ArticlePDF Available

Public Accountability in the Age of Social Media Case Study: Egypt



This paper discusses different concepts of public accountability in the age of social media in Traditional Public administration (TPA) systems by drawing examples from Egypt, one of the countries that exhibit a high degree of interaction between social media and channels of internal and external accountability. Through social media, public accountability may intersect with other types of accountability such as professional and managerial. The paper begins by examining the characteristics of TPA and the dilemma of the separation of politics and administration. Then, it discusses different types of accountability exercised on public officials internally and externally in TPA systems and critically analyses these concepts in relevance to the Egyptian case. Finally, the paper highlights the role of social media in promoting public accountability and establishing a linkage with other types of accountability. Social media not only presents itself as a new channel of public accountability, but it promotes and brings together other forms of accountability through its platforms.
Page 1 of 11
Public Accountability in the Age of Social Media
Case Study: Egypt
This paper discusses different concepts of public accountability in the age of social
media in Traditional Public administration (TPA) systems by drawing examples from
Egypt, one of the countries that exhibit a high degree of interaction between social media
and channels of internal and external accountability. Through social media, public
accountability may intersect with other types of accountability such as professional and
managerial. The paper begins by examining the characteristics of TPA and the dilemma of
the separation of politics and administration. Then, it discusses different types of
accountability exercised on public officials internally and externally in TPA systems and
critically analyses these concepts in relevance to the Egyptian case. Finally, the paper
highlights the role of social media in promoting public accountability and establishing a
linkage with other types of accountability. Social media not only presents itself as a new
channel of public accountability, but it promotes and brings together other forms of
accountability through its platforms.
Background on the case study
Egypt is one of the countries that are governed by a TPA system. Public administration in
Egypt is organised through the civil service law number 47 issued in 1978 (Central Agency
for Organisation and Administration, 2015). According to law, administrative officials are
often appointed in a pyramid shaped structure institutions. They receive promotions up
in the hierarchy of the government institution based on their years of service, which
determines their grades and pay. In early 2011, a revolution had sparked, inspired by
social media calling for bread, freedom, justice(Abdel Meguid, Al-Banna, Korayem, &
Salah Al-din, 2011). The revolution believed that the system had failed to meet the needs
of the people and to satisfy their hopes and thus it needed to be changed. In 2012, Morsi
was the first democratically elected president in Egypt. The new president was the former
head of the Muslim Brotherhood’s party, the most organised opposition group at the
time and one of the oppressed political groups during Mubarak’s regime. In 2013, the
military forces organised a coup to overthrow Morsi’s regime in response to the massive
outrage against his government. The Egyptian military ruled the country in a transition
period in order to prepare the country for a new presidential election after which General
Abdelfatah Alsisi, the ex-minister of defence was elected. Three major changes took place
post revolution. First, the political system has changed from a one party system to a
multi-party system in which parties have no observable powers or control over
policymaking or the administration and are struggling to build their own cadre. Second, a
new constitution has been written that gives more power to parliament and supresses
presidential absolute powers. Third, the relationship between the administration and
politics became interwoven. Such reforms post revolution affected accountability in many
different ways as explained later.
Accountability in Traditional Public Administration
Understanding Traditional Public Administration (TPA) will pave the way for the analysis
of public accountability in Egypt. Scholars highlighted some characteristics of the
institutions governed by TPA, some of these characteristics are: the preference of doing
over thinking; sticking to routine, roles and responsibilities; considering resources and
Page 2 of 11
tasks as the main input and output of the organisation (Barzelay, 1992, pp. 89; Osborne
& Gaebler, 1992, p. 14). In line with the above scholars Barzelay (1992, p. 179) saw TPA as
a form of a bureaucratic system of governance, where substance and administration
controls the institutions of the government. In contrast, Lynn (2001, p. 147) argues that
TPA systems perform better than other systems if it succeeded in creating a state of
neutrality that enables its institutions to separate between politics and administration.
However, Lynn’s views are not by default valid at all times, as the issue of corruption and
self-interest still hinders the progress in TPA systems and especially in Egypt even if the
state of neutrality is achieved.
The major debate among TPA scholars such as Wilson, Taylor and Weber is focused on
the challenges of both efficiency and the separation of politics and administration in TPA
systems (Behn, 2000, p. 40; Lynn Jr., 2001, p. 148). The problem arises from the mix that
often occurs between elected and appointed officials in the governmental hierarchy.
