supervisory boards, courts, fiscal watchdogs, markets, and peers all take the reputations of agents into account. Indeed, reputation is a form of “soft power,” defined as “the ability to shape the preferences of others” (Nye 2004: 5). The category of public reputational accountability is meant to apply to situations in which reputation, widely and publicly known, provides a mechanism for accountability even in the absence of other mechanisms as well as in conjunction with them.
There are also processes that do not meet the standards for accountability but that serve to constrain power. As in a system of checks and balances, overlapping jurisdictions or interest areas may require actors to compromise with one another to secure the cooperation necessary to define or implement policy. Such a situation is characterized by negotiation constraints. Since our ultimate goal is to provide greater restraints on the abuse of power, negotiation constraints are properly included in this analysis, though they are not accountability mechanisms, and therefore do not appear in Figure 1.
Accountability Constraints on Power-Wielders
How do these mechanisms constrain the major otherwise legitimate (or not ipso facto illegitimate) power-wielders in world politics? The most accountable of these power-wielders are probably those toward which, ironically, the most accountability-criticism is directed: multilateral organizations such as the World Trade Organization, IMF, World Bank, European Commission, and United Nations. State officials closely supervise all of these entities. Indeed, these organizations are constrained from the start since the legitimacy of their actions is often judged simultaneously by three different sets of potentially conflicting standards: by whether they serve the interests of their member