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Mass media and political accountability

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... ME 14:384). In this vein, recent studies have shown that mass media are 'by far the most important' source of information about officials' performance (Arnold 2004), representing a 'necessary condition' for the existence of democratic government (Dahl 1989) and a precondition for accountability (Coglianese and Howard 1998;Lee 1999;Besley and Burgess 2001;Besley et al. 2002;Voltmer 2010). The media can play a key role in enabling citizens -who have imperfect information about government activities -to monitor the actions of ministers and civil servants, leading to government that is more accountable and responsive to its citizens (Besley and Burgess 2001;Besley et al. 2002;Besley and Prat 2006) and rendering elected politicians more accountable (Roberts 2002;Strömberg 2004;Louw 2005;Snyder and Strömberg 2008). ...
... In this vein, recent studies have shown that mass media are 'by far the most important' source of information about officials' performance (Arnold 2004), representing a 'necessary condition' for the existence of democratic government (Dahl 1989) and a precondition for accountability (Coglianese and Howard 1998;Lee 1999;Besley and Burgess 2001;Besley et al. 2002;Voltmer 2010). The media can play a key role in enabling citizens -who have imperfect information about government activities -to monitor the actions of ministers and civil servants, leading to government that is more accountable and responsive to its citizens (Besley and Burgess 2001;Besley et al. 2002;Besley and Prat 2006) and rendering elected politicians more accountable (Roberts 2002;Strömberg 2004;Louw 2005;Snyder and Strömberg 2008). Ideally, free media are expected to act as the societal institution that 'contributes to public accountability without being under the control to any other actor' (Fox 2000), that is, following a relatively endogenous logic stemming from market incentives and journalistic goals (Besley and Prat 2006). ...
... Nonetheless, the actual influence of the media on public opinion, politicians and regulators is beyond the scope of this piece of research, which is limited to the exploration of the subsistence of minimal prerequisites for considering the media as a potential accountability forum for IRAs. As anticipated in the previous section, the first component of media accountability corresponds to evidence of regular media scrutiny of IRAs with reference to their official goals, credibility and efficiency, consistently with the ideal account of media as watchdogs of the political process (Besley et al. 2002;Curran 2005). However, establishing an absolute benchmark for the level of media coverage would be arbitrary. ...
Article
This book develops and applies an inventive theoretical approach to the comparative study of the neglected aspect of the real (or "de facto") independence of regulatory agencies. The book begins with an examination of the organisational and institutional factors shaping the de facto independence of regulatory agencies in Western Europe. There follows an analysis of the role of independent regulatory agencies in the policy-making process, using de facto independence as an explanatory variable. The final section is devoted to the relationship between regulatory agencies and the news media. In the conclusive discussion, the author also tackles a set of normative questions, which relates to the virtues and perils of independence.
... A free, open, and noncaptured press not only bridges the gap between the government and its citizens (Besley, Burgess, & Prat, 2002), but also reduces corruption (Djankov, McLiesh, Nenova, & Shleifer, 2002), fights religious extremism (Anam, 2002 ), induces political participation (Leeson, 2008), and augments economic growth (Roll & Talbott, 2003). An independent press is useful for the general public in the sense that it presents a " truer " or more fact-based picture of society and increases the accountability of the representatives of the public (Leeson, 2008; Sen, 1999; Stiglitz, 2002). ...
... Besley and Burgess (2001) showed that, along with some other factors, Indian states having superior newspaper distribution channels have been more effective in dealing with food crisis. Another important aspect of press freedom is to reduce information asymmetry and to bridge the gap between the citizens and the government (Besley, Burgess and Prat, 2002). This helps the government to get feedback on their policies and also help them in shaping the policies for the interest of their people. ...
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In this study, the authors explore the role of press freedom in the development of an economy, both in terms of economic growth and foreign direct investment. The relationship between press freedom, foreign direct investment, and economic growth is analyzed using a balanced panel of 115 countries. The existence of a bidirectional relationship between press freedom and economic growth is established using the generalized method of moments technique. We also find a bidirectional relationship between foreign direct investment and economic growth using the analysis. Our results are not contradicted by similar indices produced by Reporters Sans Frontières and Freedom House.