Politicians are supposed to be setting the policies and the technocrat administrative
system should be responsible for the implementation. The separation between politics
and administration can result in fair policies and an increase in efficiency. In addition, it
can make accountability follows the top-down hierarchy of the government. Behn (2000,
p. 41) argues that accountability in TPA is directly related to the politicians and citizens do
not have to interfere with the implementation process, thus they can only correct the
course of action through elections as a form of direct accountability.
In addition to the separation of politics from administration, a TPA system ideally holds
some values such as representativeness, neutrality and leadership (Lynn Jr., 2001, p. 145).
The change of regimes often comes with a change of values, ideas and system of
operation that in Lynn’s (ibid, p. 145) view construct the notion of democratic
governance. However, the embedded values in government institutions and
organisational culture that develop throughout years of operation under a single political
ideology can hardly be altered even after a major change in the ruling regime. Civil
servants are often reluctant to change and prefer to adhere to their old values and beliefs
rather than acquiring new ones.
From a managerial perspective, the civil servant duties depends mainly on the task they
are required to finish, they should ideally stick to their job description and the tasks
distributed by the managers without thinking about them (Behn, 2000, pp. 4748). In
order to do this, rules and regulations have been developed inside institutions in order to
lessen the degree of freedom in judgement for civil servants and keep this as a task for
their managers. This should hold the managers accountable for their actions as well as
the civil servants. The question of compliance of public officials to their superiors is
sometimes dependent on the fear factor of being penalized or the motive of civil servants
to advance in their career (Mulgan, 2000, p. 557). In Egypt, the degree of freedom for a
change in values or compliance of officials to their superiors is minimal given that the law
of civil service promotes a lifelong service contracts for civil servants and does not
account for their effectiveness and efficiency at the workplace. It cannot result in their
dismissal except in the case of committing a criminal offence (Central Agency for
Organisation and Administration, 2015).
Types of Accountability
In traditional views on accountability a person's actions are accounted for by whether an
external person, organisation or by an internal higher rank official. Accountability is often
Page 3 of 11
referred to as the responsibility of civil servants towards values, and professional
standards of their organisation, or towards others outside of the organisation (Mulgan,
2000, p. 557). In these views, there is a degree of interaction between public officials and
those who hold them accountable. This interaction involves questioning or imposing
sanctions. In a state of traditional public administration and democratic governance,
accountability starts with the elected officials then the bureaucrats down the pyramid
shaped hierarchy, who are held accountable to their actions by various external and
internal parties (Mulgan, 2000, p. 555).
Channels of accountability are those mediums through which accountability is being
practiced, whether these channels are ethical, contractual, legal or democratic. Some
channels may not be tangible, such as public opinion or the responsibility of the person
towards the public and his own values and belief system. Often people hold politicians
accountable directly through elections and by deciding whether to vote for them or not.
Elections are the time where voters can get into a dialogue with the politicians, exchange
questions, evaluate the past and hold them accountable for their actions and requesting
answers. If politicians were not able to justify their actions, they may not become re-
elected. Post elections, politicians can still be held accountable by the public through
questioning in the parliament for example, which is often conducted towards ministers
and is named as ministerial responsibility.
According to Considine (2002) there are two types of accountability, vertical and
horizontal. The vertical type follows the line of authority within the government where
each official is accounted to his/her superior and in the end of the line all accountable to
the public (ibid., p. 25). The horizontal type is the form of accountability that occurs
between networks of control outside the government’s organisation (ibid., p. 27). In
contrast, Mulgan (2000, p. 562) identified five detailed forms of accountability which are
personal, professional, political, managerial and public. Combining both views,
accountability can be classified into two major categories: internal and external
accountability. In addition, it can be explained in terms of the relationship between two
parties: civil servants and those who hold them accountable, which can be oneself,
values, professional codes, line managers, legislations, external individuals, organisations
or public pressure.
Internal Accountability
Internal accountability can be defined in relevance to professionalism and responsiveness
of public officials. Professionalism is often based on experts who are handled the jobs and
no appropriate external control is exercised. If they fail to meet the targets then their
service can be ended. In this type everyone in a TPA is controlled by someone in the same
organisation, thus accountability is distributed across the hierarchy (Mulgan, 2000, p.
