The Transparency Game: Government Information, Access, and Actionability

Journal Article (Journal Article)

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.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Vakarelov, O; Rogerson, K

Published Date

  • March 1, 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 33 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 71 - 92

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2210-5441

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2210-5433

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s13347-019-0340-z

Citation Source

  • Scopus