Document Actions

Dr Ben Worthy

Lecturer in Politics

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

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

  • My research blog on Transparency and Open Data here
  • My blog on Political Leadership here.
  • A selection of articles and papers here
  • Follow me on Twitter @benworthy1
  • You can here my new Westminster Watch podcasts with Dermot Hodson here



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

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 –for a summary of the findings see 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

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


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:

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:

Bennister, Mark and Worthy, Ben,(2015) 'Going On and On? Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher: Leadership Capital Compared'. Available at SSRN:

Worthy, Ben, (2014) 'Making Transparency Stick: The Complex Dynamics of Open Data'. Available at SSRN:

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:

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:

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:

Reports and Evidence

Worthy, Ben (2015) UK IRM Second National Action Plan Progress Report

Worthy, Ben (2015) 'Labour party call for evidence on FOI'

Worthy, Ben (2015) ‘Evidence to the Independent FOI Commission’

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


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

Presentations, Blogs and Talks


  • Read my recent posts on the Politics Department blog here.
  • See my research blogs on Open Data here and on Political Leadership here.
  • See my articles for the Conversation in 2014 and 2015 here

Talks and Lectures

  • You can hear my new Westminster Watch podcasts with Dermot Hodson here
  • You can hear my talk at the Open Data Institute in 2013 on the Impact of Open Data here
  • A presentation comparing Finnish and UK transparency at the Finnish Institute in May 2013 see here
  • Giving evidence to the Justice Select Committee in March 2012 here
  • My podcast on FOI in the UK and elsewhere in 2011 see here

Ben Worthy

Contact details


Current news

There was an error while rendering the portlet.