Under Construction: Local Government Transparency in a New Democracy

  • Cristina Stănuș
Keywords: transparency, local government, meaning-construction in policymaking, Romania


The paper argues that understanding the apparent failure of new democracies in establishing transparency as a norm requires a look at how the meaning of transparency is constructed. The argument is illustrated by analysing how local government transparency is shaped in a multi-actor process, under the influence of international policy discourse and domestic factors. Directed qualitative analysis (N = 144) was applied on documents issued by the central government, local governments and third sector organisations. The aspects of this process – sometimes not so positive effects of external pressure, the emphasis on standardisation, and the limited policy capacity of all actors – are identified as relevant to the establishment of transparency as a norm.