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Concept.png Accountability Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Interest ofGovernment Accountability Institute
So much talked about, so rarely applied - "accountability" in modern parlance is a synonym for "punishment".

Accountability is the state of being accountable. In modern use, the phrase "hold accountable" is a preferred synonym for "punish". In practice, the culture of impunity prevents this from being used about deep politicians or senior officials.

"Open government"

Full article: “Open government”

The phase "open government", like the word "accountability" is language popularly employed to try to obscure the increasing opacity and counterproductivity of the real workings of government.


In a 2017 piece about the rise of the deep state, Karel van Wolferen explained the difficulties that arise for that senior deep state operatives accustomed to a culture of impunity. “Accountability remains something that is assumed in the United States as well as the nations of the European Union. In Japan it is not. Accountability, everyone will agree, is good and necessary for democratic transparency and related platitudes. But there is a less immediately obvious but an actual primary reason why you want structures enforcing it in a political system. Its less visible function is that it protects powerholders against madness. When officials and politicians are held to account they are not only kept on their toes, but they themselves are forcefully reminded of what precisely it is that they are doing. If they do not accustom themselves to making a convincing case for their policies to outsiders, they tend to lose the habit of explaining it all to themselves.” [1]

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  1. , 4 April 2017