Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1-1998

Abstract

Two standards of behavior are slugging it out around the world. Advocates of well-established norms such as corporate privacy and national sovereignty want to hide information from prying eyes, while promoters of transparency tout it as the solution to everything from international financial crises to arms races and street crime. Just what is transparency? Put simply, transparency is the opposite of secrecy. Secrecy means deliberately hiding your actions; transparency means deliberately revealing them. This element of volition makes the growing acceptance of transparency much more than a resigned surrender to the technologically facilitated intrusiveness of the Information Age. Transparency is a choice, encouraged by changing attitudes about what constitutes appropriate behavior.

Keywords

Government, Environmental regulation, Corporations, Environmental pollution, Pollutant emissions, Nongovernmental organizations, Business structures, Inventories, Sovereignty, Governance

Discipline

Political Science | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration

Research Areas

Political Science

Publication

Foreign Policy

Volume

111

First Page

50

Last Page

63

ISSN

0015-7228

Publisher

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Comments

Reprinted in Bernard I. Finel & Kristen M. Lord, eds. (2000). Power and conflict in the age of transparency. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

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