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Vertical accountability - where the governed use democratic elections to replace the governors - remains one of the more successful integrity measures. Although the people are themselves subject to the laws of the legislature and the actions of the executive, their power of suffrage allows them to respond to breaches of integrity by those institutions. It is the people at large, after all, who have the most to gain from their institutions performing their publically stated roles - it is the public's interest that most closely aligns with institutional integrity. As we have seen, this insight arises in vivid form in Machiavelli, who foregrounded the institutions of the public over the nobility in his early invocation of the separation of powers, because he held that the former was of higher integrity. Machiavelli believed that, since the intrinsic motivation of the nobility was always to oppress the people, elites could not be trusted with managing the affairs of state without vigorous oversight by the people (McCormick, 2001). Contrariwise, he saw the people's fundamental motivation as simply to avoid being oppressed. Viewed from the position of the security and integrity of the state, this motivation was more honest, feasible and public spirited. Machiavelli does accept that the public has its own weaknesses, but even here he suggests that, as McCormick explains, 'the people have a sense of their own limitations and their need for the governing expertise of their class antagonists' (2001, p. 307). While there is thus an irremovable role for elites in governing the republic, the public are the best judges of the nature and extent of this role.

This is not to say that democracy rises to the pitch of a perfect govern- ance strategy (Pope, 2000, pp. 24-26) - a point of which Machiavelli was well aware (McCormick, 2001). Still, if it is not viewed as a panacea for integrity concerns, vertical accountability plays a role alongside other measures. As Madison (Hamilton et al., 1778/2008, p. 257) says, 'A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions'.

The involvement of the general public through voting is the most obvious instance of vertical accountability - but it is not the only way in which their sheer strength can manifest. The population can take to the streets, protest, riot, blockade, devote monetary resources, strike, publicize and engage in conscientious objection. In these ways they can apply social and other pres- sure to state actors: police, army, politicians, public servants and judges. As we saw, it was these shifts in strength, as much as authorized voting power, that allowed the English citizenry to play their role in Montesquieu's separation of powers, by rallying to the cause of any public institution perceived to be under assault. Indeed, Locke's 'right of revolution' - where, in desperate situations, the populace have a right to rise up en masse against despotic leaders - takes its place within his discussion of institutional checks and separation of powers (Locke, 1690/1947, p. 149). As Pogge (2009, p. 204) observes, it is a complex empirical question whether such a right diminishes the rule of law by encouraging citizens to transgress the law, or works in precisely the opposite fashion by encouraging the authori- ties to govern within the rule of law.


Montesquieu was famously impressed by the tripartite horizontal division of powers in the constitution of England between executive, legislative and judiciary, but he also (though less famously) warned of a vulnerability in the political arrangements of both France and England: namely, their centralization of power. Montesquieu saw this centralization of power as expunging the regional power held by lords in the feudal period (Ward, 2007, pp. 565-570). Although the lords only held a subordinate power, their strength nevertheless mediated and tempered the monarch's edicts. Power was shared among regions and the sovereign, and 'produced rule with an inclination to anarchy and anarchy with a tendency to order and harmony' (Montesquieu, 1748/1989, p. 619).

Arguably, modern federal, state and local council institutions serve the same purpose (Little, 2000, pp. 97-98; Vile, 1998, p. 188). Overlapping and intertwining responsibilities and jurisdictions may have their inefficiencies, but they also make it more difficult for any single institution to make nak- edly self-interested decisions without being confronted by the attention and resistance of rival actors. The need for coordinated action, and for obtain- ing consent across multiple institutions, increases the public space for nego- tiation and decision-making. So too, the coordination thesis described above can apply to these federalist institutions when their areas of jurisdic- tion overlap. In his discussion of the separation of powers in the proposed federal constitution, Madison emphasized that the rights of the people would benefit from a 'double security' (Hamilton et al., 1778/2008, p. 258). 'In the compound republic of America', Madison explained, 'the power surrendered by the people is first divided between two distinct governments, and then the portion allotted to each subdivided among distinct and separate departments'.

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