How citizens want to “see” the state: Exploring the relationship between transparency and public values

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Although transparency is recognized as an important public value, few studies examine how citizens see the relationship between transparency and other public values. To empirically investigate this relationship, we distinguish among five types of transparency and explore their associations with different views of “good” government and other public values. Using survey data and Q methodology, we find that citizens see transparency as an important value, albeit not the most important one. We also find that people give different weight to different kinds of transparency and that this depends on individual characteristics and on their overall value orientation or conception of “good” government. In particular, those who hold a contractarian view of democracy prefer types of transparency associated with accountability. Overall, transparency as candor is valued most highly and least associated with other value preferences—suggesting an important interpretation of transparency that has been hitherto neglected in the literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-372
Number of pages16
JournalPublic Administration Review
Volume84
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing

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