Is transparency a necessary condition to build and restore citizen and civil society trust in governance and democracy?
Throughout Europe, there is a growing demand for effective forms of citizen engagement and decentralisation in policy-making to increase trust and engage increasingly diverse populations.
This volume addresses the relationship between trust and transparency in the context of multi-level governance. Drawing on fieldwork from the UK, France and Germany, this comparative analysis examines different efforts to build trust between key actors involved in decision-making at the sub-national level. It outlines the challenges of delivering this agenda and explores the paradox that trust might require transparency, yet in some instances transparency may undermine trust.
“Very topical in its nature, the book fills in the existing void in understanding the concepts of trust and transparency within a multi-level context – very much needed in the era of mistrust.” Ania Ankowska, Leeds Beckett University
“Conceptually innovative and empirically rich, this comparative study on the role of political and administrative transparency outlines new and promising pathways for the vibrant and expanding field of multi-level trust research.” Sonja Zmerli, Grenoble Institute of Political Studies
"This book explores the dynamics between transparency and trust through thick description of vertical and horizontal relationships between levels of government and civil society actors in two regions in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Stafford, Cole, and Heinz offer highly innovative research by moving beyond methodological nationalism that characterises most research on trust and transparency." Arjan H. Schakel, University of Bergen
Ian Stafford is Senior Lecturer in Politics at Cardiff University, Wales.
Alistair Cole is Professor of Politics and Head of the Department of Government and International Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University.
Dominic Heinz is Lecturer for the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) at Turkish-German University in Istanbul.
1. Building Trust in an Age of Transparency
2. The Trust-Transparency Nexus
3. Comparing Cases
4. UK: North West England and Wales
5. Germany: Hesse and Saxony-Anhalt
6. France - Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Bretagne
7. Conclusion: Reflections on the Trust-Transparency Nexus