The Transparency Game: Government Information, Access, and Actionability

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2020-03-01

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Abstract

Democratic governments might be required by law to disseminate information to the people. This is called governmental transparency. What is the burden of transparency? We propose a “pragmatic information theory of communication” that places information accessibility as a foundation of transparency. Using a game model—the Transparency Game—we show that the pragmatic theory is the only one that makes it difficult for governments to appear transparent (transparency de vidi) while not actually being transparent (transparency de facto). There are two important consequences of understanding transparency through the theory: (1) Accessible information must be actionable, and (2) cognitive science plays a vital role in assessing the accessibility of information. These consequences can have implications for public policies that promote transparency.

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10.1007/s13347-019-0340-z

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Vakarelov, O, and K Rogerson (2020). The Transparency Game: Government Information, Access, and Actionability. Philosophy and Technology, 33(1). pp. 71–92. 10.1007/s13347-019-0340-z Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/30140.

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Rogerson

Kenneth S. Rogerson

Professor of the Practice in the Sanford School of Public Policy

Kenneth S. Rogerson is Professor of the Practice at Duke's Sanford School of Public Policy, and former Research Director of the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy at Duke University. He is currently the Director of Graduate Studies for the Sanford Master's of Public Policy Program and the Director of Duke's Policy Journalism and Media Studies Certificate Program. He has served as chair of the American Political Science Association’s Information Technology and Politics Section and the International Studies Association's International Communication Section.

Rogerson earned a PhD in Political Science at the University of South Carolina, where his research focused on international relations, international communications and media policy issues. In his dissertation, he examined the evolution of U.S. foreign information policy. He has a Masters of Arts degree in International Relations and a BA in Journalism and European Studies from Brigham Young University.

During his studies at the University of South Carolina Rogerson won the Excellence in Teaching Award, and the journal which he edited, Global Governance, was named the Best New Journal in the United States in Business, Social Sciences and the Humanities by the Association of American Publishers.


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