... The media, nongovernmental organizations, social movements, and civil society organizations educate the public by monitoring and publicizing government actions (Peruzzotti & Smulovitz, 2002. In an ideal democratic environment, the media's reporting (a) helps citizens overcome imperfect information on elected officials' actions, (b) analyzes and distills legislation, and (c) reveals the strengths and weaknesses of candidates, allowing citizens to make informed voting decisions (Besley, Burgess, & Prat, 2002). Well-informed citizens can evaluate the president's responsiveness to the voters' preferences and properly reward or punish her by reelecting the incumbent or by voting her out of office. ...
... Media commercialization increasingly challenges press freedom in Latin American countries (Besley et al., 2002;Hughes & Lawson, 2005;Waisbord, 1998Waisbord, , 2002 as it does elsewhere around the globe (Papathanassopoulos, 2001). While this transformation has freed journalists from government oversight and the resulting self-censorship, leading to increasingly critical coverage (Fox, 2007;Peruzzotti, 2006), commercial concentration exposes journalists to the whims of owners and has forced news outlets to provide "marketable" content or risk going out of business (Papathanassopoulos, 2001;Waisbord, 1998). ...
Article
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This article examines how media and partisan mechanisms of accountability influence presidential agendas in Latin America. The authors argue that responsiveness increases in powerful presidential systems when opposition parties and free media help citizens hold presidents accountable between elections. Where presidents must contend with a cohesive, ideological opposition and effective constraints to their power, they turn to valence issues with broad appeal and over which they have greater control. A free media—one without significant economic, legal, or political constraints—pressures the president to respond to the electorate's concerns, which include crime and corruption due to the incentives that motivate news content and the media's agenda-setting powers. Analyzing more than 50 presidential terms across 18 countries, the authors show that when Latin American presidents face either free and competitive media or strong legislative oppositions, homicide rates and the level of perceived corruption tend to be lower. Thus, this study proposes that efforts to improve media or partisan environments, or both, would help address Latin America's accountability deficit and promote good governance in the region.
... Third, our findings shed light on the role that media plays in an economy. Economics and finance literature suggests that mass media has material impacts on various aspects of socio-economic development, such as government accountability (Besley et al. 2002), bureaucratic corruption (Brunetti and Weder 2003), political and economic freedom, as well as overall measures related to the health of the society (Djankov et al. 2003), citizens' political knowledge and political participation (Leeson 2008), banking corruption (Houston et al. 2011), level of corporate social responsibility (Dyck and Zingales 2002;Borghesi et al. 2014), and audit quality (Chen et al. 2013). Our study adds to the literature by specifying a direct channel through which media ownership and press freedom affect market efficiency. ...
... Independent mass media is known not only as a check on those in public office but also as an effective mechanism of external control on corporate players. Along the former line, independent media are documented to promote government accountability, political and economic freedom, and citizens' political knowledge and political participation (Besley et al. 2002;Djankov et al. 2003;Leeson 2008After discussing the unique characteristics of and the existing evidence on the media, we hypothesize that mass media could potentially influence how the stock market functions. Independent media facilitates a quicker diffusion of valuable information, which is central to better decision making by investors and finally improves market efficiency. ...
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This study investigates the impact of firm-level illiquidity on stock price crash risk by employing a sample of 21,986 firms across 36 countries spanning the years 1997 to 2007. In doing so, the role of media independence in shaping this impact is also examined. The empirical results suggest that stock illiquidity is significantly and positively associated with firm-level crash risk. Furthermore, the positive association between illiquidity and crash risk has been mitigated in countries with independent media, characterized by a lower level of state ownership and a higher level of press freedom, in addition to the reduction effect of media independence per se on crash risk. Our main conclusions remain valid after taking into account the endogeneity issues and various robustness tests. JEL Classifications: G12; G15; G28.
... The ability of politicians to favour special interests is constrained by their public accountability (Besley, Burgess and Prat, 2006), as well as by judicial independence (La Porta, Lopez-de-Silanes and Shleifer, 2006). Greater public accountability, which re ‡ects the ability of citizens to question and challenge government policies, reduces the willingness of politicians to narrow …nancial access and limit competition in exchange for political contributions. ...
