At a time when greater transparency is needed, this book advances a novel explanation of America's efforts to advance greater transparency in international relations. Marquardt argues that American statesmen have long sought to secure an American-dominated international system to encourage states to be more open and forthcoming about their internal affairs. Yet the United States routinely uses its calls for military transparency in particular as a policy instrument to discipline its rivals and therefore paradoxically contributes to greater tension in international relations. In contrast to conventional thinking about transparency in relation to overcoming power politics and promoting international cooperation, this book explores the relationship between America's power and international security competition. Though analytically distinct, openness and transparency have served the same strategic goal; ensuring America's position of preponderance in the international system.
'Every serious international agreement requires monitoring and enforcement. That’s why so many treaties also require transparency - the ability to see if participants are actually adhering to their promises. America has long supported this goal of transparency. What James Marquardt shows in this provocative and important book is that American policy is hardly a disinterested push for cooperation. It’s a deliberate strategy of international primacy.' Charles Lipson, University of Chicago, USA 'In writing a book skeptical of America’s pursuit of increased transparency in world politics, Marquardt injects needed arguments into debates and policies where far too many assume that transparency is an unalloyed good. This nuanced and superbly researched book shows how the United States has used transparency for strategic purposes, and not just for mutually beneficial agreements between states. Thus, the United States often encounters resistance to its almost uniformly pro-transparency policies.' Dan Lindley, University of Notre Dame, USA