Professionalism is a cornerstone of internal accountability in TPA where boards are
created from professionals who can conduct peer review on civil servants and they are
held accountable to them. Professionalism sometimes intersects with public
accountability where civil servants have different external channels that they have to
answer. In addition, it entails the adherence of the civil servant or politicians to the set of
values and internal standards that are set for them and upon which they can be held
accountable personally (ibid., p. 560). This can be illustrated in terms of the oath of office
for the president, or doctors that they adhere to after being elected or appointed for
Page 4 of 11
office. It can be represented as well in the set of personal values held by a political party
or professional union upon which they are held accountable.
There are two aspects of professionalism, which constitutes internal accountability. First,
the preservation of organisational values and codes within government institutions can
be achieved by separating politics from administration. However, this separation is an
ideal case scenario in a TPA system. When a government with a certain political ideology
holds office for extended periods, politics and administration become interwoven and
generally, appointed civil servants can adhere more to the values promoted by the ruling
party rather than the professional values of their institution. In addition, accountability of
officials can be more towards the political party than it is towards the public. In Egypt,
and particularly in Mubarak's regime, the appointed officials often belonged to the
National Democratic Party (NDP) (Blaydes, 2008, p. 1). The political scene was dominated
by one political ideology for long time. For more than 30 years since its establishment, the
NDP in 1978, the party has held no less than three-quarters of the seats in the People's
Assembly and has been controlling the political and administrative scene (Brownlee,
2002, p. 7). Later on and particularly in Morsi's regime, many administrative officials
refused to cooperate with the government and expressed that in public due to the
conflicts in political ideologies and interests. In spite of the efforts exerted by the Morsi’s
regime to appoint officials that belong to their ideology, it was considered by many
Egyptians as a repetition of a similar mistake of Mubarak mixing politics with
administration and a diffusion of accountability.
Second, The difference in urgency, competency between politically elected officials and
appointed civil servants can create many challenges of internal accountability in TPA
(Behn, 2000, p. 45). Politicians are often affected by external factors that push them to
act accordingly and to take certain decision, while the administration is mainly concerned
with doing the job right. Thus, some policies may fail to meet public expectations but still
politicians are held accountable for it. In addition, politicians may see urgency in certain
tasks that the administration cannot cope with. In 2014, the Egyptian President General
Abdelfatah Alsisi in the inauguration speech of the project has ordered the administration
bodies to finish the new Suez Canal project in one year instead of three years due to
public and political pressure (Farid, 2014). Specialists had identified potential problems
with this tightened deadlines, and as soon as the digging started some of these problems
started to appear and is sought to affect future operation and increase the costs of
implementation (AlMonitor, 2014). Although, the president will not be held accountable
for this decision and the resulting increase in a project’s budget or potential problems due
to the absence of channels of accountability under his government, the public still hold
direct accountability and virtual public accountability channels as a last resort to display
their dismay about such decisions.
Responsiveness is another aspect of internal accountability. Government officials are
required to be responsive to events and changes in the circumstances and reflect public
interest. Any occasions of events that may emerge can hold government officials
accountable (Mulgan, 2000, p. 556). When the Egyptian revolution sparked in 2011,
Mubarak system’s responsiveness to the situation did not meet public demand, and thus
the whole regime had failed to contain the situation and outrage became overwhelming.
Mulgan argues that government officials are responsible directly to the public without the
need of politicians even to be involved. However, the compliance of civil servants to their
superiors is always debatable and is subject to various different reasons.
Page 5 of 11
External Accountability
External accountability is defined in terms of the external entity that can hold officials
accountable. This entity can be the public, external organisations or even legislations.
Without the control exercised by external entities, accountability would not have existed
and it will only depend on the conscience of public servants, which varies from a person
to another. In democracies, control is needed to make sure that civil servants are working
for the interest of the public and not for personal gains (Mulgan, 2000, p. 563). This
control keeps every part of the government constrained and held to account. Courts are
one example of these organisations; another example is civil society, markets, interest
groups, regular media or even social media. Some organisations are solely responsible for
holding civil servants accountable to their actions such as the audit offices, Ombudsman
and administrative tribunals. The constitution, federalism, separation of power are some
of the notions and political structures that are associated with a diversified control that is
exercised over all institutions in the government and holding them all accountable for
public interest (ibid., p. 563). The disappearance or dysfunction of such control
organisations may lead to a disruption in the accountability process, which can result in
public outrage or attempts to exercise this control by the public through demonstrations,
strikes or set-ins to hold public officials accountable. These aforementioned control
functions are exercised through law and competitive elections, which are illustrated in
the following paragraphs.
