The Dilemma of Accountability in Modern Government: Independence versus Control

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Whilst the CUC Code explicitly requires the establishment of audit, nomination and remuneration committees to monitor accounting, internal control, risk, appointment and remuneration issues, it does not require HEIs to set up a GCOM to closely monitor compliance with its governance recommendations contained in the guide. Consequently, we argue that HEIs that establish a GCOM to directly and continuously monitor their compliance with governance requirements contained in the guide on their own volition i.

The relationship between the presence of a GCOM and voluntary disclosure is generally under-researched, and thus this renders it a fertile area for examination, especially in the case of HEIs. Empirically, and using South African listed firms from to , Ntim et al. Thus, we hypothesise that: H6. There is a positive association between the presence of a GCOM and the extent of voluntary disclosure.

The quality, status and size of the external audit firm has been observed to be crucial factor in the corporate sector e. Datar et al. From a public accountability perspective, the external auditor is a key monitoring mechanism, which seeks to alleviate agency costs and large audit firms have the power to self-select clients Adelopo, and can impose changes in accounting and disclosure to maintain their reputation.

This finding reflects a propensity for HEIs to appoint large and reputable audit firms and it is also noted that there is a significant correlation between the use of a BIG4 audit firm and the so-called traditional universities pres. However, the consequences for public accountability are not explicitly considered in this audit fee study, whilst Gordon et al. The findings show that almost all the surveyed private institutions 96 per cent rely on a BIG6 audit firm, whilst only 57 per cent of the public institutions have appointed a large private firm and most of the remaining institutions rely on state auditors.

In the case of public institutions, there was support for the hypothesis that universities with state auditors disclosed more than those audited by public accounting firms and in considering the full sample of private and public institutions, a lower level of disclosure was associated with universities audited by the BIG6 audit firms.

The authors interpret this result in light of the public accountability ethos orientation that is often inherent in terms of relationships with state-level rather than private-sector auditors. However, and from a public accountability theoretical, external auditors, especially the Big4 audit firms have a public interest role to play and thus, it can be argued that UK HEIs audited by the Big4 audit firms may engage in increased voluntary disclosure than those that are not.

However, the extent to which such actions would be reflected in terms of high voluntary disclosure remains to be examined. As a result, we contend that: H7. There is a significant association between audit firm quality and the extent of voluntary disclosure. First, the governing board has the ultimate responsibility for all the affairs of the university, including governance, academic, risk, financial and non-financial matters. As previously noted and in practice, financial leadership and governance, including auditing, financial reporting and risk management is mostly carried out through the audit committee of the governing board.

Third, the senate is responsible for administering all academic affairs of the institution, including developing the curricula, promoting research and improving teaching quality. The senate is accountable to both the governing board and the university executive management team, especially the VC.

Thus, in order to run an institution in the public interest, there exist apparent lines of accountabilities, responsibilities and interactions among these three bodies. With particular focus on financial reporting, accounting and auditing, a considerable amount of interaction typically occurs among the governing board e. Therefore, we suggest that the extent and quality of voluntary disclosure may be influenced by the extent to which the university executive team is able to interact effectively with the governing board and the senate, akin to a collegial form of management predicated by Middlehurst and a shared governance model outlined by Taylor a.

According to Parker , this would be reflected into a centralised decision-making process by the executive and a tendency to privilege narrow forms of accountability that are more restricted to the financial aspects or to the demands of powerful parties such as government and regulators, and thereby marginalising a broader form of voluntary disclosure to society and community. Thus, and arguably the higher lower the quality of interaction between the university executive team and governing board, the higher lower we will expect the voluntary disclosure to be.

As a result, our final hypothesis is that: H8. The higher lower the university executive team interactive quality, the more less positive negative is the link between the governance mechanisms and extent of voluntary disclosure. As the results of previous studies indicate that HEI size tend to drive voluntary disclosures Gray and Haslam, ; Banks et al. In total, HEIs met this criterion, and thus represented our final sample used in conducting our quantitative analysis.

England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland , as well as pre- and post compositions. In this case, the final sample of is almost equally split, consisting of 66 post and 64 pre HEIs. Overall, the sampled HEIs represented approximately 79 per cent of the entire population of UK HEIs and represent a large sample relative to previous empirical work in the UK and elsewhere e.

