IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Transparency for Whom? Information Disclosure and Power in Global Environmental Governance


  • Michael Mason

    (Michael Mason is Deputy Director of the Centre for Environmental Policy and Governance at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research interests centre on environmental politics and policy, notably transboundary issues. He also coordinates LSE research input into the Energy, Water and Environment Community project-an interdisciplinary network addressing environmental cooperation in the Middle East. He is author of The New Accountability: Environmental Responsibility Across Borders (2005); and co-editor of the forthcoming volume Enhancing Security in the Middle East through Regional Collaboration on Renewable Energy (2008).)


Information disclosure is the most obvious manifestation of the transparency turn in global governance, as evident from a growing uptake of environmental disclosure practices by countries, corporations and international organizations. Any analytic examination of environmental disclosure measures needs to grasp their relation to wider configurations of political and economic authority. Highlighting these relations of power reveals that transparency measures do not necessarily overcome asymmetries in information access, and may even exacerbate them. (c) 2008 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Mason, 2008. "Transparency for Whom? Information Disclosure and Power in Global Environmental Governance," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 8(2), pages 8-13, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:glenvp:v:8:y:2008:i:2:p:8-13

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Johannes Urpelainen, 2012. "Geoengineering and global warming: a strategic perspective," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 375-389, November.
    2. Emma Doherty & Heike Schroeder, 2011. "Forest Tenure and Multi-level Governance in Avoiding Deforestation under REDD+," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 11(4), pages 66-88, November.
    3. Matthew Leggett & Heather Lovell, 2012. "Community perceptions of REDD+: a case study from Papua New Guinea," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 115-134, January.
    4. Raustiala, Kal & Victor, David G., 2004. "The Regime Complex for Plant Genetic Resources," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(02), pages 277-309, April.
    5. Jon Hovi & Detlef F. Sprinz, 2006. "The Limits of the Law of the Least Ambitious Program," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 6(3), pages 28-42, August.
    6. David G. Victor, 2006. "Toward Effective International Cooperation on Climate Change: Numbers, Interests and Institutions," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 6(3), pages 90-103, August.
    7. Finnemore, Martha & Sikkink, Kathryn, 1998. "International Norm Dynamics and Political Change," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(04), pages 887-917, September.
    8. Daniel Bodansky, 2013. "The who, what, and wherefore of geoengineering governance," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 121(3), pages 539-551, December.
    9. Sprinz, Detlef & Vaahtoranta, Tapani, 1994. "The interest-based explanation of international environmental policy," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 48(01), pages 77-105, December.
    10. Carsten Helm & Detlef Sprinz, 2000. "Measuring the Effectiveness of International Environmental Regimes," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 44(5), pages 630-652, October.
    11. Christopher J. Preston, 2011. "Re-Thinking the Unthinkable: Environmental Ethics and the Presumptive Argument Against Geoengineering," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 20(4), pages 457-479, November.
    12. Charlotte Epstein, 2008. "The Power of Words in International Relations: Birth of an Anti-Whaling Discourse," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262550695, January.
    13. Charlotte Epstein, 2008. "The Power of Words in International Relations: Birth of an Anti-Whaling Discourse," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262050927, January.
    14. Patrick Biernacki & Dan Waldorf, 1981. "Snowball Sampling: Problems and Techniques of Chain Referral Sampling," Sociological Methods & Research, , vol. 10(2), pages 141-163, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Apergis, Nicholas & Eleftheriou, Sofia & Payne, James E., 2013. "The relationship between international financial reporting standards, carbon emissions, and R&D expenditures: Evidence from European manufacturing firms," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 57-66.
    2. Tana Johnson, 2015. "Information revelation and structural supremacy: The World Trade Organization’s incorporation of environmental policy," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 207-229, June.
    3. Pistorius, Till & Reinecke, Sabine, 2013. "The interim REDD+ Partnership: Boost for biodiversity safeguards?," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 80-86.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tpr:glenvp:v:8:y:2008:i:2:p:8-13. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Kristin Waites). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.