Transparency in a “Post-Fact” World

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What role can government transparency play in a democratic polity in a post-fact and a post-truth world? If the problem is not that citizens lack information about what the government does, but that they filter existing information through pre-existing ideological biases and world views, can government transparency still contribute to better informed citizens and more accountable government? To answer these questions, the article first reviews the critiques of transparency that are particularly salient in a post-fact world: that it reduces trust in government and increases polarization in deliberation. It then discusses three possible solutions: less transparency, tailored transparency, and reasoned transparency. Drawing on deliberative democracy theory, the article concludes that to reclaim the value of transparency, public administration scholars and practitioners need to move from a narrow interpretation of transparency as access to information to a broader, more holistic one, that considers more explicitly the communicative aspects of transparency and its normative foundations.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)222-231
JournalPerspectives on Public Management and Governance
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 25 2022


  • Transparency
  • access to information

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Administration


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