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Dr Ben Worthy

Senior Lecturer in Politics

I joined Birkbeck College in 2012. My research interests include Government Transparency, particularly Freedom of Information, as well as Political Leadership and British Politics. I also present the Westminster Watch Podcast with Dermot Hodson. Follow me on Twitter @benworthy1

You can see a selection of short writing here

  • Worthy, Ben and Heide, Marlen (2019) ‘Donald Trump: openness, secrets and lies’. Democratic Audit here
  • Worthy, Ben (2018) ‘.Theresa May and the curse of the takeover Prime Minister’. Democratic Audit here
  • Democratic Audit (2018) ‘Patriotism, pessimism and politicians: understanding the vote to Leave’ Democratic Audit here.

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

  • My research blog on Transparency and Open Data here and my blog on Political Leadership here.
  • A selection of articles for the Huffington Post blog
  • You can hear the latest Westminster Watch podcasts with Dermot Hodson

Publications

Monographs

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. Oxford: OUP (read Chapter 1 on the OUP site here).

Articles

Political leadership

Worthy, B., Bennister, M., & Stafford, M. W. (2019). ‘Rebels leading London: the mayoralties of Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson compared’. British Politics, 14 (1) 23-43. (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)

Mark Bennister, Paul ‘t Hart & Ben Worthy (2015) 'Assessing the Authority of Political Office-Holders: The Leadership Capital Index'. West European Politics 38 (3): 417-440 (see a draft here)

Transparency and FOI

Grimmelikhuijsen, S., John, P., Meijer, A., & Worthy, B. (2018). Do Freedom of Information Laws Increase Transparency of Government? A replication of a field experiment. Journal of Behavioral Public Administration, 1(2), 1-10. (Download for free here)

Meijer, A., ’t Hart, P., & Worthy, B. (2018). ‘Assessing government transparency: an interpretive framework’. Administration & Society, 50(4), 501-526 (draft here).

John, Peter, Worthy, Ben and Vannoni, Matia (2017) ‘Transparency at the parish pump: a field experiment to measure the effectiveness of freedom of information requests in England’. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 27(3): 485-500. (Draft available here).

Worthy, Ben and Hazell, Robert (2017) ‘Disruptive, Dynamic and Democratic? Ten Years of Freedom of Information in the UK’. Parliamentary Affairs, 70 (1): 22-42 (Draft here)

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. (Draft 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 Practice15(5), 395-414. (draft available here).

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

Political leadership

Bennister, Mark and Worthy, Ben (2017) ‘Limits To Dominance? Comparing The Leadership Capital of Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair’ in Bennister, Mark, t'Hart, Paul and Worthy, Ben (eds) (2017) The Leadership Capital Index: A New Perspective On Leadership, Oxford, OUP, pp. 121-144 (draft version here)

Bennister, M., Worthy, B., & Keith, D. (2017). Jeremy Corbyn and the limits of authentic rhetoric. In Voices of the UK Left, Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. (pp. 101-121).

Transparency and FOI

Worthy, B. (2019). ‘Three Harmless Words’: New Labour and Freedom of Information’ for New Labour and the Constitution: Twenty Years On’ (Forthcoming) (see a draft here).

Worthy, B. (2018). ‘Chapter 5.4: How transparent and free from corruption is UK government?’ in Dunleavy, P et al. (2018). The UK's Changing Democracy: The 2018 Democratic Audit. LSE Press. Download the chapter here.

Worthy, Ben, (2018) ‘Freedom of Information and the MPs’ Expenses Scandal’ in Thompson, Louise and Leston-Bandiera, Cristina (eds) Exploring Parliament (OUP edited Parliamentary Studies course textbook), Oxford, OUP.

Worthy, Ben (2017) ‘Freedom of Information and The Media’ in Howard Tumber and Silvio Waisbord (eds) The Routledge Companion to Media and Human Rights, Abingdon, Routledge, pp.60-73 (13 pages). (Draft here ).

Worthy, Ben (2017) ‘Access to Information in the UK and India' in Bignami, Francesca and Zaring, David (eds) Comparative Law and Regulation: Understanding the Global Regulatory Process, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, pp.190-217 (27 pages). (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. (Draft here).

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 27-4


Conference Papers

Political leadership

Worthy, Ben and Bennister, Mark (2017) ‘The Outsider Inside? The Leadership Capital of Donald Trump’. Paper for the PUPOL leadership studies conference April 2017, Milton Keynes.

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

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

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

Transparency

Worthy, B. (2018). ‘Three Harmless Words’: New Labour and Freedom of Information’ for New Labour and the Constitution: Twenty Years On’ (Forthcoming) (draft here on SSRN)

Worthy, Ben, (2017) 'Brexit and Open Government in the UK: 11 Months of May'. (draft here on SSRN).

Worthy, Ben (2013) 'David Cameron's Transparency Revolution? The Impact of Open Data in the UK'. Available here 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.

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 here 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 here at SSRN

Reports and Evidence

Worthy, Ben (2018) United Kingdom Mid-Term Report 2016-2018 (Year 1). OGP: Washington. Read it  here.  See also this blog summary ‘The UK’s Third NAP Mid-Term Report: Events, Evolution and (Un)evenness’ on the UK Open Government website.

Worthy, Ben (2015) UK IRM Second National Action Plan Progress Report. Read it here.

Worthy, Ben (2015) 'Labour party call for evidence on FOI' see it here.

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

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

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

Selected blogs and articles

Worthy, Ben and Heide, Marlen (2019) ‘Donald Trump: openness, secrets and lies’. Democratic Audit here

Worthy, Ben (2018) ‘.Theresa May and the curse of the takeover Prime Minister’. Democratic Audit here

Democratic Audit (2018) ‘Patriotism, pessimism and politicians: understanding the vote to Leave’ Democratic Audit here.

Worthy, Ben (2017) ‘We Need to Talk about Jeremy: Why I was Wrong About the 2017 General Election’. British Politics Review 12 (3), pp. 18-19 here.

Worthy, Ben and Edwards, Caroline (2017) ‘Will 2017 be 1984?’ Alluvium Journal (May) ISSN 2050-1560.

Teaching

  • Parliamentary Studies
  • Contemporary British Politics
  • Qualitative Social research
  • Public Policy

Presentations, Blogs and Talks

  • A selection of Westminster Watch podcasts with Dermot Hodson here
  • A recent talk on openness and Brexit in 2017 on YouTube here.
  • Giving evidence to the Justice Select Committee in March 2012 here

Ben Worthy

Contact details

Email: b.worthy@bbk.ac.uk

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