On Friday 26 April 2019 at 10.30 hrs. Minou de Ruiter will defend her PhD thesis Walking the Tightrope. Political accountability, blame and ministerial survival in two Parliamentary systems.
When publicised incidents occur in the portfolio of a minister or when they are accused of some form of wrongdoing, political drama ensues. Their political standing and indeed their ministerial survival are at stake. These incidents can not only lead to resignation but can also diminish trust in government. However, large differences exist within and between parliamentary systems in how these incidents play out and their outcomes.
A delicate, political balancing act
Minou de Ruiter explores what happens when ministers are called to account for failures and wrongdoings. The specific focus in Walking the Tightrope is on the question to what extent formal rules and informal norms among political elites affect the process and outcome of high-stakes accountability episodes in two different parliamentary systems: in the Netherlands and in the Australian State of New South Wales.
When the stakes are high, ministerial account-giving becomes a delicate political balancing act, whose course and outcomes are influenced by not just the formal rules but also the informal norms and practices of the political system.
Minou de Ruiter is a researcher at Domestique Counsulting (Sydney) and a PhD student at the Utrecht University School of Governance (USG).