Banks et al. We collected two main types of secondary data relating to the: internal governance and managerial structures, such as board and subcommittee characteristics; and public accountability and transparency index PATI , which is our main proxy for voluntary disclosure. The internal governance, PATI and financial variables, were collected primarily from the sampled HEIs annual reports, which we downloaded from their various websites. We classify our variables used in testing H1-H8 into four main types with the Table AI and Table I presenting how we measured each of them.

As noted previously, the PATI is constructed based on a modified version i. To briefly explain, Coy and Dixon developed their PAI in the NZ HEIs setting by first carrying out a critical and in-depth construction of a voluntary disclosure index, particularly in relation to the use of dichotomous and un-weighted scores. They then identified a total of voluntary disclosure items of relevance to the HEI sector and surveyed by a way of a Delphi exercise, 39 HEI stakeholders ranging from student representative, finance officers to governing board members on the relative importance of these items.

After several iterations, Coy and Dixon narrowed the index to a total of 58 items classified into eight categories and a weighted approach was also implemented. Tooley and Guthrie, ; Ling Wei et al. In light of the different UK regulatory context and the time period, we reviewed the voluntary disclosure items for a number of UK HEIs annual reports as a pilot and concluded that the majority of the items and headings were relevant to our study, except for the following changes. Overall, however, we contend that these changes are relatively minimal and do not preclude a meaningful comparison to studies relying on the PAI or close variants thereof.

The respective HEIs actual score is then expressed as a percentage of the total potential score. This procedure is also followed for the sub-sections or the sub-indices of the total PATI. Generally, and by construction, the PATI inherently seeks to measure both quality and quantity dimensions of HEIs voluntary disclosure.

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Finally, to account for potential omitted variables bias Gujarati, ; Petersen, ; Larcker and Rusticus, ; Wooldridge, , we include a number of control variables. For the sake of brevity, we do not articulate specific theoretical links between these control variables and our voluntary disclosure proxy i. Given the cross-sectional nature of our data, we begin our analyses by running cross-sectional ordinary least squares OLS regression.

We report the empirical analyses, including the descriptive statistics, bivariate and multivariate regression analyses and robustness analyses in the following sections. Examination of the summary descriptive statistics reveals a number of interesting findings. First, in line with the findings of past studies Gray and Haslam, ; Banks et al.

For example, the PATI ranges from a minimum of For instance, voluntary disclosures relating to community services COM spans from a minimum of 0 per cent to a maximum of Observably, the lowest average voluntary disclosure relates to teaching services: output and outcomes TOUT , whilst the highest relates to university overview UNI. This evidence offers support for the findings of Banks et al. At the same time, there is evidence of significant differences in some of the sub-indices.

Third, the control variables in Panel D also exhibits similar wide spread in their distribution. For example, the oldest HEI is Noticeably, and on average, Third, Table IV reports descriptive statistics relating to the internal governance structures, which depict variability.

This is broadly in line with the recommendations contained in the CUC guide, which suggests that governing boards should between 12 and Comparatively, university executive size ETSIZE is smaller than governing boards with an average size of about 12 members. Comparatively, however, governing boards are more diverse than university executive teams, with only an average of The noticeable findings suggesting low levels of gender and ethnic diversity within UK HEIs governing boards are roughly consistent with those reported by past studies e. Carter et al. Similarly, the average governing board meets about 5 times GBMS in a year ranging from three to ten times compared with the average university executive team that meets about 13 times, ranging from a minimum of three and a maximum of 48 times in a year.

Finally, and although the summary descriptive statistics generally suggest convergence of internal governance structures between pre- and post HEIs, a comparison of differences in means and medians indicates some significant differences in a number of governance arrangements. Table IV reports the correlation matrix for the variables used in our regression analysis to test for multicollinearity.

In a similar vein, the bivariate correlations among the variables are fairly low, which suggests that any remaining multicollinearity problems do not appear to be statistically harmful. Moreover, and similar to the findings previous studies Banks et al. Our findings generally indicate that some of our internal governance variables have the capacity to explain cross-sectional differences in the PATI. Yermack, This may, however, reflect the different structure of the audit market at the time in the US with a big six audit firms instead of big four audit firms relative to the current context in the UK.

Theoretically, we suggest that this evidence offers empirical support for our multi-theoretical framework that incorporates insights from public accountability, legitimacy, stakeholder and resource dependence theories. For example, from a public accountability and legitimacy perspectives, IGOV are mindful of the public interest and societal expectations, and thus appear to contribute to better communication and transparency, via the extent of voluntary reporting and disclosure. Similarly, HEIs can show greater commitment to high levels of voluntary disclosure in order to signal congruence of their goals with the initiatives, values, norms, rules and regulations that emanate from powerful stakeholders i.

