On 8 and 9 June the Transatlantic Conference on Transparency Research (TCTR) was held in Utrecht, the Netherlands. It was organised by members of the Open Government in the EU research group Albert Meijer and Deirdre Curtin. Researchers came from four continents and presented over 50 papers on all sorts of transparency related issues, ranging from transparency in the EU, to conceptualisation, to accountability, to developing countries. Attendants came from various disciplines, among them public administration, law, political science, psychology, as well as from various professional backgrounds such as the European Ombudsman’s office, the civil service, and NGOs. Keynote addresses were given by the European Ombudsman, Mr. Diamandouros, and prof. Paul ‘t Hart of the Utrecht School of Governance.
In his concluding address, Alasdair Roberts compared the emerging transparency community to his own children: it is now in the age where it starts talking back to you intelligently, but does not yet refuse to talk to you. In other words, transparency as a research field is going through an intellectually exciting time.
Held around a year after the transparency conference in Newark, Utrecht’s TCTR was the second international conference on transparency. The research community hopes to make this a regularly returning event, and invites all members to consider hosting a follow-up. -MH