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The uncertain relationship between transparency and accountability

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  • Fox, Jonathan A
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    Abstract

    The concepts of transparency and accountability are closely linked: transparency is supposed to generate accountability. This article questions this widely held assumption. Transparency mobilises the power of shame, yet the shameless may not be vulnerable to public exposure. Truth often fails to lead to justice. After exploring different definitions and dimensions of the two ideas, the more relevant question turns out tobe: what kinds of transparency lead to what kinds of accountability, and under what conditions? The article concludes by proposing that the concept can be unpacked in terms of two distinct variants. Transparency can be either ‘clear’or‘opaque’, while accountability can be either‘soft’or‘hard’.

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    File URL: http://www.escholarship.org/uc/item/8c25c3z4.pdf;origin=repeccitec
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz in its series Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series with number qt8c25c3z4.

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    Date of creation: 01 Aug 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:cdl:glinre:qt8c25c3z4

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    Web page: http://www.escholarship.org/repec/cgirs/

    Related research

    Keywords: Globalization and Regulation; Social Movements;

    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Fox, Jonathan A, 2007. "Mexico's Right-to-Know Reforms: Civil Society Perspectives," Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series qt34w393zn, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.
    2. Manishi Prasad & Peter Wahlqvist & Rich Shikiar & Ya-Chen Tina Shih, 2004. "A," PharmacoEconomics, Springer Healthcare | Adis, vol. 22(4), pages 225-244.
    3. Mark Stephan, 2002. "Environmental Information Disclosure Programs: They Work, but Why?," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 83(1), pages 190-205.
    4. Konar, Shameek & Cohen, Mark A., 1997. "Information As Regulation: The Effect of Community Right to Know Laws on Toxic Emissions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 109-124, January.
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    Cited by:
    1. Lieberman, Evan S. & Posner, Daniel N. & Tsai, Lily L., 2014. "Does Information Lead to More Active Citizenship? Evidence from an Education Intervention in Rural Kenya," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 69-83.
    2. Fox, Jonathan A & García Jiménez, Carlos & Haight, Libby, 2009. "Rural Democratization in Mexico’s Deep South: Grassroots Right-to-Know Campaigns in Guerrero," Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series qt3nv6s088, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.
    3. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00922092 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Fox, Jonathan A & Haight, Libby, 2011. "Transparency Reforms: Theory and Practice," Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series qt50q0m31z, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.
    5. Ariane Lambert-Mogiliansky, 2014. "Social Accountability: Persuasion and Debate to Contain Corruption," PSE Working Papers halshs-00922092, HAL.

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