Table of Contents

Transparency in a New Global Order

Transparency in a New Global Order

Unveiling Organizational Visions

Edited by Christina Garsten and Monica Lindh de Montoya

This book argues that transparency is a concept that has gained increasing currency and favour as an organizing principle and administrative goal in recent years. Calls for transparency have been directed towards states, markets, corporations and national political processes as well as towards large institutions such as the European Union.

Introduction: Examining the Politics of Transparency

Christina Garsten and Monica Lindh de Montoya

Subjects: business and management, organisation studies, social policy and sociology, sociology and sociological theory

Extract

Christina Garsten and Monica Lindh de Montoya Transparency is a concept that has gained increasing currency and favour as an organizing principle and administrative goal in recent years. We note calls for greater transparency directed towards states, markets and corporations, in civil service, in local and national political processes, and in regard to large agglomerating institutions such as the European Union and the World Trade Organization. In a wide variety of situations the idea of transparency is held up as a panacea for the ills that a concentration of power can imply; a way in which citizens can attain a level of justice and control vis-à-vis institutions that affect their lives. We observe transparency in organizational policy, not least in relation to discussions of democracy and electoral procedures. It is invoked in fights against corruption and bribery, and in efforts to promote ‘good governance’. In the financial world, transparency is closely linked to pressures for more open and just accounting and auditing procedures. Transparency is also invoked more generally by protective state agencies as a set of technologies that promise to render life safer for ordinary people by close monitoring of risky elements, human and other. We observe transparency not only in organizations, but also more widely in our changing material world – in architecture, design and fashion. Clothing becomes more and more revealing, transparent social life ‘on exhibit’ is celebrated in endless reality shows and revealing documentaries are praised – subtlety and fiction take a back seat to...