Revista de Sociologia e Política
Print version ISSN 0104-4478
MARIA, João Francisco Araújo. Institutional design and accountability: normative proposals of minimalist theory. Rev. Sociol. Polit. [online]. 2010, vol.18, n.35, pp. 27-40. ISSN 0104-4478. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-44782010000100003.
This article attempts to systematize some contributions from contemporary theory (Schumpeter, Riker, McGann, Przeworski, Cox, McCubbins, Powell, Crisp, Arato and Lijphart, among others) on the limits of preference aggregation and on the most propitious institutional bases for the development of accountability. Through this analysis, we seek to demonstrate the link between minimalist theories of democracy and their normative bases, and in particular, the value that is placed on the dimension of accountability. It is our hypothesis that there is no absence of normativity in the minimalist-proceduralist-Schumpeterian conception of democracy. We have tried to show this through analysis of the relationship between institutional design and accountability. We seek to demonstrate how the institutional design of democratic regimes influences the formation of the characteristics of a democracy, which can be understood as indicators of the quality of democracy (in other words, the normative dimension of democracy.) Our analysis unfolds through the differentiation of majoritarian and proportionalist designs and the institutional and normative characteristics that are tied to them, attempting to make contemporary arguments on the impossibility of preference aggregation and the relationship between institutional design-accountability explicit. The methodology we use consists of systematizing central arguments and carrying out theoretical analysis of the books and articles of selected authors.
Keywords : accountability; institutional design; Schumpeter; Democratic Theory; preference aggregation.