As an institutional value, transparency has spread widely and become popular. The present essay underlines the many trade-offs linked to interaction of the instruments of transparency and the aims it pursues. Drawing inspiration from the success of transparency as a tool for preventing and fighting corruption, the authors also highlight a significant trade-off between accountability and trust in this sphere, revealing the tensions within the value-principle of transparency, due to its plural and granular nature, and the contingency of outcomes which depend on the context of reference and the awareness with which the instruments are set up and used.
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