Svensk transparens under luppen

Tidsperiod: 2013-01-01 till 2015-12-31

Projektledare: Viviana Stechina

Finansiär: Vetenskapsrådet

Bidragstyp: Projektbidrag

Budget: 2 850 000 SEK

Transparency is a key term in current debates on governance. The prevalent view is that transparency is crucial for enhancing accountability, curbing corruption and limiting power abuses in the public sphere. In the international context, Sweden stands out as a country exhibiting high levels of transparency. The Swedish Freedom of Information Act (offentlighetsprincipen) is a symbol of national pride and a fundamental pillar of the country´s integrity system. Yet, in recent years, criticisms have been raised that "offentlighetsprincipen" does no longer help to secure transparency and accountability in the public administration system. The present project is an attempt to investigate these issues. Its purpose is to investigate the quality of Swedish transparency and its role as a condition for accountability. Drawing on conceptual and theoretical discussions on the phenomena of transparency, accountability and corruption, the project proposes an analytical framework for studying the quality of transparency and its linkages with the exercise of accountability in the Swedish context. It adopts a multi-method approach and makes use of a combination of diverse methods: analysis of documents, questionnaires, interviews, and case-studies. The study is expected to have theoretical, empirical and policy significance as it will provide much needed insights on the characteristics and workings of transparency mechanisms in a country where transparency has been in place for a long time.