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29 · MARCH · 2023

Libby Maman wins the Bleddyn Davies Early Career Prize

Libby Maman, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at IBEI, has been awarded the prize for her outstanding paper “The democratic qualities of regulatory agencies”, published in the Policy & Politics Journal

The Bleddyn Davies Early Career Prize awards the best paper that has been published by an early-career researcher in the previous year’s volume of the Policy & Politics Journal. The Policy & Politics Journal was founded in 1972 by the editors Bleddyn Davies (LSE) and Ken Young (LSE). The journal focuses on policy-making and implementation dynamics and aims to explore the interaction of different political actors and governing institutions and how they affect policy processes. The journal’s aim is to explicitly include critical and timely perspectives.

In her article, Libby Maman presents a new approach to measure democratic qualities of public organisations. The four attributes transparency, accountability, participation, and representation are at the core of democratic values to maintain legitimate power and foster transparency towards citizens. Despite the importance of these attributes, a comprehensive measurement tool to evaluate and compare democratic qualities of public organisations has not been developed yet.

Libby Maman’s paper fills this gap by presenting a suite of indicators that she developed through a qualitative study on regulatory agencies across different countries.

"I believe this is an important tool that researchers can use to compare public bodies. But it is equally important for public bodies to know where they rank in terms of transparency in comparison with other governance organisations", says the early-career researcher about the paper which is based on her PHD.

She hopes that the tool will continue to expand across different countries and help researchers and public bodies alike to detect and act on non-transparency, trust and distrust. The measures she established in the paper are also linked to the H2020 Project TIGRE in which IBEI participates. The project aims to reveal the level of trust and distrust in European regulatory governance.

Libby’s next research project aims to use her tool to analyse Catalan agencies and the trust of citizens in local government agencies, titled "Les qualitats democràtiques de les agències reguladores de Catalunya i el seu impacte en la confiança pública". The project has received funding by the Catalan Government under the funding scheme Research projects in the field of democratic quality (DEMOC) and will help expand the potential of the tool in the local context.

Check the other awarded articles