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From the Publisher"Legislatures legislate while executives execute, but legislatures must also oversee the executive so that what is executed is in line with what was legislated. Legislative oversight of government is not only an important aspect of executive-legislative relations, it is essential for the quality of democracy. Pelizzo and Stapenhurst show that oversight is crucial; that it involves not just capacity (tools) but also effectiveness (ability, desire), and that greater capacity does not necessarily mean greater effectiveness. While accountability still means different things in different countries, and in different political systems, this book refines the notion, presents extensive comparative data, and strengthens our understanding of how and why legislative capacity affects the effectiveness of government oversight. This short book packs a mighty research punch – if only legislatures could be as effective!"
—Reuven Y. Hazan, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
"This thoughtful, comprehensive, and practical piece of work can make an important contribution to understanding how to curb government corruption. Its succinct survey of the literature on the effectiveness of oversight tools and accessible presentation of the Stapenhurst Pelizzo Index of Legislative Oversight (SPILO) demonstrates the analytic utility of bringing together tools for internal oversight tools alongside external contextual factors to demonstrate just when legislative oversight actually works. And its cogent discussion of political will demonstrates one way that voters can help to provide impetus for increased legislative effectiveness in compelling a government to be held accountable for its actions. It is a step forward in the development of this interesting and practical approach to policy research."
—Mark Baskin, University at Albany-SUNY