Here, law is an autonomous form of external accountability and control. Mulgan (2000, p.
564) argues that this form is often unquestionable by politicians who make their policies
to fit the legal constraints. Thus, this form of accountability is a good tool to control civil
servants behaviour. However, in some cases this is not true especially when the
separation of power is not fully exercised and corruption takes over the government
institutions. In Egypt, although it was unconstitutional before the revolution in 2011 to
nominate ministers who own their own business (Arab Republic of Egypt, 2007, art. 158)
,some of the appointed ministers by the president were the shareholders of a big
business companies. Such actions were unable to be questioned by the parliament or any
court. The judiciary system was mainly controlled by the ruling party and so was the
parliament that was dominated by members of the National Democratic Party (the ruling
party) (Brownlee, 2002, p. 1).
Competitive election is another form of external accountability and control exercised on
politicians. Elections are believed by most scholars to be the one of the corner stones of
democracy that reflects people’s needs through their elected politicians and connects
people with the policy process in a way that reflect people's preferences in public policies
(Powell, 2000, p. 251). Although, Public can hold politicians accountable through channels
that are created for this purpose such as the ombudsman, administrative tribunal and
other organisation, elections stays the most pertinent tool for the public to hold
politicians accountable in case of the dysfunction of the above organisations and
channels. In Egypt, citizens created their own channels for holding politicians accountable
through demonstrations that call for overthrowing the regime or organising early
No forms of external accountability can be possible without a basic amount of
transparency. Access to information and transparency can enable citizens to hold officials
accountable. In contrast, O'Neill (2002) argued that the increase in transparency
undermines professionalism in public administration and destroys trustworthiness.
Page 6 of 11
However, this argument may not necessarily be true as transparency helps the public to
question and debate the actions of public officials. These public debates make officials
more responsible, as their work will be eventually shared with the public. O’Neill’s
argument is based on the way information is presented by governments, which is often a
one-way communication. This information in his argument is received by the media who
manipulates the crowd and especially those who may not have enough knowledge to
interpret officials’ information correctly or judge media interpretation of the subject.
However, in the presence of social media, the space of interpretation changed from
media organisations to individual interpretation, thus making no space for manipulation.
An example of that is a recent issue that occurred in Egypt, where a carrier with 500 tons
of phosphate rocks sank into the Nile River. This news went viral on social media and
different people had their own interpretations; some held the government accountable
while others said it is not an important issue to discuss and finally people had come to a
common understanding that this case was not dangerous for public health and that this
accident was a human mistake (Aljazeera, 2015). Thus, social media plays an important
role to avoid misinterpretation of information or any manipulation exercised by the
media and helps reach common understanding among citizens online.
Social Media, Web 2.0 and public accountability
The Web 2.0 refers to the new online platforms created for people to interact with
information presented on the web through a multi to multi communication system. Social
media is one type of platforms that uses web 2.0 technologies. These platforms had a
staggering amount of users and reach to different citizens across the globe regardless of
their class, gender, ethnicity or location. They give the chance for everyone to express
their own opinion, interact with existing information, mobilize others and gain support for
their causes and initiatives (Kietzmann et al., 2011, p. 241). This ability of mobilization had
an effect on politics as well as accountability and resulted in various political movements
across the globe including the 2011 Egyptian revolution.
Although a TPA system ideally exhibits a separation between politics and administration
in terms of accountability, citizens on social media had interfered with the process of
administration in Egypt in various cases. According to Mulgan (p. 559), public officials in
TPA are only accountable to their managers and external professional institutions, while
politicians are the ones accountable to public. However, some professionals are often
questioned by the public, pressured and held accountable for their actions through social
media. One example for this is the recent bribery incident with a police officer where a
citizen was able to film the officer through his cell phone while receiving the bribe and
uploading this video on Social Media (MBC, 2015). The video soon went viral and the
public started questioning the values of the police institution and the way they handle
their operations. This has led to massive political pressure that resulted in penalising this
officer and implementing new policies for fighting corruption (ONA, 2015). Moreover,
social media has not only made public able to question the professionalism of TPA
officials but also their personal values and belief system, which often relied on their
conscience. Recently, the Minister of Justice in Egypt has been forced to resign after a
public outrage through social media that came as a result of his social classist remarks in
one of his interviews where he mentioned that “the sons of rubbish collectors should not
become judges (BBC, 2015). Such pressure was always believed to be impractical in TPA
systems where accountability is vertical and follows the government and politicians are
Page 7 of 11
the only public officials subjected to sanctions and questioning by external organisations
and can be held accountable through direct elections.
