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Transforming armed forces through military transparency

Transforming armed forces through military transparency Purpose– After discussing recent academic attempts to assess the status of worldwide military transparency and accountability in nations which adopted open governance paradigms, this paper tries to show that such countries allegedly committed to democracy and open data should coherently fight for military transparency and citizen inclusion in the governance process, avoiding the prevalence of military secrecy over military transparency. The most important contribution of the paper is discussing the lack of military transparency, until now taken for granted as a traditional armed forces ’informal right, and proposing concrete definitions of military transparency and secrecy within the context of the open government partnership. In addition to the definitions, an exploratory model of how military accountability can affect military transparency has been suggested. Design/methodology/approach– For the proposed endeavour, first a description on the context of open governance where the involved public defence sector is inserted is given. Second, notions of military transparency and secrecy are proposed. Finally, the paper discusses when military secrecy could be granted and what it means for military information to be unjustifiably kept secret. At the end, the urge of the citizen involvement to open the still insulated military governance systems is highlighted. Findings– This paper proposes notions of military secrecy and military transparency and suggests the second term as a broader notion which includes the first. This paper also indirectly identifies the conditions for the inadmissibility of military secrecy and calls attention to the bad externalities of unjustifiably holding public information back. Research limitations/implications– The consideration of the proposed notions of military secrecy and military transparency could minimize the traditional excuse of military confidentiality that armed forces worldwide tend to not to convey public information to the public while making military accountability perfectly possible without overexposing its strategies regarding national defence. Practical implications– Providing armed forces and citizens with concrete definitions of military secrecy and military transparency could not only help military institutions to develop a sincere transparency policy based on open government terms, but it could also guide interested media and citizens with their control and oversight tasks by establishing clear limits for alleged secrecy while releasing the borders for military transparency. Social implications– The suggested approach for military transparency and secrecy is not only adequate to the globalized strategy of open governance but also mainly a way to finally reward citizens’ often misused and manipulated trust. Originality/value– It is the first attempt of an academic definition for military secrecy and military transparency taking into consideration the open government terms and aiming at improving military accountability. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy Emerald Publishing

Transforming armed forces through military transparency

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1750-6166
DOI
10.1108/TG-01-2015-0002
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose– After discussing recent academic attempts to assess the status of worldwide military transparency and accountability in nations which adopted open governance paradigms, this paper tries to show that such countries allegedly committed to democracy and open data should coherently fight for military transparency and citizen inclusion in the governance process, avoiding the prevalence of military secrecy over military transparency. The most important contribution of the paper is discussing the lack of military transparency, until now taken for granted as a traditional armed forces ’informal right, and proposing concrete definitions of military transparency and secrecy within the context of the open government partnership. In addition to the definitions, an exploratory model of how military accountability can affect military transparency has been suggested. Design/methodology/approach– For the proposed endeavour, first a description on the context of open governance where the involved public defence sector is inserted is given. Second, notions of military transparency and secrecy are proposed. Finally, the paper discusses when military secrecy could be granted and what it means for military information to be unjustifiably kept secret. At the end, the urge of the citizen involvement to open the still insulated military governance systems is highlighted. Findings– This paper proposes notions of military secrecy and military transparency and suggests the second term as a broader notion which includes the first. This paper also indirectly identifies the conditions for the inadmissibility of military secrecy and calls attention to the bad externalities of unjustifiably holding public information back. Research limitations/implications– The consideration of the proposed notions of military secrecy and military transparency could minimize the traditional excuse of military confidentiality that armed forces worldwide tend to not to convey public information to the public while making military accountability perfectly possible without overexposing its strategies regarding national defence. Practical implications– Providing armed forces and citizens with concrete definitions of military secrecy and military transparency could not only help military institutions to develop a sincere transparency policy based on open government terms, but it could also guide interested media and citizens with their control and oversight tasks by establishing clear limits for alleged secrecy while releasing the borders for military transparency. Social implications– The suggested approach for military transparency and secrecy is not only adequate to the globalized strategy of open governance but also mainly a way to finally reward citizens’ often misused and manipulated trust. Originality/value– It is the first attempt of an academic definition for military secrecy and military transparency taking into consideration the open government terms and aiming at improving military accountability.

Journal

Transforming Government: People, Process and PolicyEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 21, 2016

References