One way of signalling such congruence and gain legitimacy from such influential stakeholders is to appoint more IGOV. Equally, voluntarily disclosing more information can offer access to crucial resources i. Similarly, and jointly, our GBDIV findings seem to provide high empirical support for legitimacy and stakeholder theoretical predictions. Specifically, they suggest that governing boards of diverse ethnic and gender origins may not only be able to improve public accountability and transparency disclosures by providing stronger links with internal and external stakeholders i.

Therefore, increased independence, expertise and responsibility often associated with audit committee work, supported by an internal audit function, makes its members more predisposed to react directly to instrumental concerns stakeholder and resource dependence regarding voluntary disclosure, as well as able to recommend top management to engage in increased levels of voluntary disclosure.

In contrast, but in line with the evidence from the correlation matrix, the coefficients relating to the control variables in Model 1 of Table V suggest that larger LNTA , riskier RISK and better performing financial FINP HEIs are more likely to make significantly more voluntary disclosures, whilst those experiencing faster growth in terms of total income GROWTH tend to make significantly less voluntary disclosures.

Of particular interest was the result that HEIs with a higher variability in income tend to disclose more information. Second, our results so far indicate that cross-sectional variations in the PATI can largely be accounted for by some of our internal governance variables, but since the PATI incorporates voluntary disclosures from eight different sub-themes, it is possible for the relationship between each sub-theme and the internal governance variables to differ, with some potentially having strong relationships with the internal governance variables and others maintaining weak connections.

We conduct a number of additional analyses in order to specifically test H8 , but generally as well as to test the robustness of our results. The findings of our interaction analyses are reported in Models of Table VI. Observably, the interaction has strengthened the statistical power of our all our models.

This new evidence implies that the university executive team variables have a moderating or interacting effect on the connection between the internal governance variables and the level of voluntary disclosure the PATI , and thus H8 is empirically supported. It also means that our new evidence is robust to the existence of any potential interaction effects. This can lead to a situation in which our summary voluntary disclosure measure the PATI and the internal governance mechanisms may be jointly and dynamically influenced by unobserved HEI-specific differences, such as university executive talent, institutional culture and HEI complexity Gujarati, ; Guest, ; Wooldridge, , which simple OLS estimations may be unable to identify Petersen, ; Larcker and Rusticus, For example, there may arguably be cultural, institutional, managerial and operational differences among ancient universities e.

Cambridge, Glasgow and Oxford , Russell Groups e. Birmingham and Manchester and post HEIs e. Brighton and Huddersfield , which may impact differently on the level of voluntary disclosures. Thus, we estimate a fixed-effect regression with the aim of accounting for potential endogeneity problems that may arise from unobserved HEI-specific differences.

Finally, and to control for potential endogeneities that may be due to important omitted variables, we use the popular instrumental variables IV methodology Beiner et al. However, to ensure that the IV methodology is appropriate e. Beiner et al. Applied to Equation 1 , the test is unable to accept the null hypothesis of exogeneity, and thus, we infer that the IV methodology may be suitable and that our prior OLS results may be spurious.

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The implementation of the IV methodology consists of two stages. In Stage 1, and based on the findings of the previous theoretical and empirical literature Jensen and Meckling, ; Beekes and Brown, ; Bozec and Bozec, ; Ntim et al. The results presented in Model 9 of Table VI are mainly in line with those reported in Models 1 of Table VI , and hence indicating that our findings are insensitive to potential endogeneities that may come from omitting important variables. The minor upward adjustments in the magnitude of the coefficients on the internal governance variables in Model 9 of Table VI in comparison with those in Model 1 of Table VI is in the main consistent with previous findings, which suggest that instrumented parts of internal governance variables tend to predict voluntary disclosure more strongly than their un-instrumented parts Beiner et al.

Specifically, the international HE environment has been characterised by large student numbers, low-government funding often driven by public sector budget cuts, but tight control and regulation, high levels of national and international competition, more enlightened multiple stakeholders, and mass importation and application of neo-liberal economic ideas mainly in the form of NPM techniques into HEIs Shattock, , ; Dearlove, ; Middlehurst, ; Kim, ; Trakman, ; Melville-Ross, ; Parker, ; Parry, ; Rowlands, This has motivated us to first consider how HEI voluntarily disclose information in their annual reports as a mechanism of external accountability and transparency, and second whether extant governance structures, borne out of several UK HE reforms, play a role in improving public accountability.