Dialogue is a major channel of public accountability; this dialogue is often conducted
through debates of criticism for the government actions. Dialogue is becoming more
effective with the spread of media and new technologies that facilitated public debates
and created a space where citizens can share their agreement or criticism for government
policies and actions, question officials, and request justifications for their actions. In the
modern times, officials often have their own twitter and Facebook accounts where they
deal directly with the public and answer to their questions. This has surpassed the regular
mediatory channels that have always existed between the public and civil servants such
as media, ombudsman and the parliament. However, these virtual channels have not
been treated similarly by all officials and there is still a lot of improvement to be made in
this regard to provide more space for people to interact. The responsiveness of the
Muslim Brotherhood government to the public questioning was at a higher rate than the
current military government who deals with social media as a one-way communication
platform where they can spread their justification for various actions but uphold any
questioning process that may occur. During the ex-president Morsi’s ruling, many activists
and social media pressure was directed towards the politically elected officials.
MorsiMeter (2012) was one of the online projects that was established during the first
100 days of Morsi’s ruling by activists. This initiative is classified as a fact-checking online
platform. These types of platforms initially started in the United States to reduce the level
of deception and confusion in politics through providing the public with accurate
information that emerges from the crowd (Annenberg Public Policy Center, 2015).
Morsimeter initiative aimed at tracking the promises of the president provided in his
political campaign. According to the creators of the initiative, the presidential office had
often communicated with them directly on the cyber space to highlight progress related
to the promises and get involved in public dialogue about them. The failure of
administration to achieve Morsi’s promises has been accounted for Morsi’s failure and
not the administration’s. Such online initiatives have led to public outrage and massive
petitions to organise early presidential elections. Civil servants who are supposed to work
on the implementation of such promises have shared in signing those petitions and
participated in the distribution (Alsharif & Saleh, 2013). Later on, the government had
sensed the outrage and in response they used social media to re-gain public support and
open a space of public dialogue on their first year’s progress by launching an interactive
website called Morsi First Year (2013). However, responsiveness of the government came
quite late as the public outrage had already boomed and massive public demonstrations
were organised to overthrow the regime three days after this new website was released.
Thus, social media provides a space for dialogue between government and citizens and
required higher pace of responsiveness of the government towards public interest and
the failure to do so, can result in public outrage.
Public accountability is not often perceived by public across social media platforms in the
same way. Politicians can be questioned and held accountable for their actions only when
citizens do not fear the consequences of criticising them on the virtual space. Although
the government has less control over social media, some activists have been tracked
down through these platforms and prosecuted for questioning military leaders or current
political leaders. Alaa AbdelFattah is an example of these activists. He was sentenced for
five years in prison due to his calls on social media to protest against a clause in the new
constitution that permits military trials for civilians (Associated Press, 2015). In fears of
Page 8 of 11
being prosecuted or detained, many citizens on social media have blamed administrative
officials instead of political leaders on the failures in the government. Thus, the
perception of public accountability, whether it is towards politicians or administrative
officials in the age of social media depends mainly on where power is concentrated and
what degree of freedom is given to the public to express their concerns, question
government actions and mobilize pressure groups.
Besides presenting themselves as a new channel for public accountability, social media
have become a platform that promotes other channels of accountability. It enhances
access to information and eases the process of reporting concerns to the official online
accounts of organisations such as the Ombudsman, the administrative tribunal, non-
governmental organisations that in their turn can hold politicians accountable for their
actions. Since transparency is a cornerstone of accountability, social media has
contributed to accountability through disseminating important information by politicians
through its platforms. It offered a space for officials to interact with citizens through their
official online accounts. All presidents who ruled Egypt post revolution had official
Facebook and twitter accounts that interacted with citizens on daily bases, responded to
their concerns and disseminated important information. In addition, some organisations
find it easier to avoid sanctions on their operations as a result of disseminating printed
information on public officials’ performance by offering the same information online,
where the government has less control on shared data. Moreover, individuals contribute
to the shared information online regarding actions of civil servants or elected officials.
They share photos and streams of videos that are often used by control organisations to
pressure, question politicians or hold them accountable in court.
