Cover: Democratic Accountability: Why Choice in Politics Is Both Possible and Necessary, from Harvard University PressCover: Democratic Accountability in HARDCOVER

Democratic Accountability

Why Choice in Politics Is Both Possible and Necessary

Add to Cart

Product Details


$67.00 • £53.95 • €60.50

ISBN 9780674024755

Publication Date: 03/15/2007


264 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

11 line illustrations, 2 tables


This is a powerful book about the relationship between citizens and leaders in a democracy. The former and the latter are linked by accountability, the concept that Lewin places at the heart of his analysis. The analysis is clear, the case studies illustrating the analysis are compelling. This work will occupy an important place on the bookshelf of democratic politics.—Sidney Verba, Harvard University

Democratic Accountability ascends far above both the meticulous methodological commitments so dominant in contemporary political science and the tediously trivial arguments advanced by so much contemporary political research to embrace fundamental questions of the first importance in a manner both lively and informative. This is a most original and striking book, both in the sheer erudition Lewin displays and the moral urgency that animates the work.—Russell Muirhead, The University of Texas at Austin

This is an intriguing book in the field of policy analysis. Lewin gives seven arguments and counter-examples from the historical, philosophical, and policy analysis literatures to make the point that “Choice is possible!.” This is an excellent strategy, and makes a very novel and engaging book.—Eleanor Ostrom, Indiana University

In this stimulating analysis, Leif Lewin wrestles with one of the most frustrating problems of contemporary democracy, the difficulty of holding elected leaders responsible for policies. The difficulty is based on the objective complexity and interdependence of policymaking in the modern state and on the tendency of politicians to use that context deliberately to avoid responsibility when policies go bad. The temptation, of course, is understandable, although not, as Lewin reminds us, ethically excusable.—G. Bingham Powell, Jr., Political Science Quarterly

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Cover: A Theory of Justice: Original Edition, by John Rawls, from Harvard University Press

John Rawls: Speaking in a Shared Political Language

On the occasion of the anniversary of the publication of A Theory of Justice, Andrius Gališanka, author of John Rawls: The Path to a Theory of Justice, reflects on some of Rawls’s ideas on moral and political reasoning