As non-majoritarian institutions are deliberately insulated from electoral pressure and ministerial hierarchy, they face an accountability deficit. This deficit can be reduced by embedding the organizations in a wider accountability landscape with multiple forums. Of particular relevance in this landscape are the news media, who may not only serve as account-holders, but can also reinforce other forms of accountability. Yet, we know little about the conditions under which the media cover non-majoritarian governance, and the existence of ‘reinforced accountability’. Focusing empirically on news articles about the Bank of England (1997-2020), we trace coverage levels back to the announcement of key policy decisions and, to some extent, policy outcomes. We also find evidence of reinforced accountability, both in relation to parliamentary oversight and the Bank’s own, voluntary account-giving. These results provide reason for cautious optimism about non-majoritarian accountability, at least in the case of a salient organization.
|Accepted/In press - 7 Apr 2023
- non-majoritarian institutions
- media coverage
- reinforced accountability