In spite that some control organisations such as the opposition political parties or NGOs
have been banned under the current ruling regime, they have transformed their mode of
operation into a virtual existence that often takes place on Social Media. For example,
currently both the Freedom and Justice Party and Al Wasat Party have a strong presence
on social media despite their dissimilation. They organise demonstrations, promote their
ideas and question the government’s actions on their social media accounts. Even media
organisations have started to become present only in the virtual spaces such as Rasd
News Network who have assembled online to avoid government hegemony and use
crowdsourcing to generate news that originates from the public and which hold
government accountable (R.N.N., 2011).
Discussion and Conclusion
To conclude, various channels and types of accountability persist in our modern times in
TPA systems through social media in interconnected ways. Internal and external
accountability had become interwoven through social media platforms where values and
professional standards of civil servants have been questioned through public dialogue and
regular external accountability channels that are fostered by social media. The new era of
Social media has brought public accountability into a new level by fostering pressure on
public officials. The separation of politics from administration in accountability has
become difficult in the online arena with the increase of public awareness created
through transparency and sharing of knowledge about government actions and
formulated policies. In addition, traditional media started to retreat in influencing public
accountability since information has found its way through social media to propagate
from public officials and directly to citizens. Different individual interpretations for
Page 9 of 11
government actions on social media have led to both mobilization of pressure groups and
diffusion of public accountability in separate occasions.
Looking forward, social media may become a pertinent tool to promote different
channels of public accountability if the government understands the underlying concepts
of dialogue offered on its platforms and used them to become more responsive to public
interest. In addition, social media can become a good tool for transparency and dialogue
between citizens and the government, where mediatory channels disappear and public
accountability is fostered. In Egypt, the role played recently by public officials on social
media can facilitate responsiveness of officials to public interest and can help them
understand the dynamics of social change if they used it as a two-way communication
system. Finally, social media can facilitate the interaction among citizens to create
uncontrolled public opinion and organise pressure groups that results in pressure on
policy makers and civil servants.
Petition tools and visualisation of information on social media alongside the powerful and
fast tools that are used to spread information online can help reduce time, effort and
resources used in mobilizing pressure groups to exercise control, which is an important
aspect of public and external accountability. Visualisation of complex data through
infographics (transformation of data and numbers into graphics) and pictures has made it
easier for public to comprehend and increased public awareness that results in more
accountability (Bekkers & Moody, 2014, p. 155). In addition, social media can overcome
the state’s hegemony in constraining external control channels that are often used by the
public to hold politicians accountable such as courts or ombudsman. Therefore, the public
can use it in reaching out to politicians and civil servants without state’s control of their
Word count: 4995
Abdel Meguid, N., Al-Banna, S., Korayem, R., & Salah Al-din, H. (2011). The Economic Causes of
the Egyptian Revolution January 25, 2011. Retrieved August 10, 2015, from
Aljazeera. (2015, April 25). A Phosphate carrier sank in Egypt [Gharaq Naqelet Fosfat Fe Masr]. Cairo. Retrieved from
AlMonitor. (2014, August 12). Questions remain on Egypts Suez Canal project. Retrieved May 15,
2015, from
Alsharif, A., & Saleh, Y. (2013, October 10). Special Report - The real force behind Egypts
revolution of the state. Retrieved May 15, 2015, from
Annenberg Public Policy Center. (2015). Fact Check. Retrieved May 15, 2015, from
Page 10 of 11
Arab Republic of Egypt. (2007). THE CONSTITUTION OF THE ARAB REPUBLIC OF EGYPT, 1971 (as
Amended to 2007). Retrieved May 15, 2015, from Constitution.pdf
Associated Press. (2015, February 23). Court gives Egyptian activist 5 years in prison for organizing
2013 protest. Retrieved May 15, 2015, from
Barzelay, M. (1992). Breaking through Bureaucracy: A new vision for managing in government.
Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
BBC. (2015, May 11). Egypts justice minister sacked over social class remarks. Retrieved May 15,
2015, from
Behn, R. D. (2000). Rethinking Democratic Accountability. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution
Bekkers, V., & Moody, R. (2014). Accountability and the Framing Power of Visual Technologies:
How Do Visualized Reconstructions of Incidents Influence Public and Political Accountability
Discussions? The Information Society, 30(2), 144158. doi:10.1080/01972243.2013.873749
Blaydes, L. (2008). Authoritarian elections and elite management: Theory and evidence from
Egypt. Retrieved May 15, 2015, from
Brownlee, J. (2002). The Decline of Pluralism in Mubaraks Egypt. Journal of Democracy, 13(4), 6
Central Agency for Organisation and Administration. (2015). Laws and Legislations Governing
National Civil Service Employers [Allawaeh Wa Alqawaneen Allaty Tahkom Nezam
Alaameleen Bel Dawla]. Retrieved May 15, 2015, from
Considine, M. (2002). The End of the Line? Accountable Governance in the Age of Networks,
Partnerships, and Joined-Up Services. Governance, 15(1), 2140.
Farid, D. (2014, August 5). Al-Sisi kicks off new Suez Canal project, lays down tightened
completion deadline. Retrieved May 15, 2015, from
Kietzmann, J. H., Hermkens, K., McCarthy, I. P., & Silvestre, B. S. (2011). Social media? Get serious!
Understanding the functional building blocks of social media. Business Horizons, 54(3), 241
251. doi:10.1016/j.bushor.2011.01.005
Lynn Jr., L. E. (2001). The myth of the bureaucratic paradigm: What traditional public
administration really stood for. Public Administration Review, 61(2), 144160. Retrieved
MBC. (2015, March 17). In Video: A police officer is caught on camera receiving a bribe [Bel Video:
kamera Tazbot Amen Shorta Yatalaqa Rashwa Leadam Tahrir Mokhalafat]. Retrieved May
15, 2015, from 
MorsiFirstYear. (2013). A Year of Egyptian Presidency: Steps and Challenges. Retrieved May 15,
2015, from (2012). Morsi Meter. Retrieved May 15, 2015, from
Mulgan, R. (2000). Accountability: An EverExpanding Concept? Public Administration, 78(3),
Page 11 of 11
ONeill, O. (2002). Reith Lectures. Retrieved May 12, 2015, from broadcasts/2002/04
ONA. (2015, March 16). Imprisonment of the Police officer who received a Bribe [Habs Amen
Shortet Almaadi Betohmet Taqadeh Rashwa]. Retrieved May 17, 2015, from
Osborne, D., & Gaebler, T. (1992). Reinventing Government: How the entrepreneurial Spirit is
Transforming the public sector. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Powell, G. B. (2000). Elections as instruments of democracy: Majoritarian and proportional visions.
Connecticut: Yale University Press.
R.N.N. (2011). Rassd News Network. Retrieved May 15, 2015, from
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Full-text available
In this article visual technologies and their use in three reconstructions after an incident are linked with accountability issues. Conclusions are drawn on the relation between administration, the choice of technology to create and distribute visual occurrences, and society and how visualizations are used to frame accountability issues.
Full-text available
Journal of Democracy 13.4 (2002) 6-14 Discussions of the prospects for expanded freedom in the Arab world often invoke Egypt as a leading candidate for gradual political reform. The country's intermediate level of economic development, its extensive array of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and its multiparty system all seem to favor a democratic future. President Hosni Mubarak himself recently claimed that Egypt enjoys "all kinds of democracy." But the truth of the matter is that participation and pluralism are now at lower levels than at any time since Mubarak assumed the presidency in the wake of Anwar Sadat's assassination 21 years ago. After a tenuous period of political opening in the 1980s and very early 1990s, the regime has progressively limited opportunities for the dispersal of power beyond the president, let alone for an actual alternation in power. If any form of "freedom" has been expanded in Egypt, meanwhile, it has been the freedom of the presidency from the informal constraints that earlier limited its authority. Over the past two decades, Mubarak has acquired substantial liberty to have his opponents convicted in military trials, for example, or to shut down newspapers and professional syndicates, or to jail human rights activists. Overall, pluralism has declined markedly since the outset of his rule. And unless domestic and—perhaps more importantly—international actors compel the Egyptian president to cede power to other branches of government and to allow civil society organizations to operate independently, the outlook for organized political contestation in Egypt will only continue to dim. Since 1967, Egypt has spent all but five months under a declared "state of emergency" by which the regime has rationalized the outlawing of demonstrations, the use of indefinite detentions without trial, and the endowment of presidential decrees with the power of law. President Sadat had terminated the provisions of emergency rule in the spring of 1981, but following his assassination by Islamist militants in October of that year, his vice-president and successor Mubarak quickly reinstated them. In 2000, the People's Assembly—the lower house of the Egyptian parliament, which is dominated by the president's National Democratic Party (NDP)—voted yet again to extend emergency provisions for a further three years. Early in his presidency, Mubarak applied few of the emergency measures at his disposal. Echoing Sadat, he spoke of administering "democracy in doses," while releasing political prisoners and allowing press criticism of government ministers. The opposition's representation in parliament rose to a record 20 