Article
Politicians inuence the allocation of …nance either directly via state banks, or indirectly via private banks using banking regulation or creditor rights. With state ownership of banks, entrepreneurs may form coalitions to bribe politicians to obtain scarce loans. With private ownership of banks, interest groups may lobby to inuence creditor rights to limit access to less established …rms. When public accountability and judicial independence are low, politi-cians prefer state ownership of banks. Politicians can extract more rents from competing coalitions when having direct control. The reason is that regulation only allows politicians to target certain types of entrepreneurs while direct control enables them to separate individual entrepreneurs. Beyond a certain threshold of public accountability and judicial indepen-dence legal risks from bribing become too high and it becomes politically optimal to to shift to lobbying on regulation by privatising banks. Access to …nance and entry increase with public accountability and tends to be greater under private ownership of banks. We also consider bribing to al-low non-repayment of state bank loans, and discuss the intermediate case of private banks lending only to their owners.
... By disseminating information mass media creates space for diverse public views regarding socio-economic and political processes, and increases people's scope for democratic participation (Hudock, 2003;Besley, Burgess, & Prat, 2002) consequently its role has become "larger than life" (Anam, 2007). Media, in Bangladesh, often shed light on the government plans on purchases. ...
... For example, Martin and Feldman (1998) have argued that that a free press is essential to the dissemination of information. Also, there is a growing body of evidence that relates the national governance institution of a free press as an underpinning of the " watchdog " role onto the public sector workings and a check against the abuse of governmental authority (e.g., Besley, Burgess, & Prat, 2002; Djankov, McLiesh, Nenova, & Shleifer, 2003). That is, governments have strong incentives for maintaining secrecy regarding their operations, transactions, and decision-making. ...
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... 4. We show that the results of our analysis are consistent if we use data from rounds 2 or 3 of the Afrobarometer survey, or if we pool rounds 2 and 3. For more information about the Afrobarometer project, see www.afrobarometer.org 5. Private media were found to be less subject to capture by government officials than were public media in multicountry studies spanning all regions of the world (Besley, Burgess, and Prat 2002;Djankov et al. 2001;Hughes and Lawson 2004;Madamombe 2005;Milton 2001 ). 6. We lacked direct measures of the quality of public and private news broadcasts, and therefore our conclusion that media quality does not play the dominant role in the trust gap is based on the analysis of indirect proxies at the individual and national levels. ...
Article
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Why do citizens in postauthoritarian African democracies trust government-owned broadcast media more than they trust private broadcasters, given the public media’s lack of independence and history of state propaganda? Analysis of Afrobarometer data from sixteen countries indicates that low political sophistication, illiberal attitudes, and support for incumbents are all associated with greater relative trust in government media. Citizens also prefer public broadcasters in polities with greater press freedom and lower corruption. These results suggest that private media need more democratic and critical citizens, rather than higher quality reporting and greater press freedom, to compete with the state media for influence and resources.
... A couple of features of political agency distinguish it from other agency relationships. First, the incentive schemes on offer are typically very crude (Besley, Burgess and Prat, 2002). Monetary and other more nuanced incentive contracts are almost never observed. ...
Article
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This dissertation investigates political market failures in developing countries. We deal with the idea that elections, the core institution of democracy, can't fully perform their functions in developing countries. This thesis revolves around four essays. Chapter 1 offers a critical review of the literature highlighting the mechanisms though witch political market imperfections undermine the role of elections in guaranteeing accountable and responsive governments. Chapter 2 moves beyond traditional political budget cycles models to shed light on changes in the allocation of public expenditures in pre-electoral periods. Results suggest that incumbents manipulate the allocation of public expenditures for electoral purposes increasing current expenditures at the expense of capital spending. Chapter 3 deals with the effect of mass media on national voter turnout. Estimations suggest that media penetration, measured by radio ownership, as well as media freedom are positively associated with electoral participation. The last chapter investigates whether foreign aid affects re-election probabilities of political leaders in recipient countries. It reveals that aid flows have a positive and significant impact on the incumbent's probability of re-election.
... Stiglitz (2002), focussed on the enhanced degree of governmental transparency and accountability in nations where media is strong which leads to positive economic development and better public policies which is an important consideration of the multinational companies (Spitzer, 1993). Similarly the private business agencies also operate better with stringent corporate governance norms and execution (Dyck & Zingales, 2002) and reduced principal agent problem (Besley & Burgess, 2001;Besley, et al, 2002). But a lot of research attention has not been paid to the altering shifting stance and resultant impact which foreign media projection, holds on the development process of a 'development aspiring' nation though stray studies reflect the shift in foreign media attention towards positive for nations like India (Tewari & Pathak, 2013). ...
