[URBANTH-L]AAA CFP: Transparency and the Global Market

Angela Jancius acjancius at ysu.edu
Mon Mar 20 14:20:59 EST 2006

From: Christina Garsten <christina.garsten at score.su.se>
If you have not yet submitted your individual abstract to the AAA meetings 
in San José, please consider the following:

We would like to organize a panel for the 2006 American Anthropological 
Association Annual Meetings.

The panel is tentatively entitled:

Transparency and the global market: unveiling visions, challenges, 

Transparency is a concept that has gained increasing currency and favor as 
an organizing principle and administrative goal in recent years. We note 
calls for greater transparency directed towards states, markets, and 
corporations; in civil service, in local and national political processes, 
and in regard to large agglomerating institutions such as the European Union 
and World Trade Organization. In a wide variety of situations the idea of 
transparency is held up as a panacea for the ills that a concentration of 
power can imply; a way in which citizens can attain a level of justice and 
control vis-à-vis institutions that affect their lives. We observe 
transparency not only in accounting and auditing, but also more widely in 
our changing material world; in architecture, design, and fashion. We 
observe it in organizational policy, and not least in relation to 
discussions of democracy. Yet few attempts have been made to examine the 
actual content and playing-out of transparency, such as, for example, the 
complex negotiations through which it is determined what shall be displayed 
and what shall remain hidden, how power and control enter into the practices 
of transparency, and the processes through which transparency is (or is not) 
achieved. How is the concept interpreted, emulated, practiced, inverted, 
used to achieve particular ends?

This panel explores the ideas and practices of transparency in different 
contexts, with the hope of opening up a discussion of the strengths, 
ambiguities, limitations, and many facets of the term. We aim to shed light 
on the powerful global discourse and practices around the concept of 
transparency by opening up the concept for illumination from a broader 
perspective. In this, we hope to contribute to an understanding of the wider 
organizational, cultural and ideational context in which transparency is 
used and put to work. It will allow us to assess to what extent and in what 
respects the global discourse on transparency is actually transforming 
actual social practices and social relations and ways of thinking about 

We are very short of time, so if you are interested in these themes and a 
possible AAA panel please contact us by Friday March 24, at the latest.

All the best,

Christina Garsten and Monica Lindh de Montoya

Christina Garsten
Senior lecturer, Chair of Department
Department of Social Anthropology
Research Director
Stockholm Center for Organizational Research
Stockholm University
SE 106 91 Stockholm, SWEDEN
Tel. +46 (0)8 16 20 00, fax +46 (0)8 15 88 94
christina.garsten at socant.su.se

Monica Lindh de Montoya
PdD, Director of Studies
Department of Social Anthropology
Stockholm University
SE 106 91 Stockholm, SWEDEN
Tel. +46 (0)8 16 20 00, fax +46 (0)8 15 88 94
monica.montoya at socant.su.se


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