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Transparency and Accountability: The Swedish Experience
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
2016 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

A popular view today is that transparency facilitates accountability and helps to prevent and limit abuses of power in the public sphere. Yet the link between transparency and accountability is not as straightforward as is often assumed, and we still know little about the workings of both transparency and accountability mechanisms in countries where transparency has been in place for a long time.

This paper aims to contribute to the literature by examining the role of transparency as a condition for public accountability. It presents empirical research on the characteristics and mechanisms of government transparency in Sweden, the country with the oldest Freedom of Information Act in the world. Drawing on previous studies, the paper discusses how diverse transparency arrangements and mechanisms contribute to the exercise of different forms of accountability. The bulk of the empirical study consists of the analysis of some national political affairs and/or scandals in the last decade where irregularities have been detected. Such an approach allows investigating how the transparency and accountability systems actually function in Sweden to guarantee visibility and insight into public activities. The empirical analysis is based on a variety of data sources, including secondary sources, interviews, formal documents and media reports. The study provides needed insights on the potential and limits of transparency as an instrument for achieving public accountability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
Keyword [en]
Transparency, Accountability, Sweden, Accountability types
Keyword [sv]
Transparens, ansvarutkrävande, Sverity, typer av ansvarutkrävande
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-332721OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-332721DiVA: diva2:1153917
Conference
Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA) Conference, IL Chicago, April 7-10, 2016.
Projects
Svensk transparens under luppen
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2012-1469
Available from: 2017-10-31 Created: 2017-10-31 Last updated: 2017-10-31

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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf