Transparency’s Gestation at 9 Months – Does Bolsonaro Deliver?

Transparency for them, privacy for us! As its honeymoon draws to a close, the Bolsonaro government has revealed an insecure commitment to transparency. There are good reasons for feeling insecure. My research (here and here, and forthcoming book) has shown that few democratic regimes are as undecided about transparency as uncohesive minority governments, of which Read more about Transparency’s Gestation at 9 Months – Does Bolsonaro Deliver?[…]

Legality, Legitimacy and Logic – Why Expanding Secrecy Makes No Sense

Published in O Globo, authored by Gregory Michener & Irene Niskier. While President Jair Bolsonaro spoke in Davos, his Vice President, Hamilton Mourão, and Chief of Staff, Onyx Lorenzoni, perpetrated a small change in Brazil’s freedom of information (FOI) law that will amount to big negative effects for transparency, the federal public administration, and the Read more about Legality, Legitimacy and Logic – Why Expanding Secrecy Makes No Sense[…]

Bolsonaro and generals

Bolsonaro’s Turn to Secrecy – Weakening Brazil’s Freedom of Information Law

Originally published in Folha de São Paulo, authored by Gregory Michener and Irene Niskier. President Jair Bolsonaro was elected based on two noble promises: advance the rule of law to fight crime and corruption, and strengthen Brazil’s fiscal position by creating a more efficient state. Transparency is a precondition for advancing both of these promises. Read more about Bolsonaro’s Turn to Secrecy – Weakening Brazil’s Freedom of Information Law[…]

Brazil’s Information Ecology: Adrift at Sea, Stranded in Information Deserts

September 28th marked International Right-to-Know Day, which celebrates citizen’s right to know about what their government does and how it performs. But the right to know is more generally about transparency and, ultimately, the political ecology of information. Brazil’s access to public information law does have problems of compliance, implementation, under-investment and political commitment, as Read more about Brazil’s Information Ecology: Adrift at Sea, Stranded in Information Deserts[…]

Transparently 2017

So much has happened since I last wrote 6 months ago that I am rather embarrassed not to have captured some of the more savory parts of the Brazilian drama in writing. But the academic’s life, alas, is about publishing the sort of article that only a few experts read – in journals that take Read more about Transparently 2017[…]

Threats to Broad Consultation and Participation in Brazil, Co-chair of Open Government Partnership

As co-chair of the Open Government Partnership, in a very few months Brazil will play host to a meeting among more than 50 countries participating in an unprecedented global initiative: a ‘multinational and multi-stakeholder’ effort to improve accountability, transparency, access to information, and greater participation in the affairs of government. A sort of club for Read more about Threats to Broad Consultation and Participation in Brazil, Co-chair of Open Government Partnership[…]

Analyzing Brazil’s New Freedom of Information Law

When Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff promulgated the country’s new freedom of information law on November 18th, she signed on to a measure that is among the strongest in Latin America, and perhaps more importantly, she endorsed a law that made inordinate improvements over bill (5228) introduced  by her predecessor, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Read more about Analyzing Brazil’s New Freedom of Information Law[…]

A Freedom of Information Law in Brazil: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Article written for freedominfo.org, a site curated by the D.C. based National Security Archive,  18 April, 2011: http://www.freedominfo.org/2011/04/rousseff-praise-brightens-outlook-for-brazilian-foi-bill/ Heartening events and significant setbacks added more drama to Brazil’s bid for a freedom of information (FOI) law this past week, but the overall outlook is considerably more promising now than before. Heartening Events: President Rousseff Declares Read more about A Freedom of Information Law in Brazil: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back[…]

Published at Brazil in Focus: Brazil needs a Tax Break

See the article, published on 12 April,  Brazil in Focus During a recent gathering of industrial leaders in Rio de Janeiro, Eliezer Batista da Silva mused that Brazil has the “taxes of Sweden and the services of Angola.” It’s an old saw, but it gained an extra bite in the mouth of Batista, a founder Read more about Published at Brazil in Focus: Brazil needs a Tax Break[…]

Considering the Diversion of Public Monies in Brazil -A Cool US$35 Billion for Starters

US$35 billion of public monies stolen. A colossal affront to the cities and country they work for? Yes. Preventable? Not yet. The most significant news item on the diversion of public monies I have seen in some time appeared in yesterday’s Globo as the lead opinion piece: “The Indicators Show Billions Stolen.” The article cites Read more about Considering the Diversion of Public Monies in Brazil -A Cool US$35 Billion for Starters[…]