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Dr Ben Worthy

Lecturer in Politics

I joined Birkbeck College in 2012. My research interests include Government Transparency, Political Leadership, British Politics, Digital Democracy and Public Policy. I have written articles for Governance,  Parliamentary Affairs and Public Administration, presented evidence to the Justice and Public Administration Select Committees and worked as an independent reporter for the Open Government Partnership. I also present the Westminster Watch Podcast with Dermot Hodson.

FOI

To read more about my current research you can take a look at the following:

Publications

Monograph

Worthy, Ben (2017) ‘The Politics of Freedom of Information: How and Why Governments Pass Laws That Threaten Their Power’. Manchester: MUP (read chapter 1 here)

Hazell, Robert, Worthy, Ben and Glover, Mark (2010) Does FOI Work? The Impact of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 on British Central Government. London: Palgrave Macmillan

Edited Collections

Bennister, Mark, t'Hart, paul and Worthy, Ben (Eds) (2017) The Leadership Capital Index: A New Perspective On Leadership. OUP

Articles

Worthy, Ben and Bennister, Mark,(forthcoming) Rebels as Local Leaders? The Mayoralties of Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson Compared (see our draft PSA paper here)

Worthy, B. (2016), Ending in Failure? The Performance of ‘Takeover’ Prime Ministers 1916–2016. The Political Quarterly, 87: 509–517 see here

Worthy, Ben and John, Peter and Vannoni, Matia, (2016) 'Transparency at the Parish Pump: A Field Experiment to Measure the Effectiveness of Freedom of Information Requests' JPART (see final version here and early draft here).

Worthy, Ben and Hazell, Robert, (2016) 'Disruptive, Dynamic and Democratic? Ten Years of Freedom of Information in the UK'. Parliamentary Affairs, doi:10.1093/pa/gsv069 (see a draft here)

Meijer, A., t' Hart, P. & Worthy, B. (2015). 'Assessing Government Transparency: An Interpretive Framework'. Administration & Society, 0095399715598341.

Worthy, Ben (2015) 'The Impact of Open Data in the UK: Complex, Unpredictable and Political', Public Administration 93 (3): 788-805 (draft here)

Michener, G., & Worthy, B. (2015). 'The Information-Gathering Matrix A Framework for Conceptualizing the Use of Freedom of Information Laws'. ASM, 0095399715590825.

Mark Bennister, Paul ‘t Hart & Ben Worthy (2014): 'Assessing the Authority of Political Office-Holders: The Leadership Capital Index', West European Politics [early view], available here

Worthy, Ben (2014) 'A Powerful Weapon in the Right Hands? How Members of Parliament have used Freedom of Information in the UK' Parliamentary Affairs 67 (4) 783-803 

Worthy, B. (2013). “Some are More Open than Others”: Comparing the Impact of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 on Local and Central Government in the UK. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice, 15(5), 395-414.

Worthy, Ben, Hazell, Robert and Bourke, Gabrielle (2012) ‘Open House: Freedom of Information and its Impact on the UK Parliament’. Public Administration 90 (4), 901–921

Worthy, Ben (2010) ‘More Open But Not More Trusted? The Effect of FOI on the UK Central Government’. Governance 23 (4) 561-582

Hazell, Robert and Worthy, Ben (2010) ‘Assessing the Performance of FOI’. Government Information Quarterly 27 (4) 352-359 see here

Worthy, Ben (2008) ‘The Future of Freedom of Information in the UK’. Political Quarterly 79 (1) 100-108

Chapters

Worthy, Ben (forthcoming) 'Open Government and Brexit' for the Paris OGP conference ecember 2016, early version here

Worthy, Ben, (2017) Freedom of Information and the Media see early draft here

Worthy, Ben (forthcoming) ‘Access to Information in the UK and India' in Bignami, F and Zaring, D (eds) Handbook of Regulation see a draft here

Worthy, Ben, 'The Development of FOI in Britain' in Felle, T and Mair, J (eds) (2015). FOI 10 years on: freedom fighting or lazy journalism? Bury St Edmonds: Abramis draft here

Worthy, Ben, 'Freedom of Information and the MPs’ Expenses Crisis' draft of Chapter for Hudson, J (2014) At the Public’s Expense? The Political Consequences of the 2009 British MPs’ Expenses Scandal OUP, pp. 27-43. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2564491

