The right of citizens to know what their government is up to, long an American hallmark, is now spreading far beyond American borders. Millions of ordinary citizens, business executives, journalists, activists, and scholars in some 60 countries use right-to-know laws daily to make a difference in their communities and their lives. But no government can be completely transparent, and debate in the U.S. and elsewhere is becoming increasingly heated about how far governmental openness should go and where governmental secrecy is legitimate.
As pro-transparency groups throughout the U.S. celebrate “Sunshine Week” March 13-18, other countries point with pride to new laws and practices that may leave an increasingly secretive U.S. government lagging in the ranks of open governments.
To explain what the growing global transparency trend may mean for governance and democracy in the 21st century, and how the U.S. compares to other countries, Brookings Senior Fellow Ann Florini will moderate a discussion with leading experts from India, Canada, Mexico and the U.S. After remarks there will be an audience question and answer session.