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Chapter 1 - Publicity in History

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 November 2021

Brian Kogelmann
Affiliation:
University of Maryland, College Park
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Summary

This chapter develops a selective genealogy of the concept of publicity as it appears throughout the history of political thought, beginning with Plato and ending with Henry Sidgwick. Beyond its intrinsic interest, there is instrumental value to tracing a genealogy of publicity. Two benefits stand out in particular. First, by looking to what the giants of the past had to say about transparency in government, we find a greater diversity of positions than we currently see. Some flatly reject openness in government, embracing opacity in its place. And second, looking to the past shows how the concept of publicity can take on many different forms. Sometimes it refers to being offered justifications for the laws one lives under, sometimes it means that persons must have access to the philosophical theories inspiring the political systems they inhabit, sometimes it is used as a kind of test to probe the morality of public policies, sometimes it means that persons should be able to carefully monitor what public officials are up to, and so on.

Type
Chapter
Information
Secret Government
The Pathologies of Publicity
, pp. 11 - 34
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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  • Publicity in History
  • Brian Kogelmann, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Book: Secret Government
  • Online publication: 04 November 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108973847.002
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To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • Publicity in History
  • Brian Kogelmann, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Book: Secret Government
  • Online publication: 04 November 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108973847.002
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Publicity in History
  • Brian Kogelmann, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Book: Secret Government
  • Online publication: 04 November 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108973847.002
Available formats
×