First, using a very recent data set from UK HEIs, we find that there is wide variability in the level of voluntary disclosures, but the overall score is Whilst we did not explicitly compare our summary voluntary disclosure measure the PATI level in to previous years, our reading of the evidence from the fairly dated UK studies e. Gray and Haslam, ; Banks et al. For example, Banks et al. A similar pattern, but marginally lower level of disclosure, is found for the case of Canadian institutions Nelson et al.

The disclosure pattern on a sub-theme level is not overtly different although it is found that financial- and community-led disclosures achieve higher scores than teaching- and research-related ones. Several, and not necessarily competing explanations, can be put forward for the relatively low disclosure level and the apparent lack of change from previous studies. First, it may be argued that the reforms, whilst arguably having far reaching consequences compared to previous changes, had yet to have a full impact on university voluntary disclosure strategies in Second, the emphasis of our study on annual report disclosures does not consider the possibility that HEIs rely on other forms of public communication e.

For example, the summary voluntary disclosure measure used by Banks et al. As a result, public and comprehensive displays of performance, actions and activities in the annual report are less emphasised, thereby plausibly leading to our results. One implication thereof is that Coy et al. Australia, as per Nagy and Robb, As a consequence, and as predicted by Coy et al. Drawing from Parker , two additional implications can be related to the apparent focus on financial-led voluntary disclosures relative to other types of disclosures and the lack of significant differences between pre- and post institutions.

The former may signal the changing mission and strategy of universities towards commercialisation and corporatisation, whilst the latter may be symptomatic of a behaviour of homogeneity across HEIs to respond to similar coercive pressures from regulators and dominant funders. Informed by the above, we would also conclude that the instrumental motives of stakeholder and resource dependencies are more prevalent explanations of the current pattern of disclosures, compared to the seeking of legitimacy and public accountability to the broader social constituencies.

Second, and in spite of the various governance reforms introduced in the UK HEI sector over the past 30 years i. Yet, concerns about the effectiveness and impact of HEI governance work remain very topical e. Schofield, ; Greatbatch, In this respect, our results bring much needed evidence on the contribution of governing bodies to the extent of voluntary disclosure. Specifically, we find that GBDIV, independent or lay governors, the presence of a GCOM and audit committee quality are positively related to the extent of voluntary disclosure.

Since there are very few studies which explicitly examine the link between accountability disclosures, governance and other HEI characteristics, the scope for comparison is quite limited. Nonetheless, we concur with Gordon et al. One implication of this finding is a potentially inadequate policy on the reduction of board size in the current CUC guidance, with reported mean and median figures being still very close to the maximum threshold i. Such an unwieldy structure may potentially jeopardise the ability of a governing board to be sufficiently cohesive and decisive to have an influence or bearing on university management.

Notwithstanding, the results on the significant positive variables collectively points out that the real emphasis needs to be on the composition, expertise, diversity and independence of the board which, at this stage, is not sufficiently outlined in the CUC code. In effect, our results would support the latter recommendation in that currently HEIs with independent and more diverse governing boards tend, on average, to demonstrate more commitment towards public accountability and disclosure.

Third, and distinctively, we find that university executive team structures have a significant moderating effect on the association between internal governance mechanisms and voluntary disclosure. We, therefore, call for further research to examine more closely the determinants of HEI financial and non-financial performance, with an emphasis on the influence of governance arrangements and executive team characteristics such that an evidence can be obtained on the appropriateness and effectiveness, of private-sector models of governance that have been employed in the HEI sector.

Fourth, our findings have important policy, practical, regulatory and theoretical implications. On the one hand, our evidence suggests that good internal governance structures tend to enhance accountability and transparency within HEIs, yet internal governance structures still differ substantially among UK HEIs. On the other hand, our evidence also shows the need to review some of the guidance in relation to GBSIZE, independence and diversity. Collectively, the study offers regulatory authorities, policy makers and stakeholders, such as the CUC, various funding agencies i.

With regards to voluntary disclosures, we would also suggest that appropriate sector-based institutions, such as the British Universities Finance Directors Group, may consider developing voluntary disclosure guidance and seek regulatory backing for such guidance. Thus, from a policy and regulatory perspective, establishing a sector wide enforcement and compliance body that will specifically monitor the levels of compliance and disclosure of relevant governance and voluntary reporting requirements can be a step in the right direction.

