Holding Power to Account provides a general overview of 'accountability', a key but contested concept in modern democratic governance. Accountability is identified with a core of external scrutiny and sanctions, in opposition to more expansive versions which also embrace 'responsibility' and 'responsiveness'. Richard Mulgan analyses both the United States and several 'Westminster' countries (the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand). Emphasis is on the public sector but accountability in the commercial and non-profit sectors is also discussed. Major topics include the contrast between accountability in the public and private sectors, the effects of public management reforms on accountability, accountability for collective actions, accountability in networks and federations and the limits of accountability.