The Perils and Promise of Global Transparency

Why the Information Revolution May Not Lead to Security, Democracy, or Peace

By Kristin M. Lord

Subjects: Democracy
Series: SUNY series in Global Politics
Paperback : 9780791468869, 208 pages, June 2007
Hardcover : 9780791468852, 208 pages, October 2006

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Table of contents


1. The Complexity of Transparency

2. Transparency and Conflict

3. Transparency and Intergroup Violence

4. Transparency and Conflict Intervention

5. Transparency and Governance

6. Global Implications of Growing Transparency


Argues that increasing levels of transparency do not always change international politics for the better.


While the trend toward greater transparency will bring many benefits, Kristin M. Lord argues that predictions that it will lead inevitably to peace, understanding, and democracy are wrong. The conventional view is of authoritarian governments losing control over information thanks to technology, the media, and international organizations, but there is a darker side, one in which some of the same forces spread hatred, conflict, and lies. In this book, Lord discusses the complex implications of growing transparency, paying particular attention to the circumstances under which transparency's effects are negative. Case studies of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and the government of Singapore's successful control of information are included.

Kristin M. Lord is Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at The George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs. She is the coeditor (with Bernard I. Finel) of Power and Conflict in the Age of Transparency.