UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Social Accountability Mechanisms and Controlling Corruption: the Case of Ecuador (2007-2016)

Hidalgo Jara, Mario; (2021) Social Accountability Mechanisms and Controlling Corruption: the Case of Ecuador (2007-2016). Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

[thumbnail of Hidalgo__Thesis.pdf]

Download (2MB) | Preview


Despite the growing literature on corruption, knowledge on how to control this phenomenon is still limited. Many scholars and policymakers suggest that social accountability (SAcc) initiatives may help to strengthen public accountability and combat corruption. SAcc is understood as citizen-based initiatives, beyond voting, aiming to prevent, detect or expose corruption by holding the State accountable and seeking direct or indirect sanctions by triggering horizontal accountability. In this vein, success depends heavily on the efficiency of control agencies in officially investigating and sanctioning corrupt acts. Furthermore, evidence suggests that outcomes of SAcc initiatives to fight corruption depend heavily on the context in which they are implemented. This thesis aims to build on the knowledge of how SAcc works in controlling corruption in practice. On this basis, this thesis focuses on three core points. First, it analyses the current debates and scholarship on corruption and how this problem has triggered many policy responses, including SAcc. It also discusses both the scholarship and empirical cases on SAcc to reach a broad understanding of its complementary role in controlling corruption. Second, this thesis offers an in-depth study of SAcc’s place in the Ecuadorian anti-corruption institutional framework firmament. Ecuador is an interesting case study due to its innovative and favourable SAcc and anti-corruption institutional framework. However, the way in which SAcc is carried out depends not only on a conducive framework, but also on how it works in practice. In this context, this research also analyses how the institutionalisation of SAcc may undermine SAcc’s main objective, holding the State accountable. Third, our understanding of how SAcc is practised is sharpened with an empirical analysis of two SACC initiatives: a citizen oversight initiative (veeduria in Spanish) in the city of Cuenca and the participatory budget in the province of Tungurahua. Taking these specific cases, this research analyses the interrelationship between citizens, control agencies and the State, at different levels, to understand SAcc’s capacity to sanction corruption in the Ecuadorian context. The findings of the research show that veedurias can be an effective mechanism for detecting corruption, but this outcome may be hampered by horizontal agencies’ inefficiency in investigating signs of corruption. Additionally, the process of participatory budgeting in Tungurahua is mainly based on the actions of local governments and does not offer many opportunities for citizens to control budget expenditure. Furthermore, there are several structural problems in the framework that weaken SAcc’s capacity to hold the State accountable. Without sanctions, there is no accountability. Furthermore, these weaknesses can make SAcc mechanisms vulnerable to being captured by the State and used to legitimise public actions.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Social Accountability Mechanisms and Controlling Corruption: the Case of Ecuador (2007-2016)
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10130968
Downloads since deposit
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item