Amsterdam School of Communication Research / ASCoR

Troubling Transparency: Why Democracies Need Transparency – But Not Too Much Of It

06Mar2017 15:30 - 17:00


ASCoR and IViR– Research Priority Area Personalised Communication Lecture by Professor Michael S. Schudson about Transparency. Reviewing episodes in the rise of Transparency as a popular objective in the post-1945 United States, this lecture probes the question of how Transparency rose to prominence and how we should think about its significance in democratic societies.

"Transparency" can be understood as a “secondary” virtue of process rather than a primary goal of a good society, and democracies may choose to limit transparency practices to protect other competing values – from personal privacy to the autonomy of voters to the deliberative freedom of legitimate decision-makers.

About Michael S. Schudson

Schudson is Professor of Journalism and Adjunct Professor of Sociology at  Columbia University. He is the author of seven books and editor of three others concerning the history and sociology of the American news media, advertising, popular culture, Watergate and cultural memory. He is the recipient of a number of honors; he has been a Guggenheim fellow, a resident fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Palo Alto, and a MacArthur Foundation "genius" fellow. In 2004, he received the Murray Edelman distinguished career award from the political communication section of the American Political Science Association and the International Communication Association.

Schudson's articles have appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Wilson Quarterly, and The American Prospect, and he has published op-eds in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday, the Financial Times, and The San Diego Union.


If you plan to come, please register by sending an e-mail to

Location: Roeterseiland Campus, room C10.20

  • Roeterseilandcampus - gebouw B/C/D (ingang B/C)

    Nieuwe Achtergracht 166 | 1018 WV Amsterdam
    Receptie B: 525 5340 Receptie C: 525 5470

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Published by  ASCoR