Special Issue Topic: Transparency and Open Government
J. Ramon Gil-Garcia, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy & Center for Technology in Government, University at Albany, State University of New York.
Mila Gasco-Hernandez, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy & Center for Technology in Government, University at Albany, State University of New York.
Theresa A. Pardo, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy & Center for Technology in Government, University at Albany, State University of New York.
Public organizations around the world are pursuing transparency and seeking to create more open governments. Many have created or joined international, national and regional efforts and are taking part in networks such as the Open Government Partnership, launched in 2011 to provide an international platform for domestic reformers committed to making their governments more open, accountable, and responsive to citizens. However, the speed of events and the “need” to implement open government projects due to international pressures have produced confusion and ambiguity. Although many of the initiatives have been based on opening data and on promoting open action, in general terms, governments have followed different directions and implementation strategies. As a result, it is clear that the development of open government is unequal and heterogeneous. There is confusion about the concept itself (what an open government initiative is and what is not, the difference between open government and e-government, etc.), about its implementation process, and about its real impact. Contributing to the theoretical body of transparency and openness is therefore needed.
In the academic literature, openness is generally approached from two different perspectives (Meijer et al., 2012): transparency and participation. The literature on transparency addresses terms such as freedom of information, active dissemination of information, access to documents and usability of websites (Curtin & Mendes, 2011). The question tackled by many of these studies is: what is being made visible/transparent? The literature also addresses the nature and scope of transparency, the usefulness of information, and the timing of the release of documents. The premise underlying many of these studies is that transparency yields to accountability, and that a more accountable government is a more legitimate one (Bauhr & Grimes, 2012; Sandoval-Almazan, 2011; Northrup & Thorson, 2003). The question tackled by many studies on participation is: whose voice is heard? This literature often addresses participation-related processes such as interactive policy-making, consultations, dialogue, and stakeholder involvement. Empirical and theoretical analyses focus on inequalities in access to diverse participation mechanisms.
This special issue will aim at furthering the theoretical development of transparency and openness in the form of participation in the public sector. We will look for article proposals that make a clear theoretical contribution to research along with practical application of the research within given economic, social, and political contexts. We will consider proposals that examine these topics at various levels; internationally and nationally, as well as sub national levels to include cities and communities. Selected papers may be theoretical in nature but must further discussion and development of Public Administration as a discipline.
Questions to consider include:
- How do transparency and open government initiatives lead to the creation of public value?
- What are the effects of transparency and open government initiatives on the structures and processes of government organizations?
- What are the effects of transparency and open government initiatives on key governance issues (citizen participation, horizontal and vertical collaboration, etc.)?
- What are the key management and leadership skills and capabilities needed to opening the government and making it more transparent?
- How are transparency and open government programs performing? How is success defined? What specific success measures are being used and how are they driving progress?
Potential contributors should submit an article proposal (no more than 1000 words) by May 1st, 2017. Proposals will be evaluated by the guest editors for scope and thematic appropriateness for the special issue. Notifications of proposals accepted will be sent to authors by May 15th, 2017 and authors with accepted proposals will be invited to submit a full paper by July 31st, 2017. The articles will be peer reviewed.
Please submit your article proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Article proposal due (not more than 1,000 words): May 1st, 2017
- Proposal notification sent: May 15th, 2017
- Full paper submissions due: July 31st, 2017