Transparency and Secrecy

Transparency and Secrecy : A Reader Linking Literature and Contemporary Debate

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Gaining access to government information is a perpetual concern of citizens. This is due in large part to the relationship between transparency and the issues of ethics, corruption, administrative malfeasance, and accountability. The last few years have proven that governmental transparency is a burgeoning academic subfield spurred on by contemporary political events and attention generated by the popular press. This reader addresses the topics of governmental transparency and secrecy and includes original discussion, classic readings, and primary source documents. Transparency and Secrecy is organized according to a theoretical model fully developed in the introduction. Governmental transparency is the degree to which access to government information is available through various channels. These avenues of access to information include governments proactively releasing information, freedom-of-information type requests, open meetings, and whistleblowing and leaks. The reader addresses each of these components as well as values that compete with openness such as privacy, security, and efficiency.
The chapter discussion sections begin with the presentation of cases to make the material relevant to students. The cases together with the review of the literature help readers understand how each aspect of transparency is relevant to contemporary public policy debates. The discussion sections include a brief summary of the included articles and place these readings within the scholarship at large. Integrative study questions, suggested class projects, recommendations for case studies, movies, and supplemental reading all make Transparency and Secrecy ideal for classroom adoption.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 222 pages
  • 177.8 x 254 x 17.8mm | 408.23g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739127527
  • 9780739127520
  • 1,410,526

About Suzanne J. Piotrowski

Suzanne J. Piotrowski is an associate professor in the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University, Newark Campus.
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Review quote

This is a very important and necessary book. Democratic governments require transparency-and, in some contexts, secrecy as well. Professor Piotrowski, a leading researcher on transparency issues and author of Governmental Transparency in the Path of Administrative Reform, has put together an excellent, highly readable, and balanced collection of materials that will enable students and scholars alike to analyze clearly questions of governmental transparency and secrecy from the municipal to multi-national governmental levels. The book fills a major void in the extant literature and is eminently appropriate for courses in public administration, political science, and journalism. -- David H. Rosenbloom, City University of Hong Kong; American University This new volume edited by Suzanne Piotrowski is more than the 'reader' modestly claimed by the title. Piotrowski has brought together a collection of key materials dealing with the tension between transparency and secrecy and provided her own interpretive comments, discussion questions, suggested classroom assignments, cases, and additional readings. Piotrowski develops the meanings of the key terms, historical contexts, and ethical quandaries that surround this extremely important area of concern in modern democratic government. This much-needed work fills a major gap in our literature for engaging students and will also be appreciated by scholars, practitioners, and thoughtful members of the public. -- Terry L. Cooper, University of Southern California Transparency is one of the most important topics in contemporary debates about good governance. This is the first reader that canvasses the subject thoroughly. This volume is an outstanding resource for teachers and students. -- Alasdair S. Roberts, Suffolk University Law School
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Table of contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Part 2 Part 1-What Is Transparency? Chapter 3 The Power Position of the Bureaucracy Chapter 4 Administrative Secrecy: A Congressional Dilemma Chapter 5 Claude Reyes et al. v Chile Chapter 6 Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies. Subject: Transparency and Open Government Part 7 Part 2-Transparency and Competing Values: Privacy, Security, and Efficiency Chapter 8 The Right to Privacy Chapter 9 Privacy Rights and Protection: Foreign Values in Modern Thai Context Chapter 10 National Security and Open Government in the United States: Beyond the Balancing Test Chapter 11 Governmental Transparency in the Path of Administrative Reform Part 12 Part 3-Freedom of Information Chapter 13 Article 6 of Mexican Constitution Chapter 14 Outsourcing the Constitution and Administrative Law Norms Chapter 15 A Partial Revolution: The Diplomatic Ethos and Transparency in Intergovernmental Organizations Part 16 Part 4-Proactively Released Information Chapter 17 The Evolution of E-Government among Municipalities: Rhetoric or Reality Chapter 18 Mr. Justice Brandeis and the Creation of the Federal Register Chapter 19 At the Intersection of Bureaucracy, Democracy, and the Media: The Effective Agency Spokesperson Part 20 Part 5-Open Public Meetings Chapter 21 Open Meeting Statutes: The Press Fights for the 'Right To Know' Chapter 22 The Democratic Legitimacy of the European Union Committee System Chapter 23 Critical Factors for Enhancing Municipal Public Hearings Part 24 Part 6-Whistleblowing and Leaked Information Chapter 25 Whistleblowing and Leaks Chapter 26 The Enduring Phenomenon of Moral Muteness
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