percent in the 1987 elections; nongovernmental associations grew by the thousands; and professional syndicates provided additional forums for debate and protest. These developments, and the regime's decision not to use force against its opponents, suggested that the government was genuinely ceding political space. One early 1990s report from the U.S. Agency for International Development hopefully concluded: But soon thereafter, the prospects for further political reform started to deteriorate sharply. Indulging in executive decrees, the extensive use of military courts, and the broad deployment of security forces, Mubarak reversed Egypt's course and began to "deliberalize"—renewing controls on opposition parties, elections, Islamist activity, civil society organizations, and the press. The regime's ongoing and costly military campaign against Islamist militants (the annual death toll from which peaked in 1993 at more than 1,000) provided the pretext for a new drive of repression against nonviolent political opponents as well. When members of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB)—which was formally outlawed but allowed to organize without formal party status—won the leadership elections of the doctors', engineers', pharmacists', and lawyers' syndicates in the early and mid-1990s, legislation was enacted to bring most of the syndicates under the management of government-appointed judicial committees. The regime sent 54 Brotherhood members to prison...
Full-text available
Traditionally, consumers used the Internet to simply expend content: they read it, they watched it, and they used it to buy products and services. Increasingly, however, consumers are utilizing platforms--such as content sharing sites, blogs, social networking, and wikis--to create, modify, share, and discuss Internet content. This represents the social media phenomenon, which can now significantly impact a firm's reputation, sales, and even survival. Yet, many executives eschew or ignore this form of media because they don't understand what it is, the various forms it can take, and how to engage with it and learn. In response, we present a framework that defines social media by using seven functional building blocks: identity, conversations, sharing, presence, relationships, reputation, and groups. As different social media activities are defined by the extent to which they focus on some or all of these blocks, we explain the implications that each block can have for how firms should engage with social media. To conclude, we present a number of recommendations regarding how firms should develop strategies for monitoring, understanding, and responding to different social media activities.
The scope and meaning of ‘accountability’ has been extended in a number of directions well beyond its core sense of being called to account for one’s actions. It has been applied to internal aspects of official behaviour, beyond the external focus implied by being called to account; to institutions that control official behaviour other than through calling officials to account; to means of making officials responsive to public wishes other than through calling them to account; and to democratic dialogue between citizens where no one is being called to account. In each case the extension is readily intelligible because it is into an area of activity closely relevant to the practice of core accountability. However, in each case the extension of meaning may be challenged as weakening the importance of external scrutiny
In the standard works, accountability is defined as the legal obligation to respect the legitimate interests of others affected by decisions, programs, and interventions. This has usually meant that agencies obey those in the line of authority above them. However, the simplicity of this doctrine is often contradicted by the demands of contracting-out and output-based performance.Using interviews and surveys (n=1164) of front-line officials in Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, this study examines accountability as different forms of responsiveness, obligation, and willingness to communicate with others. It compares traditional vertical accountability with new forms of horizontal recognition. The research shows that there is a high degree of regime consistency across these two dimensions. Horizontal accountability is mostly a problem when it is accompanied by competition between public and private agencies in the same policy fields.
This paper considers how authoritarian regimes use competitive parliamentary elections as a tool for elite management. In particular, I argue that parliamentary elections in Egypt serve as the regime's most importance device for the distribution of rents and promotions to important groups within Egypt's politically influential classes including family heads, businessmen, and party apparatchik. For party professionals, ability to limit opposition voteshare serves as a signal of competence and loyalty to the regime leadership and party officials maintain positions of influence on this basis. For members of Egypt's politically-influential upper class, parliamentary elections work as a kind of market mechanism for the selection of those individuals who will be allowed to extract state rents via both legitimate and illegitimate channels.
This article seeks to put the “public” back in public values research by theorizing about the potential of direct citizen participation to assist with identifying and understanding public values. Specifically, the article explores eight participatory design elements and offers nine propositions about how those elements are likely to affect the ability of administrators to identify and understand public values with regard to a policy conflict. The article concludes with a brief discussion about potential directions for future research.