Two practices and one Act: Mangling tecnologically mediated transparency.




Brown, Pamela Anne

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During a municipal election in 2010, Canadian citizens used a blog to enact an ad hoc campaign funding disclosure request of all candidates. After the election, the municipality implemented formal legislation requiring campaign funding disclosure on their own website. This thesis is a case study that explores how two technologically mediated transparency practices were constituted within and outside the scope of legislation. I draw on Andrew Pickering's (1995) notion of the mangle of practice and Karen Barad's (2003) concept of intra-action to conceptualize these transparency practices as a mangle of entwining intra-connected phenomena. In my exploration of policy in practice I deconstruct transparency practice through a discussion of how transparency mechanisms and social media characteristics intra-act and transform each other into a practice that supersedes the original intent of the ad hoc request and formal legislation. This research queries assumptions about transparency practices and contributes to establishing an interdisciplinary methodology for policy evaluation in technologically mediated environments.



technical mediation, transparency practice, mangle of practice, intra-activity, feminist materialism, policy evaluation, municipal election, social media, accountability, public sector reform