This volume addresses the major questions surrounding a concept that has become ubiquitous in the media and in civil society as well as in political and economic discourses in recent years, and which is demanded with increasing frequency: transparency.

How can society deal with increasing and often diverging demands and expectations of transparency? What role can different political and civil society actors play in processes of producing, or preventing, transparency? Where are the limits of transparency and how are these boundaries negotiated? What is the relationship of transparency to processes of social change, as well as systems of social surveillance and control? Engaging with transparency as an interrelated product of law, politics, economics and culture, this interdisciplinary volume explores the ambiguities and contradictions, as well as the social and political dilemmas, that the age of transparency has unleashed.

As such it will appeal to researchers across the social sciences and humanities with interests in politics, history, sociology, civil society, citizenship, public policy, criminology and law.

part 1|45 pages

Transparency and public policy: historical and methodological perspectives

chapter 2|13 pages

Transparency in public affairs

The rise of a successful political metaphor

part 2|47 pages

Transparency in the digital age

chapter 4|18 pages

Bullets of truth

Julian Assange and the politics of transparency

chapter 6|15 pages

Blind spots

Shedding light on media transparency research across the world

part 3|45 pages

The limits of informational openness

chapter 7|16 pages

Does transparency endanger trust?

Reflections on a delicate relationship

chapter 8|8 pages

Can transparency be a sin?

On the advantages and obstacles of the new silver bullet in academic research

chapter 9|19 pages

The limits of transparency

China, the United States and the World Trade Organization

part 4|37 pages

Transparency and the individual: the “end of privacy”

part 5|32 pages

Towards a “transparent society”?

chapter 12|10 pages

Stainless subjects

Transparency imaginaries of the avant-gardes