Balancing accountability and stability: A comparison of 2022 Executive Resignations in the United Kingdom and Sri Lanka

In November of 2023 I was delighted to be appointed as a Research Fellow for the Constitution Society. My work for the Society will compare the operation of constitutions in the UK and Sri Lanka. In this blog, I explore the interactions between democratic accountability of the executive and government stability in the United Kingdom’s parliamentary system and Sri Lanka’s semi-presidential system in 2022. Accountability and stability are chameleon-like terms, both with a core ideal that applies in many contexts. In constitutional governance, we speak of the importance of accountability and stability without focusing on the nuances and interactions between these two concepts. In the first part of the post, I will briefly describe the key terms. In the second part, I will explain why the UK and Sri Lanka are suitable for comparison. I will then analyse the interactions between democratic accountability and government stability. This is the first of two blogs on the subject, with my full research paper to be published in the first half of 2024. 1. Accountability, Stability, and Institutional Regime Types Accountability involves acts of narration or explanation by one party while the other party (or their representative) engages in tallying up these accounts to see if those acts are justified. [1] I am specifically interested in the application of accountability within constitutional democracy. While democracy establishes the relationship of accountability between the representatives, institutions of governance, and the people, constitutional law provides the legal tools for holding the representatives accountable. [2] In turn, democratic accountability is achieved by institutional structures that hold elected representatives accountable. Members of the executive are subject to intra-branch accountability and inter-branch accountability by the legislature, the judiciary, and the fourth branch institutions (in contexts where these are established). [3] Members are also held accountable to the people […]

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By Donato