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XXX-2 | 2015
Before Fiscal Transparency

Avant la transparence financière
262 pages
ISBN 978-2-7132-2474-4

Today, transparency is hailed as a key to good governance and economic efficiency, with national states implementing new laws to allow citizens access to information. It is therefore paradoxical that, as shown by a series of crises and scandals, modern governments and international agencies frequently have paid only lip-service to such ideals. Since Jeremy Bentham first introduced the concept of transparency in the language in 1789, few societal debates have sparked so much interest within the academic community, and across a variety of disciplines, using different approaches and methodologies. Within these current debates, however, one fact is striking: the lack of historical reflection about the development of the concept of transparency, both as a principle and as applied in practice, prior to its inception. Accordingly, the aim of this special issue is to contribute to historicising the ways in which communication and control over fiscal policy and state finances operated in early modern European polities.

  • Introduction

    • Joël Félix
      Control, Knowledge and Communication in Early-Modern Polities
      Les chemins de la transparence fiscale. Contrôle, savoir et communication dans l’Europe moderne
  • Limits to fiscal transparency in parliamentary monarchies

  • Provincial estates in composite polities

    • Alberto Feenstra
      Credible Commitment in the Dutch Republic and Groningen’s 1680s Default
      Tirer profit de l’équivoque. L’engagement crédible des Provinces-Unies et le défaut de paiement de la province de Groningue en 1680
    • Jérôme Loiseau
      Financial and Administrative Knowledge as a Political Tool in some French Provincial Estates during the Ancien Régime, 1751-1789
      De l’obéissance aveugle au consentement éclairé. Le savoir financier et administratif comme instrument politique dans quelques états provinciaux de la France d’Ancien Régime, 1751-1789
  • Control and intermediation of corporate bodies

  • Publicity and communication in absolute monarchies

    • Rafael Torres Sánchez
      Absolutisme et transparence fiscale dans l’Espagne du xviiie siècle
    • Daniela Ciccolella
      False Transparency [Full text]
      Disclosing Financial Data, between Enlightenment and Absolutism (Naples, 1780s)
      Fausse transparence. La publicité financière entre Lumières et Absolutisme. L’exemple du royaume de Naples dans les années 1780
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