ERIC Number: ED221942
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Social Explanation and Political Accountability: Two Related Problems with a Single Solution.
McPherson, Andrew; And Others
Governing bodies that are quasi-rational, representative, and democratic are accountable to those they govern in much the same way that social scientists are accountable to the academic community. Since they both appeal to rationality as the basis of their actions, governments and scientists must use epistemologically adequate procedures to produce, test, and judge the accounts they offer of their activities. These procedures invoke the following principles: intersubjectivity, openness, skepticism, and universality of participation. The first half of this document discusses the notions of "accounts" and "accountability"; the characteristics of governing bodies, their actions, and their accounts of themselves; and the nature of social science research and accounts of such research. The second part of the document defines the notion of collaborative research and describes the Collaborative Research Programme, a 3-year effort to decentralize the use and control of a periodic national survey of school-leavers in Scotland. This program attempts to make the aspects of the survey related to social science research more adequate epistemologically, while simultaneously promoting political accountability by providing the data and the theoretical bases necessary for appropriate government action. (Author/PGD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Collaborative Research Programme (Scotland); Scotland
Note: Paper presented to the Symposium on Accountability at the Annual Conference of the British Educational Research Association (Leeds, England, September 1978).