Research Handbook On Transparency

New book edited by Padideh Ala’i and Robert G. Vaughn: ‘”Transparency” has multiple, contested meanings. This broad-ranging volume accepts that complexity and thoughtfully contrasts alternative views through conceptual pieces, country cases, and assessments of policies–such as freedom of information laws, whistleblower protections, financial disclosure, and participatory policymaking procedures.’
– Susan Rose-Ackerman, Yale University Law School, US
In the last two decades transparency has become a ubiquitous and stubbornly ambiguous term. Typically understood to promote rule of law, democratic participation, anti-corruption initiatives, human rights, and economic efficiency, transparency can also legitimate bureaucratic power, advance undemocratic forms of governance, and aid in global centralization of power. This path-breaking volume, comprising original contributions on a range of countries and environments, exposes the many faces of transparency by allowing readers to see the uncertainties, inconsistencies and surprises contained within the current conceptions and applications of the term….
The expert contributors identify the goals, purposes and ramifications of transparency while presenting both its advantages and shortcomings. Through this framework, they explore transparency from a number of international and comparative perspectives. Some chapters emphasize cultural and national aspects of the issue, with country-specific examples from China, Mexico, the US and the UK, while others focus on transparency within global organizations such as the World Bank and the WTO. A number of relevant legal considerations are also discussed, including freedom of information laws, financial disclosure of public officials and whistleblower protection…”