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UNHCR and the Struggle for Accountability : Technology, Law and Results-Based Management (Hardcover)
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Starting from the notion that accountability is a topic that is difficult to understand through single-discipline contributions, this multidisciplinary volume offers an in-depth exploration of accountability in humanitarian action. It illuminates United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' (UNHCR) struggle for accountability by exploring how three contemporary narratives of global governance – human rights based approaches/international law, new public management, and technology (decision-making software and biometrics) – intersect with different dimensions of UNHCR's accountability endeavor. Drawing on case studies from UNHCR’s activities in Afghanistan, Australia, Colombia, the EU, Mauretania, Morocco, Turkey, Uganda and UNHCR headquarters in Geneva, the volume considers the similarities, differences and overlaps between these accountability-strategies as they play out in UNHCR's global field of action.
The book explores UNHCR's quest for accountability by viewing UNHCR's accountability obligations through the web of institutional relationships within which the agency is placed (beneficiaries, host governments, implementing partners, donors, the Executive Committee, UNGA) and by conceptualizing accountability as made up of various layers of initiatives and relationships – whose interactions are important yet difficult to illuminate from within a single discipline. With a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach, it helps to understand the ways in which the issue traverses concepts, ideas and practices that defy disciplinary boundaries. Included disciplines are anthropology, history, international relations, international law, science and technology studies and socio-legal studies.
This comprehensive discussion of accountability premised on different forms of and approaches to knowledge about accountability will be a timely and valuable contribution to the literature. As such, this volume is also a contribution to a discussion about how we construct knowledge about concepts in humanitarian studies broadly defined.