• Parution : 2016
  • Revue : Histoire & Mesure
  • Numéro : 30-2
  • ISBN EHESS : 978-2-7132-2474-4
  • Prix : 22.50€
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Before Transparency
Control and Communication in Early-Modern Europe
Revue Histoire & Mesure, vol n° 30-2

Paradoxically, it is at a time when transparency is hailed as a key to good governance and economic efficiency, and when national states and transnational agencies are implementing new laws to allow citizens access to information, that a series of crises and scandals have revealed the extent to which use of the concept can be problematic and, arguably, even fraught. Since Jeremy Bentham first introduced the concept of transparency in the language (1789), few societal debates seem to have sparked so much interest within the academic community, across a variety of disciplines and using different approaches and methodologies.

Since the academic debate is still developing, it is too early to identify clear new directions or draw preliminary conclusions. It is likely, however, that the current reappraisals of the concept of transparency – alongside others such as accountability and also privacy - will be instrumental in providing an effective response to the new challenges brought about by globalisation and the need to define a more robust relationship between nations, market and citizens. Indeed, one striking fact about modern political discourse on the subject is the lack of historical reflection about the birth and the development of the concept of transparency, both as a principle and as applied in practice. Accordingly the aim of this special issue of Histoire & Mesure is to contribute to historicising the concept of transparency by exploring the ways in which control and communication operated in early-modern European polities.

Joël Felix – Introduction

The structure of politics and the limits to fiscal transparency in parliamentary monarchies
Daniel Baugh – Parliament, Naval Spending and the Public : Contrasting Financial
Patrick Winton – Sweden 1750-1780 : parliamentary control, public discussions and royal autonomy

Provincial estates in composite polities
Alberto Feenstra  – Excesses of which state? Groningen's failed experiment with Holland's capital market, 1666-1761
Jérôme Loiseau – From Blind Obedience to Informed Consent. Financial and Administrative Knowledge as a Political Tool During the Ancien Régime. Some
Evidence From Provincial Estates (1751-1789)

Control and intermediation of corporate bodies
Anne L. Murphy – Inspection and efficiency at the eighteenth-century Bank of England
Mathieu Marraud – Mastering guilds’ debt in 18th century Paris: royal publicity, liberation and coercion

Publicity and communication in absolute monarchies
Rafael Torres Sanchez – Absolutism and Fiscal Transparency in Eighteenth-Century
Daniela Cicollela – False transparency. Disclosing financial data, between enlightenment and absolutism (Naples, 1780s)
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