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The Governance of Infrastructure$
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Kai Wegrich, Genia Kostka, and Gerhard Hammerschmid

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198787310

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198787310.001.0001

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Accountability Challenges in the Governance of Infrastructure

Accountability Challenges in the Governance of Infrastructure

(p.43) 3 Accountability Challenges in the Governance of Infrastructure
The Governance of Infrastructure

Jacint Jordana

Oxford University Press

Under what conditions will policy-makers be more likely to opt for additional social accountability mechanisms in order to increase legitimacy, thereby assuming the risk that their projected public investment may incur significant modifications or even a reversal? This chapter suggests that when time is the main concern, policy-makers will try to establish accountability mechanisms in order to improve transparency and increase information available to the public. When the main concerns are potential impacts of infrastructure on a territory and further externalities, typical social accountability mechanisms will tend to focus on facilitating negotiations and mutual exchanges of views, or at the very least providing information to those concerned. However, in most cases, significant effort to translate technical arguments into debates about social risks and dilemmas and to involve the acceptance of a new layer of uncertainty in the policy-making process is required.

Keywords:   infrastructure, public investment, accountability, legitimacy, transparency, policy-making, uncertainty

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