Accountability: What Does It Mean, and How Can It Be Achieved in Policy, Politics, and Law?

„Accountability“ is one of the leading political demands of our time. But what does „accountability“ actually mean?

Aufzeichnung vom 02. März 2022

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Whom exactly is being asked to be „accountable“ for what? Is the accountability demanded of political actors the same as the accountability that criminal courts or the International Court of Justice in The Hague strive to achieve? Can these two kinds of „accountability“ be separated, or do they merge with or bleed into one another? Are there yet other ways of construing this concept, from establishing historical accountability for past wrongs to establishing and correcting misbehavior in academic institutions? The panel discussion will address this issue, exploring the multiple, often vigorously debated, meanings of accountability in different legal, political or other circumstances.

In cooperation with the The Amercian Academy in Berlin .



  • Christoph Markschies (President of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities)
  • Daniel Benjamin (President of the American Academy Berlin)


  • Deborah Amos (International Correspondent, National Public Radio and Ferris Professor of Journalism in Residence, Princeton University, and Axel Springer Fellow, American Academy in Berlin)
  • Lawrence Douglas (James J. Grosfeld Professor of Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought, Amherst College, and Daimler Fellow, American Academy in Berlin)
  • Tatjana Hörnle (Member of the BBAW | Co-Director, Max-Planck-Institute for Research on Criminality, Security and Law in Freiburg i. Br., and Honorary Professor, Humboldt University of Berlin)
  • Ortwin Renn (Member of the BBAW | Scientific Director, IASS - Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Potsdam)


  • Mitchell G. Ash, (Member of the BBAW | Professor Emeritus of Modern History, University of Vienna, Austria)

This video was recorded with Zoom. The BBAW apologizes for short interruptions in the video footage.

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