Accountability is defined as the quality or state of being accountable, or the obligation or willingness to accept responsibility. However, as anyone who has worked in development or ever made a poor assumption regarding cultural similarity knows, modes of accountability vary from culture to culture. One of the key dilemmas of working with "natives" of any stripe is confronting the workings of cross-cultural understanding in terms of what behaviors and actions need to be justified. By whom should such reckoning take place, and why, how, when, and where? Although all of these questions loom large when one considers the implications of going to the field, the subject of ethno-accountability has been under-explored in both the theoretical and methodological literature. I introduce the question in this issue with ethnographic examples from Barbados, Montserrat, Ireland, the Philippines and the United States in the hope that many of the dilemmas of development, especially those that relate to tourism, might be mitigated or at least better understood.

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