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Transparency in Global Environmental GovernanceCritical Perspectives$
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Aarti Gupta and Michael Mason

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027410

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027410.001.0001

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The Lost Innocence of Transparency in Environmental Politics

The Lost Innocence of Transparency in Environmental Politics

(p.39) 2 The Lost Innocence of Transparency in Environmental Politics
Transparency in Global Environmental Governance

P. J. Mol Arthur

The MIT Press

In this chapter, Arthur Mol elaborates on informational governance in the environmental domain. He assesses the achievements of transparency to date in enhancing democratic quality and promoting environmental effectiveness. As he shows, markets and states jostle to capture transparency arrangements for their own diverse ends, which are not necessarily aligned with assumed normative linkages between transparency, democracy and participation, as well as environmental reform. The chapter argues that transparency in governance has entered a reflexive phase, one in which secondarytransparency i.e. additional layers of transparency provided by information intermediaries, is key to making primary disclosure usable. Through assessing the promise, potential and pitfalls of governance by disclosure in the sustainability realm, Mol’s provocative conclusion is that transparency has “lost its innocence” as an arbiter of democratic and environmental gains.

Keywords:   Transparency, Informational governance, Environmental governance, Sustainability

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