November 16, 2009

A busy week at CPAP Alexandria:

Wednesday (11/18) – 6:45pm – Transparency Talks

Barend Jansen, Associate Legal Council, International Monetary Fund

Mr. Jansen will talk about financial institutions and the Fund’s policies on transparency in a context of crisis.

Location: 1021 Prince Street, Library Room (3rd Floor)

The Transparency Talks series is being coordinated by SPIA faculty members Matt Dull (CPAP) and Giselle Datz (GIA) to explore the dimensions of transparency as a reform imperative across a range of governmental and market settings. To learn more about the series – or to receive updates about future Transparency Talks, email: mdull@vt.edu.

Thursday (11/19) – Professor Charles Goodsell

CPAP Professor Emeritus Charles Goodsell discusses his book The Social Meaning of Civic Space: Studying Political Authority through Architecture (University Press of Kansas, 1988).

  • 2:00-4:00pm – Professor Goodsell available by appointment
  • 5:15-6:00pm – Tour of Alexandria City Council Chamber
  • 6:30-8:00pm – PAPA 6524: Discussion of Observation and Interpretation in The Social Meaning of Civic Space

A number of photos taken by Professor Goodsell during his research on city council chambers, statehouses, and parliamentary buildings are available through the Virginia Tech archives.

Thursday (11/19) – 4:00-5:00pm – CPAP DMP

Transparency as a Recurring Reform Imperative: Information, Innovation, and Institutional Change

Giselle Datz, Government and International Affairs

Matt Dull, Center for Public Administration and Policy


Financial crisis, political scandal, and declining trust in political and economic institutions have propelled transparency to the top of reform agendas worldwide. Transparency is among the central reform ideas in contemporary governance; yet, the concept’s broad appeal has prompted relatively little close scrutiny. In this essay, we aim to place the recent diffusion of transparency-based reforms in context. Reviewing the concept’s evolution in public administration and political economy, we observe that transparency builds on deeply rooted intellectual traditions and a richly turbulent history, a recurring pattern of reform that reveals an enduring logic of institutional change. Transparency is more than a bureaucratic standard, devoid of agency. Its parameters vary by context, and by the ideas that help shape and motivate how context is interpreted by actors. Drawing examples from a range of settings, we scrutinize the “who,” “what,” “when,” and “how” of transparency-based reform. In the contingent, unfinished realities of transparency we see both reform’s promise and its peril.


One comment

  1. […] means and how it’s practiced. It’s not as simple as Rochambeau after all. (Read more at https://mdull.wordpress.com/2009/11/16/talks/, see the third entry for information about the […]

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