Transparency: Negotiating Institutional Domains

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See all articles by Ben Worthy

Ben Worthy

University of London - Birkbeck College

Date Written: October 30, 2018

Abstract

Transparency over the last decade has entrenched itself within political discourse as a kind of universal good that is both an instrumental means to a number of positive outcomes (such as improved trust or accountability) and an end in itself (Meijer 2013). It is, moreover, an idea that is universally supported across the political spectrum as a means of opening up institutions to public scrutiny (Birchall 2014). Underneath this acceptance, transparency can be many things. Darch and Underwood describe it as an ‘ideologically determined political initiative that can be deployed to achieve a range of different agendas’ (2010, 49:7). The exact dynamics and divisions vary from country to country and area to area. Transparency resembles democracy itself, with a general consensus on the concept, but with its interpretation ‘open to complexity, contradiction and numerous varieties’: It is in some senses an ‘empty signifier’ that can be ‘filled’ by very different interpretations or emphasis (Stubbs and Snell 2014, 160).

Keywords: transparency,

Suggested Citation

Worthy, Ben, Transparency: Negotiating Institutional Domains (October 30, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=

Ben Worthy (Contact Author)

University of London - Birkbeck College ( email )

Malet Street
London, WC1E 7HX
United Kingdom

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