Last Monday, Erna Scholtes defended a thesis on the emerging understanding of the idea of transparency over the past decades.
Dr. Albert Meijer of the Open Government in the EU research team has edited the latest edition of the International Review of Administrative Sciences which goes by the title: “Government transparency: creating clarity in a confusing conceptual debate”.
The IRAS special issue is the fruit of a symposium on government transparency that was held at the Utrecht School of Governance in November 2010. It contains various articles by leading transparency researchers such as David Heald (Aberdeen, Scotland), Alasdair Roberts (Suffolk, USA), and Eric Welch (Chicago), but also holds contributions from an active community of transparency researchers at the Utrecht School of Governance.
The special issue approaches transparency research from various angles such as through a conceptual meta-analysis (Meijer, Curtin, Hillebrandt), experimental results (Grimmelikhuijsen), participative government (Welch), public expenditure (Heald), and parliamentary oversight (Brandsma). It can be viewed here, or through your institution’s online library.
This morning, Utrecht School of Government researcher Stephan Grimmelikhuijsen was awarded a doctorate for his dissertation on transparency and trust.
In his dissertation, Grimmelikhuijsen delved into the complexities of a widely held expectation of transparency: that citizens will trust their government more if they have more information about it. In order to study this question, Grimmelikhuijsen chose for the methodological interesting angle of an experimental setting, working with self-designed transparency websites as templates. The research was co-supervised by Open Government in the EU team member dr. Albert Meijer, while prof. Deirdre Curtin of our team was on the reading committee. The Ministry of Home Affairs has already shown interest in the dissertation and will be discussing its implications for policy during its next ministerial meeting. Grimmelikhuijsen will continue to investigate the impact of government transparency in a post-doctoral programme at the USG.
A press statement about the dissertation can be found here.
Practitioners, watchdogs and activists speak up on EU transparency.