Too Much Transparency? How Critics of Openness Misunderstand Administrative Development
Prepared for the Fourth Global Conference on Transparency Research, Università della Svizzera italiana, June 4-6, 2015.
15 Pages Posted: 3 May 2015 Last revised: 11 Aug 2015
Date Written: May 1, 2015
It has recently been argued that habitual calls for more transparency are actually compounding problems of dysfunctionality within American federal government. These complaints are misguided for two reasons. They depend upon a misconception about the purposes served by transparency in government, and about the role of transparency reforms within the larger pattern of administrative development. The main trend has been the expansion of executive and bureaucratic power, which has generated demands for transparency in reaction. Critics of transparency dwell on the reaction and neglect the transformations that have triggered concerns about the exercise of federal power.
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