secrecy {fragments}

~ musings on secrecy ~

Government Secrecy, volume 19, RSPPP

Government secrecy, volume 19, Research in Social Problems and Public Policy (RSPPP) is finally published.

Volume 19 would not have been possible without the guiding hand of RSPPP series editor Dr. Bill Freudenburg, Dehlsen Professor of Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara. Sadly, Bill passed away December 28, 2010, a month or so before volume 19 was published.

The vision for volume 19 was laid down in an email exchange between Bill and I in 2009. Bill wrote:

…government secrecy — not only has a reasonable fit with the overall theme of RSPPP, involving topics “that lie at the confluence of “social problems” and “public policy,” but also has considerable potential for contributing to thinking on something that Ted and I have been trying to encourage ever since we took over the editorship during the late Pleistocene — greater attention to “social problems” that are the result of failures not by the poor and powerless, but by those who are big and powerful (1/29/2009).

I think Bill would be pleased with volume 19 for its theoretical considerations fleshing out the idea of secrecy studies and types of secrecy, as well as articles concerning Freud and secrecy (Gibbs),  open secrets and ethical failures (Adams & Balfour), secrecy and national security (Leonard), history and censorship (De BaetsMaret & Aschkenas), privacy, corporate and personal (Edelstein; Farrall), secrecy and diplomacy (Rappert, Moyes, & Other), history and conspiracy theories (Ellington; Olmsted; Maret), and contrasting views of the media in terms of national security (Nossek & Limor; Wilkinson), and in fact checking mainstream and underreported stories (Philips & Huff).

Volume 19 also includes cases of social problems that spill over into the contemporary public policy realm: climate data censorship (Piltz), dual use technology (Felbinger & Reppy), the ethics of open source intelligence (Bean), and freedom of info (Fox & Haight, Mexico; McDermott, current U.S. information policy; Jeannine Relly, Africa).

RSPPP, a former JAI Press and Elsevier publication, is available in hardcopy and through Emerald’s Management Xtra database in most academic libraries. RSPPP continues by Bill’s editorial partner, Dr. Ted I.K. Youn.

This volume of RSPPP falls in line with Bill’s own stellar research concerning sociology of knowledge and  institutional failures, and as such is dedicated to his memory. Now onto Bill’s work in the next post…