Cultures of Transparency : Between Promise and Peril book cover
1st Edition

Cultures of Transparency
Between Promise and Peril

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after April 18, 2021
ISBN 9780367346263
April 18, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
248 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This volume addresses the major questions surrounding a concept that has become ubiquitous in media, political, civil society and economic discourse 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.

Table of Contents

  1. Cultures of Transparency in a Changing World – an Introduction
    Dimitrij Owetschkin, Julia Sittmann, Stefan Berger
  2. Part I: Transparency and Public Policy - Historical and Methodological Perspectives

  3. Transparency in Public Affairs: The Rise of a Successful Political Metaphor
    Sandrine Baume
  4. Transparency and Economic Development
    Jens Forssbaeck
  5. Part II: Transparency in the Digital Age

  6. Bullets of Truth: Julian Assange and the Politics of Transparency
    Mark Fenster
  7. Whistleblowers, Media, and Democracy in Latin America
    Rogério Christofoletti
  8. Blind Spots: Shedding Light on Media Transparency Research Across the World
    Susanne Fengler, Dominik Speck, Mariella Bastian and Judith Pies
  9. Part III: The Limits of Informational Openness

  10. Does Transparency Endanger Trust? Reflections on a Delicate Relationship
    Martin Hartmann
  11. Can Transparency be a Sin? On the Advantages and Obstacles of the New Silver Bullet in Academic Research
    Stefan Hornbostel
  12. The Limits of Transparency: China, the United States and the World Trade Organization
    Padideh Ala’i & Katayoon Beshkardana
  13. Part IV: Transparency and the Individual - The "End of Privacy"

  14. Transparency and Privatisation
    Thomas Docherty
  15. Transparency, Privacy, and Civil Inattention
    Emmanuel Alloa
  16. Part V: Towards a "Transparent Society"?

  17. Stainless Subjects: Transparency Imaginaries of the Avantgardes
    Vincent Kaufman
  18. The Idea of the Public Sphere and Social Movements as Agents of Transparency: Historical Perspectives
    Stefan Berger and Dimitrij Owetschkin


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Stefan Berger is Professor of Social History and Director of the Institute for Social Movements at Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany. He is the co-editor of Contested Transparencies, Social Movements and the Public Sphere: Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives and The History of Social Movements in Global Perspective.

Susanne Fengler is Professor of International Journalism and Director of the Erich Brost Institute for International Journalism at TU Dortmund University, Germany. She is the co-editor of Journalists and Media Accountability: An International Study of News People in the Digital Age, Mapping Media Accountability - in Europe and Beyond, and The European Handbook of Media Accountability.

Dimitrij Owetschkin is a Permanent Research Fellow at the Institute for Social Movements at Ruhr University Bochum, Germany. He is the co-editor of Contested Transparencies, Social Movements and the Public Sphere: Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives.

Julia Sittmann is Research Associate at the Institute for Social Movements at Ruhr University Bochum, and a writer and editor at Deutsche Welle Akademie, Germany.