“This is what modern deregulation looks like” : co-optation and contestation in the shaping of the UK’s Open Government Data Initiative


  • Jo Bates Manchester Metropolitan University




Open Data, Re-use of PSI, Public Sector Information, Transparency, UK


The article argues, drawing on interviews, event observations, academic and policy literature, that the UK’s Open Government Data (OGD) initiative should be understood as part of a deep seated social and political struggle with significant processes of co-optation and contestation over outcomes underway. The OGD initiative’s intersections with both the PSI re-use industry and the UK government’s programme of forced ‘austerity’ and marketisation of public services are problematised. Civil society advocates’ vulnerabilities within this context are discussed and a number of recommendations are offered for the progressive shaping of OGD based on egalitarian principles.

Author Biography

Jo Bates, Manchester Metropolitan University

Jo Bates is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Information and Communications at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. Her research interests include emergent open production methods and communities within the information domain, and she is currently writing up her PhD research on the politics of the Open Government Data initiative in the United Kingdom.