This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts covered in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book concerns the manifestations of transparency and obfuscation in domestic democratic settings. It then focuses on some of the implications of transparency and obfuscation for the working of governments and the formulation of public policies. The book reviews three bodies of literature, on bureaucracy, on regulatory capture in a context in which private individuals police their own professional activities, and on decentralization of governmental systems. It provides an analysis of the struggle or contest between the conflicting principles of liberalism and populism in the context of Cold War cultural policy. The book also concentrates on the relationship between transparency and corruption. It discusses several arguments proposed in the literature or by office-holders to justify a degree of obfuscation in the ways intergovernmental transfers (in a single country) take place.