Questions of Accountability: Prerogatives, Power and Politics

Event Information      



Registration opens at the beginning of April 2021 and the deadline for both presenters and delegates to register is 24 October 2021. You can register a place by contacting

After you have registered you will be sent (closer to the start of the exhibition) information on how to access the live events and details of all the papers being delivered as part of the exhibition. 

If you have any questions, please contact the organisers at

The exhibition is free to attend and there is no fee for presenters or delegates.


Call for papers

Accountability is a chameleon concept. Demanded by democracy but often secured alongside something of a ‘gotcha!’ mentality, events such as the Covid-19 crisis, the Brexit debate, the emergence of populist pressures, ongoing security concerns and debates about the use of prerogative powers all point to the need to ask new questions of accountability. It is for exactly this reason that this exhibition focuses on contemporary debates concerning the accountability of governmental power from an inter-disciplinary and international perspective. Papers that explore the changing nature and inter-relationship(s) between different forms of accountability are welcomed (political, legal, judicial, managerial, media, public, etc.), as are normative studies that seek to question the underpinning drivers or expectations that underpin the notion of accountability. Key themes and questions include:

  1. Is accountability over-rated – too much as problematic as too little?
  2. How might the gendered dimensions of accountability be uncovered and addressed?
  3. What’s the relationship between blame, shame and being held to account?
  4. What does it feel like to go MAD [i.e. to suffer from multiple-accountabilities disorder]?
  5. In light of populist pressures, how can the constitution be safeguarded in stressful times?
  6. How is the relationship within and between political constitutions and judicial constitutions changing?
  7. Is social media a help or a hindrance when it comes to securing accountability?
  8. Should accountability be different in times of crisis?
  9. What’s the relationship between accountability and the court of public opinion?
  10. ‘What counts is what’s delivered’ - should output-focused accountability trump traditional process-based models? 

This is by no means a definitive list and participants are encouraged to adopt innovative methodologies and approaches and to challenge dominant disciplinary assumptions or ‘self-evident truths’. The aim of this event is to launch a new research agenda at the nexus of theory and practice in a manner that builds bridges between seams of scholarship that would otherwise remain disconnected. The longer-term aim is to establish a quinquennial ‘Questions of Accountability’ event in order to build long-term research infra-structure and an inter-disciplinary focus around this topic in ways that promote engagement with practitioners and research-users.

The exhibition will the organised with an explicit emphasis on inclusion, diversity and equality and papers from early career researchers are particularly encouraged. Over the course of the exhibition the papers will be exhibited online for delegates to view with presenters encouraged to create video or audio presentations to accompany their full written paper. 

There are five prizes available for best paper (in separate categories): 

  • Routledge Prize for Best Paper – Overall (£100 in books)
  • Routledge Prize for Best Paper - Post-Graduate Student (£50 in books)
  • Routledge Prize for Best Paper - Early Career Researcher (five years post-PhD) (£50 in books)
  • Routledge Prize for Best Paper - Contribution to Theory (£50 in books)
  • Routledge Prize for Best Paper - Innovative Approach (£50 in books) 

Who can present?

We are looking for contributions from across the globe and if you are researching or working within the themes of the exhibition, we are very keen to hear from you. We would like to showcase the research of early career researchers, PhD students, and more established researchers. Practitioners and research-users are also encouraged to submit papers. These need not be full research papers but might seek to highly novel challenges or the identification of potential solutions

Paper submission dates (abstracts)

The call for paper opens on 1 April 2021 and will close on 11 August 2021.

Paper will need to be submitted to the organisers at

Guidance for those submitting papers (abstracts)

  • The word limit for papers is 250 words.
  • Please include five key words with your paper.
  • The paper will need to be in English.

Date of decision

  • You will hear back as to whether your submission has been successful via email from the exhibition organisers by 23 August 2021.

What comes next?

  • Once you have received confirmation that your paper has been accepted you will be contacted to confirm how you will need to record your presentation (video or via audio) and how you will submit it to the organisers.
  • The presentation will need to be recorded in English.
  • Your presentation will need to be accompanied by a fully reference paper that builds upon the version of the paper you submitted previously (approx. 5,000-7,000 words).
  • You will need to upload your presentation and your fully referenced paper by 15 October 2021.


Format of the exhibition

The exhibition will take place online and this will enable delegates to attend from across the globe. During the course of the week delegates will be able to view the presentations (either video or audio) and read the papers accompanying them.  There will also be a live keynote event, which will be hosted on Blackboard Collaborate. All delegates will be given access to the online exhibition and details on how to attend the keynote event.

During the course of the week, we are keen to create a dialogue amongst delegates and presenters and we will be the hashtag #Qofaccountability2021 on Twitter to connect those attending and presenting. 

There will be a suggested approach to viewing the exhibition, with presentations grouped by theme and a notional viewing schedule across the week. However, the format allows you the opportunity to browse and view the presentations in your own time. 


Accessing the exhibition

Details on how to access the exhibition will be included here in due course.

Publications arising from the exhibition

We will aim to publish a selection of papers delivered at the exhibition as edited collections and special editions. Presenters will be provided with additional information in due course/

Q & A

Question: Does any part of the exhibition take place face-to-face?

Answer: No, the entire exhibition and the keynote event will take place online using Blackboard Open. To attend all you need to do is register via emailing  (details will be provided once registration opens).


Question: Who can submit a paper to the exhibition?

Answer: We are an academic exhibition, which will be open to a wide audience, and presenters will be from academia, politics, working for NGOs or in practice.


Question: Is this event just about British politics?

Answer: No, this is an international event that welcomes the exploration of questions of accountability from a global perspective.


Question: Is this event designed for any specific discipline or academic field?

Answer: No, this is an interdisciplinary exhibition and contributions are welcome from across the social sciences, law, arts and humanities.


Question: Who can attend the exhibition?

Answer: The exhibition is open to anyone (you do not need to be an academic) and all you need to do is follow the registration instructions.


Question: How much does it cost to attend or to present?

Answer: Nothing, there is no fee at all for either delegates or presenters.


Question: I would like to present at the exhibition but unsure whether I would be able to put together a video or audio presentation, would it be sufficient to just submit the fully referenced paper?

Answer: We would strongly encourage every presenter to create a short video or audio presentation to accompany their fully referenced paper. However, we are happy to just accept the fully referenced paper.


Question: Who will be presenting at the exhibition?

Answer: A full programme will be made available on this website closer to the exhibition taking place and a delegate pack will be emailed to all delegates beforehand.


Question: Will there be a follow-up event in the future?

Answer: We are looking at having future events and would be interested to hear from anyone wishing to collaborate with a follow-up event.


Question: Who is organising the exhibition?

Answer: The exhibition is a collaboration between Professor Matt Flinders (University of Sheffield) and Chris Monaghan (University of Worcester), which is being hosted by the University of Worcester.


Question: I am unable to watch the live keynote event- will it be recorded?

Answer: Yes, it will be recorded and available to watch online for four weeks after the exhibition closes.

For information on 'Questions of Accountability: Prerogatives, Power and Politics' Invited Speakers and the Conference Organisation Team please see our relevant webpages.