The Paradox of Openness

New Book on Transparency and Participation in Nordic Cultures of Consensus, edited by Norbert Götz, Södertörn University, and Carl Marklund, Södertörn University: “The ‘open society’ has become a watchword of liberal democracy and the market system in the modern globalized world. Openness stands for individual opportunity and collective reason, as well as bottom-up empowerment and top-down transparency. It has become a cherished value, despite its vagueness and the connotation of vulnerability that surrounds it. Scandinavia has long considered itself a model of openness, citing traditions of freedom of information and inclusive policy making. This collection of essays traces the conceptual origins, development, and diverse challenges of openness in the Nordic countries and Austria. It examines some of the many paradoxes that openness encounters and the tensions it arouses when it addresses such divergent ends as democratic deliberation and market transactions, freedom of speech and sensitive information, compliant decision making and political and administrative transparency, and consensual procedures and the toleration of dissent.”