Former Fellow Alasdair Roberts Wins Louis Brownlow Book Award
Alasdair Roberts, a fellow at the Wilson Center from 1999 to 2000 and associate professor of public administration at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, has won the 2006 Louis Brownlow Book Award for his book, Blacked Out: Government Secrecy in the Information Age.
The Louis Brownlow Book Award is given annually by the National Association of Public Administration in recognition of new literature that provides fresh ideas and analysis and invigorates the discussion of how government institutions can best serve the public, and is considered the top literary prize in public administration. In Blacked Out, Roberts discusses the ways in which the government collects, manages, and shares information about its citizens, arguing that transparency and accountability are paramount in ensuring public access to government information.
In addition to his appointment at Syracuse University, Roberts is an honorary senior research fellow of the Constitution Unit at University College London's School of Public Policy. Roberts' research focuses are public sector restructuring and transparency in government. His project at the Wilson Center dealt with the question of how government services will evolve to negotiate coming demographic changes.
In its citation, the award committee noted that "the book's central conversation is about a tool – the right to government information – which is necessary to hold an increasingly complex, educated and diverse society together," and hailed Roberts for speaking directly and bringing attention to "this fundamental management and policy question."