Alan K. Chen and Justin Marceau

Jan 31, 2024

Truth and Transparency

Undercover Investigations in the Twenty-First Century

Cambridge University Press 2023

Undercover investigators have been celebrated as critical conduits of political speech and essential protectors of transparency. They have also been derided as intrusive and spy-like, inconsistent with private property rights, and morally or ethically questionable.

In Truth and Transparency: Undercover Investigations in the Twenty-First Century (Cambridge University Press, 2023), Dr. Alan K. Chen and Dr. Justin Marceau rigorously examine this duality and seek to provide a socio-legal context for understanding these varying views. The book concretely defines undercover investigations, distinguishes the practice from investigative journalism and whistleblowing, and provides a comprehensive legal history. Chapters explore the public need for investigations and the rights of investigators, paying close attention to the types of investigations that fall beyond the scope of constitutional protection. The book also provides concrete empirical evidence of the broad, bipartisan support for undercover investigations and champions the practice as an essential com-ponent of the transparency our democracy needs to thrive.


This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose forthcoming book focuses on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars.

Listen to more episodes on:

Your Host

Miranda Melcher

Miranda Melcher (Ph.D., Defense Studies, Kings College, London) studies post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with deep analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars.

Learn More

Also Hosted By Miranda Melcher