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Abstract: Despite the strengths of the two bodies of literature on Freedom of Information (FOI) and Lobbying Regulation, a main inadequacy is that they fail to meet each other. The reason why both the FOI and lobbying regulation literatures need to be synthesized is that both should be seen as the two sides of the deliberative democracy coin: FOI legislation aims to regulate the actions of state officials, while lobbying laws seek to regulate the actions of private interests attempting to influence such officials. The novelty of this paper is that we thus extend and link the ideas raised in these two bodies of literature, by performing a comparative analysis across 16 jurisdictions in North America, Europe and Asia. Our first main goal is to identify a measure for the effectiveness of FOI legislation throughout the world that can be compared on a normalized scale. Secondly, we combine these scores with those from the extant literature on lobbying regulations, producing what we refer to as an overall ‘sunshine score.’ This score will represent one of the first encompassing transparency measures in the literature, which helps us better conceptualize a unified understanding the relationship between FOI and lobbying rules, as well as the openness of democratic systems throughout the world.
Hogan. J, Chari, R. and Murphy, G. 2012. Walking in Sunshine, or Away From It? Creating a Unified Transparency Index. (working paper), Ireland. October 2012.