From Fishing to Experimentation: Transparency as Information-Gathering a Typology and Framework for Analysis
26 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2013 Last revised: 26 Nov 2018
Date Written: October 4, 2013
Despite the growth in transparency studies, we still lack ways of thinking about how, why, and with what impact different actors use transparency policies as information-gathering mechanisms. This paper offers an initial typology, which is framed by a continuum between ‘political’ or ‘non-political’ and ‘public’ or ‘private’ approaches to transparency policies. The paper illustrates this framework through four case studies showcasing the use of freedom of information provisions. It proposes that the current emphasis on ‘political’ use of disclosure mechanisms obscures patterns of information gathering that are more varied, nuanced and flexible than current portrayals admit. Following White (2007) and Kreimer (2008) this means that transparency systems display several parallel ‘ecosystems’ of different use that may have very different effects.
Keywords: Transparency, Freedom of Information, requesters
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