Department of Political Science


Democracy and Accountability: Holding Power to Account

Course Code


Course Tutor

Professor Tony Wright (Department of Political Science)


One 3,000 word essay

Credit Value


About this course

The course examines the variety of mechanisms and institutions which have been developed to scrutinize government and hold it to account. Each week will focus on a different area, with an invited speaker who is a practitioner in the area under discussion. The institutional focus will be linked to continuing discussion of the nature of scrutiny and accountability.

Course aims

The aims of the course are to:

  • enable students to think critically about the concepts of accountability and scrutiny.
  • introduce students to some of the main mechanisms and institutions that have been developed to hold government to account, primarily at the national level but also at the European and global levels.

Course objectives

By the end of the course students will:

  • have a better understanding of the ways in which government is scrutinized and held to account, at different levels.
  • have a critical appreciation of issues surrounding scrutiny and accountability.