Transparency is on the rise, touted as the solution to such disparate problems as financial volatility, environmenta, degradation, money laundering, and corruption. But transparency faces much opposition, particularly from those under scrutiny. Such actors often have strong incentives to avoid providing information. To explain the growing demad for transparency and to assess its prospects for success requires attention to matters of politics- that is power. Power is often needed to induce disclosures or restructure incentives. And the information thus revealed can shift power from the former holders of secrets to the newly informed. This paper explores the politics of transparency -whi it is emerging, and what are the advantages and difficulties inherent in relying on transparency to address global issues.