1st Edition

(In)visible European Government Critical Approaches to Transparency as an Ideal and a Practice

    350 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book questions the theoretical premises and practical applications of transparency, showing both the promises and perils of transparency in a methodologically innovative way and in a cross-section of policy instruments. It scrutinizes transparency from three perspectives - methodologically, theoretically, and empirically - both in the specific context of the EU but also in the wider context of modern society in which transparency is embraced as an almost unquestionable virtue. This book examines the ways in which transparency practices can make institutions visible and stands out for its methodological self-reflection: to fully understand the irresistible call for transparency in our governing institutions, we must reflect on our own relationship with it. This book will be of key interest to scholars and students of transparency studies, democratic legitimacy, global governance, governance law, EU studies and law and public policy more widely.

    1. Introduction: European Government Transparency beyond the Slogans

    Päivi Leino-Sandberg, Maarten Hillebrandt and Ida Koivisto

    PART 1

    2. Transparency as a Critical Research Agenda: Engaging with the EU Institutions on Access to Documents

    Päivi Leino-Sandberg

    3. What is the Purpose of Regulation 1049/2001? An Empirical Analysis of Member State Positions  

    Liisa Leppävirta

    4. Interpretive Approaches in Transparency Studies: Gaining New Perspectives on Old Problems

    Marlen Heide and Sofia Wickberg

    5. Learning Through Rejection: Studying the Informalisation of EU Readmission Policy with Access to Documents Requests

    Milka Sormunen and Davide Gnes

    PART 2

    6. The Human Face of Legal Transparency? Performance in Action

    Ida Koivisto

    7. Toward Radical Transparency

    Clare Birchall

    8. Escaping the Transparency Trap: In Defense of Playacting

    Emmanuel Alloa

    9. Algorithms and the Open Society: New Approaches to Information, Transparency and Accountability

    Alexander Ingrams

    10. Government Transparency: Dispelling the Myth

    Dorota Mokrosinska

    PART 3

    11. “Off paper”: The Transparency Dilemma in EU Institutions

    Stéphanie Novak

    12. Transparency as Enabling Citizen-participation: The Quality of Public Information on EU Decision-making Processes

    Alexander Hoppe

    13. Access to documents and the EU agency Frontex: Growing pains or outright obstruction?

    Melanie Fink and Maarten Hillebrandt

    14. The Council Presidency, brought to you by Coca-Cola: Transparency about Commercial Sponsoring

    Gijs Jan Brandsma

    15. EU Agencies and Lobbying Transparency Rules: A Case Study on the Islandization of Transparency?

    Emilia Korkea-aho

    16. "Mediated Transparency": The Digital Services Act and the legitimization of platform power

    Marta Maroni

    17. Epilogue: Against transparency. For engaged publics

    Deirdre Curtin


    Maarten Hillebrandt is Assistant Professor of Public Management at the Department of Public Administration and Organisational Sciences, Utrecht University (Netherlands).

    Päivi Leino-Sandberg is Professor of Transnational European Law at the University of Helsinki and Director of its Master's Programme in Global Governance Law (Finland).

    Ida Koivisto is Associate Professor of Public Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki (Finland).