In Chapter 7 Papadopoulos discusses the argument around whether the growth of interactive forms of governance can be seen as an improvement of the quality of democracy through the advent of less hierarchical forms of regulation, in which negotiation and deliberation with policy takers are the norm. Papadopoulos holds the view that such an assessment should be subjected to critical scrutiny. He therefore discusses in his contribution the following three crucial facets of interactive governance’s democratic credentials: ex ante authorization (explicit delegation or not, and if so by whom); representation (of which constituencies and interests) and effective stakeholder participation (decisional influence); ex post accountability (for what, to whom, how, and with what kinds of consequences).
This chapter seeks to identify how accountability is exercised (or not) in the case of collaborative forms of governance. It first discusses accountability in interactive governance arrangements in relation to their democratic anchorage, and then scrutinizes the impact on accountability of the prevailing cooperative logic, the weak visibility of governance networks, and their loose coupling with the formal decision-making institutions. It also distinguishes between the collective accountability of governance networks and the individual accountability of participants in them. Finally, it discusses the problem of a possible disjuncture in interactive governance between accountability and democracy.