Transparency, Society and Subjectivity
This book critically engages with the idea of transparency whose ubiquitous demand stands in stark contrast to its lack of conceptual clarity. The book carefully examines this notion in its own right, traces its emergence in Early Modernity and analyzes its omnipresence in contemporary rhetoric. Today, transparency has become a catchword outplaying other Enlightenment values like empowerment, sincerity and the notion of a public sphere. In a suspicious manner, transparency is entangled in the discourses on power, surveillance, and self-exposure. Bringing together prominent scholars from the emerging field of Critical Transparency Studies, the book offers a map of the various sites at which transparency has become virulent and connects the dots between past and present. By studying its appearances in today’s hyper-mediated economies of information and by linking it back to its historical roots, the book analyzes transparency and its discontents, and scrutinizes the reasons why it has become the imperative of a supposedly post-ideological age.