Article
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Background and Purpose: India opened its doors to globalization in 1991 and the reference point of this change through globalization has been the United States of America (USA) which champions the cause of a free economy. The current study attempts to explore the relevance and importance that globalization has brought to India through mapping the shifting pattern of mass media coverage of India by the foreign media and parallely marking the shifting patterns in investments made by foreign financial institutions in India, over the last decade and a half. Design/Methodology/ Approach: Top 25 news articles about India reported by The New York Times (NYT), every year, over a span two decades 1991-2010 was taken from the NYT website. The 500 news reports were filtered and news falling in the category of “Business and Personal Finance” (BPF) were used for content analysis and categorised into three broad types – good; bad or neutral. Similarly the investments made by foreign institutions (FII) in India were noted over the same period to explore a correlation between the BPF media reports and the investments made by FII in India. Since media reports do not often have an immediate impact a lag effect of one year was checked. The data was statistically validated. Findings: The findings indicate an exponential rise in the number of news items which NYT carried about India over a period of two decades. There has been a change in the category of news coverage from ‘Arts and Culture’ to ‘Politics and Business’. The type of news report has changed from neutral to positive and the news reporting is more visually aided with photographs and pictures. A similar pattern is noticed in the foreign investments by institutions which have grown over a period of time. This clearly indicates the existence of a relationship between the positive news coverage by independent media and a rise in the amount of investments made by foreign institutions. Research Limitations/ implications: The study is limited to establishing a relationship between the media representation and investments by foreign institutions but the direction and the intensity of the relationship is not established. A lag effect on one year has been considered. Originality/ Value: Observations and comments about India’s changing position as a potential economic power and a positive prospect for investments have been made which is empirically validated by the study. The study also brings out one of the factors which positively impact investments in a developing nation like India. Keywords: India; Investments by Foreign Institutions; Shift in Communication quality and quantity; Globalization.
... An important issue relates to the diverse set of interests of citizens. Information will be used for different ends and interpreted in different ways by different groups in society who may be voting to further their own particular group interests (Besley, Burgess, & Prat, 2002). A frequent tension in resource-rich countries, for example, has been the disagreement over what is a fair distribution of revenues between producer regions and the rest of the country (see, e.g., Ross, Lujala, & Rustad, 2012). ...
Article
The increase in demand and prices of most high-value natural resources over the past five decades has resulted in massive income gains for resource-abundant countries. Paradoxically, many of these countries have suffered from slow economic growth, weak political institutions, and violent conflict. To combat corruption, increase accountability, and promote government effectiveness, the international community and advocacy groups have been promoting transparency as the remedy to misappropriation and mismanagement of revenues. Consequently, advocates, officials, and diplomats increasingly focus on transparency as the means to better manage revenues from high-value natural resources in developing countries. The linkages between transparency, accountability, and management of revenues from high-value natural resources require careful examination. This article provides a review of the literature on transparency and accountability in the context of natural resource revenue management, discusses how transparency is conceptualized and understood to function in this context, and assesses the existing evidence for the proposition that increased transparency leads to more accountability and improved natural resource governance. The article concludes with a discussion on the evaluation of transparency policy initiatives.
... Esistono, tuttavia, anche delle ragioni per ritenere che le elezioni possano generare un effetto negativo sulle attività di earnings management. Precedente letteratura ha dimostrato che le attività di earnings management tendono a ridursi quando aumentano i costi reputazionali connessi alle conseguenze della loro scoperta [Besley et al. 2002;Olken 2007;Kido et al. 2012; Van Lent 2012] e non v'è dubbio che anche quei costi siano accentuati nelle fasi elettorali. Si tratta, infatti, di fasi dove massima è l'attenzione della stampa sulla performance delle società partecipate e sui legami tra manager pubblici e politici e sicuramente più elevata è anche la probabilità che le determinanti dei risultati aziendali siano attentamente scrutinate. ...
Book
Dalla performance delle società a partecipazione pubblica dipende la qualità di molti servizi essenziali, il grado di efficienza e di efficacia di gran parte della spesa pubblica e, spesso, l’equilibrio finanziario delle amministrazioni partecipanti. Esistono quindi numerosi motivi per i quali il bilancio di queste società dovrebbe essere ispirato ai massimi livelli di qualità. I risultati della ricerca, tuttavia, non confermano tale aspettativa ed evidenziano i limiti causati dalla acritica adozione del modello delle società di capitali che, incentrato sulla misurazione del risultato economico, si dimostra incapace di soddisfare le esigenze di accountability generate dalla natura pubblica delle risorse utilizzate e dalla presenza di finalità di interesse generale. Come ampiamente dimostrato in letteratura, il risultato economico, peraltro, è spesso oggetto di attività di earnings management (EM) che possono ridurne in modo significativo la qualità. Il lavoro propone una rassegna degli studi che hanno analizzato le relazioni tra EM e natura pubblica della proprietà ed illustra i risultati di una indagine empirica con cui si è dimostrato che nelle società partecipate dai comuni italiani l’EM è più alto in prossimità delle elezioni, il che significa che la qualità di quei risultati è più bassa proprio quando più intense sono le esigenze conoscitive.
