Boston.com: Would Less Transparency Produce a Better Congress?
Kevin Hartnett - April 18, 2014
In the quest for better government, weâ€™ve implemented a number of reforms at the state and federal level over the last several decades intended to open up our democracyâ€”â€śsunshine laws,â€ť which require elected officials to carry out committee deliberations in public; term-limits to weed out fat-cat incumbents; and anti-pork provisions which curb favor-trading in the legislative process.
These reforms are all well-intentioned, and make sense on an intuitive level, but a recent book-length report from the American Political Science Association says they can easily backfire, leading to more governmental dysfunction, not less.
The report was co-authored by political scientists Jane Mansbridge of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Cathie Jo Martin of Boston University. It is called â€śNegotiating Agreement in Politicsâ€ť and it argues that, among other factors, more transparency sometimes produces worse government. MoreÂ»
Jane Mansbridge is is an affiliated faculty of the Ash Center.