Although international administrators wield enormous power, they are not directly accountable to the populations over which they rule. Strictly speaking, a transitional administrator is accountable to the international body that appoints him or her. The lack of transparency is one way in which the issue of accountability manifests itself: key decisions may be taken by international authorities without sufficient public explanation offered for the reasoning behind them, creating the impression of arbitrary rule. Limited accountability does not, however, mean the total absence of mechanisms for local scrutiny. Discusses what mechanisms exist to help ensure that international authority is exercised on behalf of, and for the benefit of, the local population. Are these mechanisms adequate and, if not, how can accountability be strengthened?
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