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Big Brains

Oct 29, 2020

When should a government choose to reveal a secret—or conceal it? Your knee-jerk reaction may be to say they should never hide anything from the public. But political scientist Austin Carson of the University of Chicago says his research complicates that answer.

Carson has spent his career reading massive amounts of declassified material. What he’s found shows how governments can use secrecy to deescalate conflicts and maintain peace. But he says balancing this utility of secrecy with democracy is incredibly important.