Government Responsiveness in Developing Countries

Guy Grossman, Tara Slough

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    When and how do governments deliver public goods and services in response to citizen preferences? We review the current literature on government responsiveness, with a focus on public goods and service delivery in developing countries. We identify three types of actors that are commonly present in these accounts: politicians, bureaucrats, and citizens. Much of this literature examines interactions between dyads of these actors. The study of electoral accountability and constituency services emphasizes relationships between citizens (or voters) and politicians. Studies of bureaucratic incentives and political oversight of bureaucrats emphasize interactions between politicians and bureaucrats. Finally, studies of bureaucratic embeddedness and citizen oversight of bureaucrats elaborate the interactions between bureaucrats and citizens. We argue that an emerging literature that considers interactions between all three types of actors provides rich theoretical and empirical terrain for developing our understanding of responsiveness and accountability in low-and middle-income countries and beyond.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)131-153
    Number of pages23
    JournalAnnual Review of Political Science
    StatePublished - Feb 1 2022


    • bureaucracy
    • constituency service
    • political accountability
    • public goods provision
    • responsiveness

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science


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