Which Countries Have More Open Governments? Assessing Structural Determinants of Openness

Paper by Sabina Schnell and Suyeon Jo: “An increasing number of countries are adopting open government reforms, driven, in part, by the Open Government Partnership (OGP), a global effort dedicated to advancing such initiatives. Yet, there is still wide variation in openness across countries. We investigate the political, administrative, and civic factors that explain this variation, using countries’ fulfillment of OGP eligibility criteria as a proxy for minimum standards of openness. We find that countries with strong constraints on the executive and high levels of citizen education have governments that are more open. A dense network of civil society organizations is associated with more budget transparency and higher civil liberties, but not with access to information or asset disclosure laws. The results suggest that if the value of openness is to be translated in practice, it is not enough to have capable bureaucracies—countries also need informed citizens and strong oversight of executive agencies….(More)”.