... This empowerment, eventually, leads the public to act accordingly. In another related study, Besley et al. (2002) show that media helps in overcoming principal-agent problem between public and governments. They argue that, generally, there is considerable amount of information asymmetry between the principals (citizens) and the agents (elected officials). ...
Article
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The paper uses the Enterprise Survey data from 116 countries to document the impact of media independence on exposure of firms – most of which are small and medium enterprises (SMEs) – to crime. The results of our analysis show that firms operating in countries with more independent media consider crime as a lesser important obstacle to their business operations than firms operating in countries with less independent media. The results are robust across countries with different levels of economic development and depend on governance, social and cultural environments of countries.
... There is a theoretical and empirical literature grounded in agency models of political representation that informs the scenario sketched out of legislators' behavior when confronted with a crisis (24,25). That literature indicates a close connection between an issue's salience in the media, election outcomes, and policy implementation. ...
Article
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Major financial legislation is invariably enacted in the wake of a financial crisis. However, legislating following a crisis is hazardous because information is scarce regarding causes of the crisis, let alone what would be an appropriate response. Compounding the lack of information, crisis-driven legislation is sticky, but financial markets are dynamically innovative, which can undermine the efficacy of regulation. As a result, it is foreseeable that such legislation will contain at least some provisions that are inapt or inadequate or, more often, have consequences that are not well understood or even knowable. This article advocates the use of sunsetting as a mechanism for mitigating the potentially adverse consequences of crisis-driven financial legislation. With sunsetting, after a fixed time span, legislation and its implementing regulation must be reenacted to remain in force. This approach has parallels in evolutionary biology, in which a central issue is the ability to adapt to changing environments. Sunsetting does not mean simply discarding (or reenacting) existing regulations, but revisiting them and improving them, much as mutation and recombination do in the evolutionary process.
... In deciding which stories to pursue, media agents arguably want to attract the largest possible audience (Jensen, 1979). This incentive is true both for newspapers, whose subscription and advertising revenues are linked to circulation, and for television and radio stations, where advertising and (where applicable) cable fees are tied to viewer or listener ratings (Besley et al., 2002;Besley and Prat, 2006). As defined in Jamieson and Campbell (2001), a 'newsworthy event' is an event with the following five characteristics: 1 personalised 2 conflict-filled, controversial, dramatic 3 actual and concrete as opposed to theoretical or abstract 4 novel and deviant 5 linked to issues with ongoing concern. ...
Article
The economic and financial crisis has highlighted the failure of banking authorities in capturing all the elements and information needed to ensure effective and sound regulation, supervision and risk management of the banking sector. Mass media are a potentially highly effective mechanism of external control on banking system. Our paper addresses a central question: do the media play a role in grabbing the banking risk-taking behaviour? Using the text-analysis technique, we develop two indices of risk coverage in relation to banking and economic issues for the EU-15 zone countries between 1998 and 2015. Then we 'test on field' both indices in relation to banking asset quality, and we find that for several countries, they are positively correlated with the financial stability indicator; on the other hand, we do not observe a widespread trend reversal which would reveal a 'watchdog' role of the media on banking riskiness.
... In addition to a stable parliamentary democracy, the risk of corrupt practices in the public sector is reduced by a guarantee of political accountability ( Adsera et al. 2003;Ackerman 2004) and freedom of the press ( Besley et al. 2002;Freille et al. 2007;Kalenborn and Lessmann 2012). A free and independent press plays an important role in informing society, especially in a situation where the society is active and can apply pressure on the responsible behaviour of political institutions. ...
