Opening Governance: What have we learned and how do we translate into better practice?

In their introductory essay to the recent IDS Bulletin on Opening Governance (the entire issue is open access), Duncan Edwards and Rosie McGee critically appraise developments in the open government/governance space over the past several years, since the landmark 2010 review commissioned by the Transparency and Accountability Initiative.  The authors reflect on recent debates and…

Closing Feedback Loops? (again)

The World Bank has been hosting a series of events over the past several months looking at the concept of the ‘Feedback Loop’.  The feedback loop can be understood in simple terms as citizens expressing their priorities and/or grievances, and governments listening (and presumably responding).  There are some people in the governance field (including myself), who…

Technology, Politics and Social Change

Last night I watched the Oscar-nominated documentary “The Square” chronicling 3 tumultuous years of citizen mobilization in Egypt, centering around the now-famous Tahrir square.  The movie vividly depicted the struggles and sacrifices made by thousands of ordinary citizens as they toppled a long-standing dictator, an unaccountable military government, and a narrowly elected president from an…

Competing views on democracy promotion efforts

Foreign Policy’s Democracy Lab website recently published an article on US democracy promotion and strengthening efforts by Tomas Bridle.  Bridle is largely responding to an earlier piece by Melinda Haring, also published by Foreign Policy.  Both authors make interesting points, which I will briefly summarize, before adding some thoughts of my own. Haring contends that…