Transparency assessment in national systems

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter


This chapter 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 chapter illustrates how such a framework can be employed to assess the evolution of transparency in a relatively recent democracy. Findings indicate that, while 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 chapter 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)
Title of host publicationQuality of Governance
Subtitle of host publicationValues and Violations
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9783030215224
ISBN (Print)9783030215217
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Democracy
  • Public values
  • Quality of governance
  • Transparency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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