Article
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Interdisciplinary definitions of corruption perceive corrupt actions as contrary to legal and ethical standards affecting the public interest, perpetrated by a person in public office. The main goal of the study is to identify the factors of corrupt acts in the public sector stemming from the economic, political, cultural and social environments in the Slovak Republic. Through the Delphi method we verify the relevance of economic, political and cultural-social factors of corrupt acts in the public sector defined in the theoretical framework of this issue. The Delphi method was used under the following conditions: the anonymity of experts, feedback control and statistical determination of a consensus of experts. Expert evaluation of the factors underlying corrupt behaviour in the public sector enabled us not only to detect the overall relevance of the factors, but also to identify areas where corruption in the public sector is most widespread, according to experts. We can state that the most problematic areas include the judiciary and the police.
... In deciding which stories to pursue, media agents arguably want to attract the largest possible audience (Jensen, 1979). This incentive is true both for newspapers, whose subscription and advertising revenues are linked to circulation, and for television and radio stations, where advertising and (where applicable) cable fees are tied to viewer or listener ratings (Besley et al., 2002;Besley and Prat, 2006). As defined in Jamieson and Campbell (2001), a 'newsworthy event' is an event with the following five characteristics: 1 personalised 2 conflict-filled, controversial, dramatic 3 actual and concrete as opposed to theoretical or abstract 4 novel and deviant 5 linked to issues with ongoing concern. ...
... Media seeks to rectify the actions taken by the government and ensure accountability towards the citizens by presenting news on the three important administrative issues of recruitment, promotion and transfer and other administrative malpractices. Besley et al. (2002) argue that the media can play a vital role if it is totally free from state control. ...
Article
The Awami League (AL)-led Grand Alliance came to power with a ‘Charter for Change’ in 2009 in order to ensure good governance in Bangladesh. From 2009 to 2012, the government has taken various steps to make the civil service efficient and capable. This article strives to explore what the AL government has done to manage the civil service during 2009–12. The article analyses newspaper articles on the AL government’s actions on recruitment, promotion, and transfer. It also analyses the role of the media in exposing the state of the civil service management by conducting structured interviews of purposively sampled respondents. The article shows that the AL-led government has manoeuvred the civil service through partisan decisions on recruitment, promotion and transfer, which have left the civil service management in disarray.
... These tensions have been amplified by the progressively adversarial relationship between the administration and the media. In democratic regimes, the media plays a key role in allowing citizens to monitor the behaviour and actions of their representatives and help keep them accountable and responsive to interests and needs of the public (Besley, Burgess & Prat, 2002). More precisely, as Joseph Stiglitz (2002, p. 28) reminds us, "free speech and a free press not only make abuses of governmental powers less likely, they also enhance the likelihood that people's basic social needs will be met". ...
Article
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The election of Donald Trump as America’s forty-fifth president took much of the world by surprise. Throughout his presidential campaign, Trump assured the electorate that he would solve the nation’s problems and implement an “America First” strategy which emphasises nationalism and unilateral action. He consistently contrasted his managerial skills with the ineptitude of career politicians and promised to make the best deals for America. However, the initial year of the Trump presidency has not generated the much-anticipated foreign policy successes and confusion and uncertainty have surfaced regarding America’s global leadership. Many of the difficulties the administration has faced in implementing its foreign policy strategy stem from the President’s unique management style. The current paper analyses the challenges Trump has encountered in employing his corporate management style in the Presidency and the effects it has had on America’s ability to lead the liberal international order.
... Corruption destroys transparency in the economic environment and creates various crises in the country (Chang and Chu, 2006;Anderson and Tverdova, 2003;Seligson, 2002). Furthermore, prior literature suggests that press freedom is useful to combat corruption (Persson and Tabellini, 2000;Chowdhury, 2004;Besley and Burgess, 2002;Tang et al., 2019;Del Monte & Papagni, 2007). However, developing countries are more prone to corruption than developed countries due to lower level of press freedom (Gonzalez et al., 2019). ...
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Purpose This study aims to examine the relationship between e-government and corruption in selected South Asian countries (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka). Design/methodology/approach The sample data were gathered from reliable secondary sources over a sample period of 2003–2018. Additionally, this study incorporated other potential determinants or corruption, such as government effectiveness, press freedom, education and economy. To assess sample data, this study used panel data econometric procedures. Findings Results indicated that e-government had a positive and significant impact on corruption. Similarly, government effectiveness and education had a positive and significant influence on corruption. However, press freedom and the economy showed a negative and insignificant impact on corruption. This study further found the robustness of the results through sensitivity analysis. Overall, it was concluded that e-government plays a significant role to reduce corruption. Originality/value The governments should implement the e-governance system and provide a transparent and accountable environment to eliminate corruption.
