Transparency, Society and Subjectivity

Critical Perspectives

  • Emmanuel Alloa
  • Dieter Thomä

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Emmanuel Alloa, Dieter Thomä
    Pages 1-13
  3. Umberto Eco
    Pages 15-18
  4. Transparency in the Making

  5. Under the Crystal Dome

  6. From the Panopticon to the Selfie and Back

  7. Back Matter
    Pages 393-408

About this book


This book critically engages with the idea of transparency whose ubiquitous demand stands in stark contrast to its lack of conceptual clarity. The book carefully examines this notion in its own right, traces its emergence in Early Modernity and analyzes its omnipresence in contemporary rhetoric. Today, transparency has become a catchword outplaying other Enlightenment values like empowerment, sincerity and the notion of a public sphere. In a suspicious manner, transparency is entangled in the discourses on power, surveillance, and self-exposure. Bringing together prominent scholars from the emerging field of Critical Transparency Studies, the book offers a map of the various sites at which transparency has become virulent and connects the dots between past and present. By studying its appearances in today’s hyper-mediated economies of information and by linking it back to its historical roots, the book analyzes transparency and its discontents, and scrutinizes the reasons why it has become the imperative of a supposedly post-ideological age.


Whistle-blowing Identity Surveillance Privacy Secrecy

Editors and affiliations

  • Emmanuel Alloa
    • 1
  • Dieter Thomä
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Humanities and Social SciencesUniversity of St. GallenSt. GallenSwitzerland
  2. 2.School of Humanities and Social SciencesUniversity of St. GallenSt. GallenSwitzerland

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-77160-1
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-77161-8
  • Buy this book on publisher's site