentâ€™s credible accountability that increases policy capacity. Importantly, the governmentâ€™s credible accountability rests on its commitment to specific processes that embody transparency, accountability, and responsiveness that are independent of democratic progress. Drawing on evidence from East and Southeast Asiaâ€”specifically, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysiaâ€”during the 1997â€“1998 Asian Financial Crisis, we show how each governmentâ€™s demonstration or failure to demonstrate credible accountability affected its policy capacity. This chapter makes three contributions to the literature. First, it provides a theoretical framework for building policy capacity through the governmentâ€™s credible accountability. This departs from prevailing economic-growth explanations of policy capacity in East and Southeast Asia. Second, this evidence maps citizensâ€™ quiescence to government accountability rather than citizensâ€™ passiveness or ignorance; thus, the model treats citizens as active and strategic. Third, the increased policy capacity reveals an overlooked process that increases government accountability without compromising the governmentâ€™s policy reach or absorbing its resources.
|Title of host publication||Policy Capacity and Governance: Assessing Governmental Competences and Capabilities in Theory and Practice|
|Editors||Xun Wu, Michael Howlett and M. Ramesh|
|Place of Publication||United Kingdom|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|