chapter
14 Pages

Introduction

The discourse of transparency
ByRachel Adams

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book examines the history and discursive rise of transparency, from the designs of the Palace of the League of Nations in the 1920s, through to the proliferation of access to information laws in the early 2000s and the corresponding emphasis on transparency at an international level. It argues that the discursive power of transparency rests on its historical association to the Enlightenment; its claims to inclusivity, neutrality, universality and trust and jurisprudentially, its affiliation with notions of human rights. The book explores how the discourse of transparency, which sets the concept up as a universal and inclusive ethical value, works to delimit other realities, for example – other kinds of knowledge and information that do not conform to the strictures of ‘records’ set out in access to information laws.