Worthy, Ben ‘Freedom of Information and Parliament’ in Oliver, D (2013) Parliament and the Law Oxford: Hart Press, pp.139-160

Hazell, Robert and Worthy, Ben, ‘La Transparence administrative est-elle efficace?’ in Pasquier, M. (2013) Le principe de transparence en Suisse et dans la monde PPUR, pp95-110

Worthy, Ben and Holsen, Sarah, ‘Local Government and FOI in England 2005-2007’ in Chapman, R. and Hunt, M. (2010) Freedom of Information: Local Government and Accountability Ashgate: Farnham, pp 27-43

Conference Papers

Worthy, Ben and John, Peter and Vannoni, Matia, (2015) 'Transparency at the Parish Pump: A Field Experiment to Measure the Effectiveness of Freedom of Information Requests'. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2699198

Bennister, Mark and Worthy, Ben,(2015) 'Going On and On? Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher: Leadership Capital Compared'. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2586697

Worthy, Ben, (2014) 'Making Transparency Stick: The Complex Dynamics of Open Data'. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2497659

Bennister, Mark and Hart, Paul 't and Worthy, Ben (2013), 'Leadership Capital: Measuring the Dynamics of Leadership' available here

Worthy, Ben (2013) 'David Cameron's Transparency Revolution? The Impact of Open Data in the UK'. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2361428

Michener, Greg and Worthy, Ben, (2013)'From Fishing to Experimentation: Transparency as Information-Gathering: A Typology and Framework for Analysis'. Available here.

Worthy, Ben and Grimmelikhuijsen, Stephan (2012). ‘Transparency and Trust in the UK and Netherlands’. Paper for the 2nd Regional Transparency Conference June 2012

Worthy, Ben and Bennister, Mark (2012). ‘Getting it, Spending it, Losing it: Exploring Political Capital’. Paper for the Political Studies Association Conference April 2012, Belfast available here

Worthy, Ben and Bourke, Gabrielle (2011) ‘Open House? The Impact of FOI’ Paper for the Political Studies Association Conference London, April 2011 available here

Worthy, Ben, (2010) 'Does FOI Work? The Impact of Freedom of Information on Local And Central Government in England'. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2364281

Worthy, Ben and Hazell, Robert (2010), The Sword: How MPs and Peers Have Used Freedom of Information in the UK (January 6, 2010). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2364312

Reports and Evidence

Worthy, Ben (2015) UK IRM Second National Action Plan Progress Report http://www.opengovpartnership.org/country/united-kingdom/progress-report/2014-2015-progress-report

Worthy, Ben (2015) 'Labour party call for evidence on FOI' https://opendatastudy.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/ben-worthy-labour-call-for-evidence-on-foi.pdf

Worthy, Ben (2015) ‘Evidence to the Independent FOI Commission’ https://opendatastudy.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/foi-commission-submission-2015-ben-worthy.pdf

Worthy, Ben (2014) ‘Evidence to The Speaker's Commission on Digital Democracy' see here

Worthy, Ben (2013) ‘Evidence to PASC on the Impact of Open Data’Worthy, Ben (2013) ‘Evidence to PASC on the Impact of Open Data’ available here

Worthy, Ben, Hazell, Robert, Amos, Jim and Bourke, Gabrielle (2012) ‘Written evidence from the Constitution Unit, University College London on the Impact of FOI’ see here

Worthy, Ben, Hazell, Robert, Amos, Jim and Bourke, Gabrielle (2011) ‘Town Hall Transparency? The Impact of FOI on Local Government in England’. Constitution Unit: London available here

Worthy, Ben and Bourke, Gabrielle (2011) ‘The Sword and the Shield: The Use of FOI by Parliamentarians and the Impact of FOI on Parliament’. Constitution Unit: London available here

Teaching

  • Parliamentary Studies
  • Digital Politics
  • Contemporary British Politics (undergraduate)
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Methods
  • Public Policy

Presentations, Blogs and Talks

Talks and Lectures

  • You can hear my new Westminster Watch podcasts with Dermot Hodson here
  • Giving evidence to the Justice Select Committee in March 2012 here

Ben Worthy

Contact details

Email: b.worthy@bbk.ac.uk

Current news

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