... The effect of media scrutiny on political accountability has also been studied. In particular, attention has been devoted to the study of bias and/or capture of the mass media, and under what conditions this bias/capture can influence voters welfare and ultimately policy outcomes ( see for example Strömberg (2015), Snyder and Strömberg (2010), Besley et al. (2002), and Puglisi and Snyder (2008)). In particular, Strömberg (2015) identify two roles of mass media in elections. ...
Preprint
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The model is a novel attempt to analyse the effects of a watchdog journalist on candidate selection at both local and national levels of government. Specifically, this paper studies how the self-selection of bad (good) candidates to local and national level is affected by the journalist's reports and the rewards for being elected at the local or national office. To do so, I develop a simple game-theoretical model in which candidates who differ in quality and ability choose to run either locally or nationally, and a journalist chooses to investigate bad candidates at local or national level. I show that increasing the scandal cost of being exposed in a journalist report, does not deter bad candidates from running nationally (when the reward ratio is large enough). Indeed, it only makes that both, bad and good candidates to be distributed evenly across levels of government. Also, I found that when the reward ratio is on a specific range, increasing the scandal cost for being exposed in a journalist report creates only two opposite equilibria: one in which a bad candidate runs locally, whereas in the other one a good candidate runs locally. Moreover, I found a non-monotonic relationship between the probability of a bad candidate being elected at a local level and the reward ratio.
... The personalization of the state apparatus, including for example the politicized nature of the judiciary and the absence of independent watchdog institutions, allows this dominance over the media to occur in a way not possible in a programmatic system (Hallin and Papathanassopoulos 2002). Underdevelopment more broadly, itself correlated with clientelism, is in turn associated with media capture (Besley, Burgess et al. 2002). However, as with programmatic parties, clientelistic parties have an institutional life-expectancy that extends beyond a single leader. ...
Article
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To what extent is populist rule associated with a decline in press freedom and freedom of expression? Populist rule refers to government headed by charismatic leaders who seek to gain and retain power by mobilizing mass constituencies that are typically free of other political attachments. Populism in this sense matters for two reasons: (1) controlling the media is a core objective of populists compared with other types of political leaders, who can rely on other organizational links to supporters; and (2) the interests of populist parties are virtually equivalent to the interests of party leaders, which means that populists face different time horizons and constraints on their behavior than the leaders of more deeply institutionalized parties. Using cross-national data on up to ninety-one countries from 1980 to 2014, this paper tests whether populist rule is associated with the erosion of press freedom and freedom of expression relative to other types of government and whether any effect is conditional on the ideology of the populist government in question. It finds that populist rule is associated with a decline in most measures of media freedom relative to programmatic party rule. However, this effect is lessened for right-leaning populist governments.
... The media in a democracy is at the heart of the process of communication through which social and political problems are raised and discussed (Besley, Burgess and Prat, 2002). The media therefore are among the most important information institutions required for a transparent and open democracy. ...
Chapter
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In Nigeria where the state is not only an important employer and provider of services but clearly dominates the economy and controls the principal source of wealth , the oil economy, it naturally is the target of media reporting. This chapter attempts an understanding of how much content the press allocates to public affairs in the first few years of Nigeria’s Fourth Republic. The main objective is to find out how news of politics was reported and presented, and implications of such construction and treatment on democracy and development in the country. This study employed content analysis of news reporting on front pages in six newspapers for a period of six years, 2000-2006, Results show that newspaper reporting is still dominated by news of politics. Most news of politics was framed in terms of conflicts, that is, as crises between and among politicians, political institutions and structures. The paper argues that the chaotic picture presented has apparent negative impact on democratic values and institutions and overall development of the country.
... The information provided via the media could be used in voting decisions. This could both increase the salience of particular issues and selected politicians which acted in the public interest (Timothy Besley, 2002). In line with the analysis of the role media in influencing government policy had recently been deepened by Besley and Burgess (2002). ...
... Regarding the asymmetric information, free media and free press are essential factors that shape public beliefs and Mathematical Problems in Engineering opinions and play a key role in the political decision-making process [52]. Free media should work in the best interest of the country and public and could be beneficial because free media facilitate to decrease the information asymmetry between government and citizens [53]. Access to information is essential for innovation process [17], and the freedom of press facilitates the government to communicate with the highly globalized world. ...
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