For governors, executives and managers of HEIs, our evidence suggests that there is the need for a major shift in their governance, reporting and voluntary disclosure practices. The introduction of full-tuition fees and the transfer of student funding from funding bodies e. Similarly, market-like conditions and direct competition has been introduced in the UK HEI sector with the removal of caps on the number of students that can be admitted by an HEI. One way by which such public accountability can be achieved is to produce comprehensive annual reports.

Specifically, annual reports should not only contain comprehensive disclosures relating to the financial performance of the HEIs, but also important voluntary non-financial disclosures relating to a wide range of relevant issues, such as governance and risk management, teaching and research quality, career and employability prospects, alumni, accessibility and social mobility issues, human resource and intellectual capital, academic and international reputation, and social, environmental and community contributions, amongst others.

From our multi-theoretical perspective, therefore, HEIs that will be able to commit to greater public accountability public accountability theory through increased voluntary disclosures may not only enhance their legitimate right to exist legitimacy theory , but may gain the support of powerful stakeholder stakeholder theory , such as alumni, communities, parents and students, who may offer them access to critical resources, such as capital e.

Finally, our findings are robust across a raft of econometric models that adequately account for different types of endogeneities, as well as alternative internal governance and disclosure measures. Yet, its limitations need to be clearly acknowledged. Future studies may use a longitudinal data set within a country or cross-country context, which may arguably enhance the generalisability of their findings, and also consider more explicitly whether one theoretical perspective better explains voluntary disclosures relative to other theories.

Similarly, due to data limitations, our analyses have focussed mainly on internal governance structures. Future studies may improve their analysis by investigating how external governance mechanisms, such as external regulations e. Moreover and similar to all prior quantitative-oriented archival studies of this nature, our measures for governance and voluntary disclosures may or may not fully reflect how HEI executives, governors, academics, managers, regulators and funding bodies operate in practice, and thus our evidence of cross-sectional associations among governors, HEI executives and voluntary disclosure should be treated with some caution.

In this case, future research may improve on our findings by conducting more in-depth analysis by, for example, interviewing HEI executives, governors, academics, students, funding and research bodies, internal and external auditors, regulators and policy makers relating to governance, performance and public accountability issues. Summary descriptive statistics of the accountability index and control variables for all UK HEIs. Table I fully defines all the variables used.

Ta ble I fully defines all the variables used. P -values are in parentheses. Effects of internal governance structures on public accountability disclosures: interaction effects, fixed-effects and IV. Notes: Table I fully defines all the variables used. Models 1 to 7 seek to test for the existence of an interaction effect between the internal governance structures and public accountability and transparency disclosures by interacting our three university executive management team variables EFMS, ETDIV, and ETSIZE with the our seven internal governance variables.

Specifically, in Model 1, we interact EFMS with each of the seven internal governance variables and re-run the regression by including the newly created seven interactions variables in addition to the seven original variables and the control variables. In Model 2, we interact ETDVI with each of the seven internal governance variables and re-estimate the regression by including the newly created seven interactions variables in addition to the seven original variables and the control variables. In Model 3, we interact ETSIZE with each of the seven internal governance variables and re-estimate the regression by including the newly created seven interactions variables in addition to the seven original variables and the control variables.

In Models 6 and 7, we interact all three university executive team variables i. In Models 8 and 9, we run fixed-effects FE and instrumental variables IV to account for the existence of potential firm level fixed-effects and endogeneity problems, respectively.

However, according to Coy et al. In addition, the contents of the annual report have to be formally reviewed and approved by the governing board and provides an opportunity to assess the degree of influence if any of governing structures on public accountability orientation of HEIs.

It should be noted that the implementation of the recommendations of the Robins Report effectively created a two-tier HE sector in the UK, consisting of: a large number of newly established set of polytechnics or technical and vocational institutions; and a small number of old, but well established group of universities Bennett, ; Kim, ; Hordern, We note that this coincided with a period of large-scale implementation of neo-liberal economic ideologies in the form of mass privatisation of state-owned corporations, especially utilities, re-organisation of inefficient essential public services, such as the national health service through the application of new public management techniques, and the emergence of public-private partnerships in the form of public finance initiatives, as way financing capital projects in the UK public sector Bennett, ; Knight, ; Shattock, ; Middlehurst, The Scottish Code took effect from August with its content largely similar to those contained in the CUC Governance Guide although it observably places significant emphasis on the need to enhance diversity and in particular, gender diversity within governing boards of HEIs.

