their policies. We have labeled the models a “participation” model of accountability and a “delegation” model of accountability.2
Our two basic models differ fundamentally in their answer to the question: “Who is entitled to hold the powerful accountable?” In the participation model, the performance of power-wielders is evaluated by those who are affected by their actions. In the delegation model, by contrast, performance is evaluated by those entrusting them with powers. In addition, each model has two variants distinguished by different understandings of the relation between the powerful and the publics they are meant to serve. Power-wielders are viewed either as instrumental agents of the public or as authorities with discretion. The result is a 2 x 2 table as follows:
(Table 1 goes here)
Both distinctions in the table are significant. The columns reflect the familiar distinction between democratic participation and populist theories, on the one hand, and theories emphasizing consent, legal authorization and office on the other. In the latter theories, it need not be the people as a whole, but could be some elite group or institution, that entrusts power-wielders with power. The rows distinguish between direction and control. As emphasized above, all institutional arrangements for accountability include an element of ex post control. In the second, “discretionary
2 These terms are a kind of “shorthand,” and the reader should take their meaning from the discussion that follows. Terminology varies in discussions of models of democracy or representation. Contrast Dahl (1956) who speaks of “Madisonian democracy” and “populist democracy.” See Krouse (1982) for the tension between “elite” and “participatory” democracy in J. S. Mill’s writings. See also Arendt (1963) p.237.