From information to predictability: transparency on the path to democratic governance. The case of Romania

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17 Scopus citations


This article proposes a new conceptual framework for assessing transparency at the country level. It identifies three distinct interpretations of transparency: access to information; two-way communication; and predictability, or decision-making based on clear and publicly known rules. Each represents an increasingly demanding form of transparency, but all are tied to democratic accountability and the rule of law. Using the case of Romania, the article illustrates how such a framework can be employed to assess the evolution of transparency in a relatively recent democracy. Points for practitioners: The virtues of transparency have been advocated by international organizations, governments, and civil society. The focus has primarily been on access to information—whether through freedom of information acts or open data. However, realizing the democratizing potential of transparency requires a multifaceted approach. This article suggests that transparency advocates should pay more attention to issues such as increasing citizen participation, opening up decision-making rather than just data, strengthening the rule of law, and fighting corruption. In other words, it argues for a more holistic discourse and practice of transparency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)692-710
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Review of Administrative Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


  • access to information
  • accountability
  • democracy
  • open government
  • participation
  • public values
  • transparency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


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