Mexico's transparency reforms: Theory and practice [chapter]

Jonathan Fox, Libby Haight
2011 Research in Social Problems and Public Policy  
The experience of Mexico's 2002 transparency reform sheds light on the challenge of translating the promise of legal reform into more open government in practice. An innovative new agency that serves as an interface between citizens and the executive branch of government has demonstrated an uneven but significant capacity to encourage institutional responsiveness. A "culture of transparency" is emerging in both state and society, although the contribution of Mexico's transparency discourse and
more » ... ency discourse and law to public accountability remains uncertain and contested. ABSTRACT The experience of Mexico's 2002 transparency reform sheds light on the challenge of translating the promise of legal reform into more open government in practice. An innovative new agency that serves as an interface between citizens and the executive branch of government has demonstrated an uneven but significant capacity to encourage institutional responsiveness. A "culture of transparency" is emerging in both state and society, although the contribution of Mexico's transparency discourse and law to public accountability remains uncertain and contested. What difference does transparency make? Many who are committed to democracy and good government have high expectations of the power of the "right to know." Yet it is not an all-powerful magic bullet. By itself, transparency cannot substitute for weaknesses in the rule of law or $ This chapter is a revised and abridged version of Haight (2007a, 2010) .
doi:10.1108/s0196-1152(2011)0000019022 fatcat:uuah7ebtczf5tnkpfqdci6nm24