The statement of purpose is pretty straight forward:
This is the first large meeting of its kind to bring together leading scholars from throughout the world to collectively advance our understanding of the impact and implications of transparency policies that involve governments, either directly or indirectly. This includes policies on access to information held by and about governments, transparency relationships between government entities, transparency relationships between governments and private and nonprofit entities, and access to information held by government about individuals. We are interested in learning about the effects of these policies and the processes around which they are developed and implemented.
But once I saw the sponsors, I thought someone must be having a bit of a laugh. Most were expected, but then came the School of Public Administration, Renmin University of China.
Granted most international conferences have to include a Chinese component. But in this gathering, China is the ONLY non-democratic society included.
Let’s get real here. There may be Chinese terms for ‘transparency,” but not in the language of the government or the ruling party.
And I see China and India are participating/sponsoring. Where are the other BRICs? Where is the Brazil component? Or Russian? Both are democracies — well Russia less so every day — and could offer a lot to the discussion of practical need/use of transparency.
China only offers a crying need for transparency. And there is more than enough evidence available that the current government in China has no desire to meet that need.