Conversations in Conflict Studies with Simon Kiss
204 Maxwell Hall
“The Ambiguous Meaning of Open Government: Canadian Journalists, Parliamentarians and Bloggers Define Open Government Differently." Guest Speaker: Simon Kiss, Associate Professor, Digital Media and Journalism and Leadership, Wilfrid Laurier University.
The results of a 2014 survey of Canadian parliamentarians, journalists and bloggers in which respondents were asked to rank competing definitions of open government. Overall, respondents preferred to define open government in terms of access to information and sources. However, we also found that respondents in the different positions rank definitions of open government differently. Government parliamentarians are less likely than opposition parliamentarians to define open government in terms of access to information and politicians being accessible and accountable, while journalists are more likely to do so. In addition, government politicians are much less likely than opposition politicians to define open government in terms of making officials and technical experts available to answer questions. These results suggest that key actors in the Canadian policy landscape define open government in ways that are consistent with their institutional interests. We suggest that this reflects ways in which open government operates more like a buzzword. This helps to explain the all too common pattern whereby opposition parties make promises to be more open, and, after taking power, operate in less than open ways.
Conversations in Conflict Studies is a weekly educational speaker series for students, faculty, and the community. The series, sponsored by PARCC, draws its speakers from Syracuse University faculty, national and international scholars and activists, and PhD students. Pizza is served. Follow us on Twitter @PARCCatMaxwell, tweet #ConvoInConflict.
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