Although we explicitly draw insights from the general corporate voluntary disclosure literature e. Gray and Haslam, ; Dixon et al. We argue that the introduction of market forces and competition directly brings to the core the importance of committing to greater public accountability and transparency in the form of increased disclosure by UK HEIs.

Thus, this provides us with a unique opportunity to offer timely evidence on the internal governance-disclosure nexus. For example, the various reports and information contained in the annual accountability returns i. In fact, in conducting our study, we sent a request to HEFCE for copies of the audit committee annual reports of HEIs to be supplied, but our request was turned down and instead advised to contact individual HEIs for copies of their audit committee annual reports.

Although we did not follow our request up with a FoI request, it serves as an anecdotal evidence of the general difficult nature in accessing mandatory and voluntary accountability returns and disclosures relating to UK HEIs. Table AI. Adelopo , I. Allegrini , M. Ashforth , B. Banks , W. Barako , D. Bassett , M. Beekes , W. Beiner , S. Bennett , B. Bozec , R. Branco , M. Broberg , P. Browne , L. Buckland , R. Cadbury , A. Callen , J. Camfferman , K. Carcello , J. Carter , D. Chau , G. Chen , J. Cheng , E. Cheng , S.

Coles , J. Collett , P. Collis , D. Core , J. Coy , D. Cutt , J. Datar , S. De Villiers , C. Dearing , R. Dearlove , J. Dewing , I. Dixon , K. Donaldson , L. Donaldson , T. Donnelly , R. Elsayed , M. Eng , L. Fich , E. Fifka , M. Freeman , R. Ghafran , C. Gisbert , A.

Gompers , P. Goodall , A. Gordon , T. Gray , R. Greatbatch , D. Guest , P. Gujarati , D. Hackston , D. Havergal , C. Healy , P. Higgs , D. Hillman , A. Hordern , J. Jarratt , S. Jensen , M. Jetty , J. Jones , G. Jump , P. Kang , H. Karamanou , I. Kelton , A. Kezar , A. Kim , T. Knight , M. Laksmana , I. Lambert , R.

Lan , Y. Larcker , D. Lim , S. Lindblom , C. Lindgreen , A. Ling Wei , T. Lipton , M.

Accountability - WeBER

Mahadeo , J. Maingot , M. Mangena , M. Melville-Ross , T. Michelon , G. Middlehurst , R. Mitchell , R. Nagy , J. Nelson , M. Nolan , L. Normanton , E. Ntim , C. Oxholm , C. Parker , L.

The Undemocratic Dilemma

Parry , G. Pearson , M. Petersen , M. Pfeffer , J. Reverte , C. Roberts , R. Robins , L. Rogers , J. Rowlands , J.

The Rise of Technocratic Institutions

Salter , B. Samaha , K. Schofield , A. Shattock , M. Sizer , J. Sonnenfeld , J. Soobaroyen , T.

Government Regulation: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly | Regulatory Transparency Project

Stubbs , W. Suchman , M. Taylor , M. Toma , J. Tooley , S. Trabelsi , S. Trakman , L. Nevertheless, a careful reading of the relevant passages of the Second Treatise shows that Locke remains true to his fundamental principle, that the only legitimate form of government is that based on the consent of the governed. Locke differentiates the various forms of government on the basis of where the people choose to place the power to make laws. For whatever the form of government, the ultimate source of sovereign power is the people, and all legitimate government must rest on their consent.

And who is to judge whether the government has abused its trust? Again, Locke is unequivocal: the people themselves are to make that judgment. Although he does not use the term, Locke thus unambiguously affirms the right of revolution against a despotic government. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Regarding question 1—What is the appropriate association within which a democratic government should be established?

Transparency to curb corruption? Concepts, measures and empirical merit

Here again, Locke was at the forefront of the development of democratic ideas. Unlike the men of Athens or the small male aristocracy of Venice , obviously the men of England could not govern directly in an assembly. In this case, then, the answer to question 3—What political institutions are necessary for governing? This is perhaps because he, like his contemporary readers, assumed that democracy and majority rule would be best implemented in England through parliamentary elections based on an adult-male franchise. The French political theorist Montesquieu , through his masterpiece The Spirit of the Laws , strongly influenced his younger contemporary Rousseau see below Rousseau and many of the American Founding Fathers , including John Adams , Jefferson, and Madison.