accountability.” The internal dimensions include member control, procedures for appointment of senior staff, compliance mechanisms, and evaluation processes; the external dimensions include external stakeholder consultation, complaints mechanisms, corporate social responsibility; and access to information. Seven NGOs, six firms, and five multilateral organizations were evaluated, using the same standards. In the summary graphs provided in the report, scores for member control and access to information were combined. Interestingly, there were no significant differences in composite accountability ratings among these three types of organizations. Organizations of all three types ranked toward the top, and toward the bottom, of the list.17
In many issue-areas, harmonized policies are worked out among functionally-defined units of different governments, such as securities regulators, central bankers, and anti-terrorist units (Keohane and Nye 1974; Slaughter 2000; Reinecke 1999-2000). These transgovernmental networks do not provide mechanisms for public accountability. The general public is not involved, and transparency is minimal. Abuses of power might in some instances be controlled by the fragmentation of power and conflicts of interest between the participants, but cooperation among the members of such networks could easily become collusion against the interests of outsiders. The construction of transgovernmental networks therefore does not confer legitimacy even in the broad sense of fair process and benign outcomes. They provide a perfect venue for transnational conspiracies against the public interest. Here, policies can be set by the cooperation of groups, organized by industry or sector rather than nationally, with interests that conflict with those of less elite groups.
17 The average ranking for all three types of organization was between 9 and 10.