Chapter

Towards More Open Democracies: The Expansion of Freedom of Information Laws

Bruce E. Cain, Patrick Egan and Sergio Fabbrini

in Democracy Transformed?

Published in print December 2003 | ISBN: 9780199264995
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603259 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199264996.003.0006

Series: Comparative Politics

 Towards More Open Democracies: The Expansion of Freedom of Information Laws

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This chapter tracks the expansion of Freedom of Information (FoI) laws in advanced democracies, and examine the patterns of usage by citizens and the press in a few selected cases. In 1970s, only four nations had FoI laws, now they exist in 16 advanced industrial democracies and the European Union. These information laws are heavily utilized in some nations, giving citizens and groups new access to information on government policies. When combined with an aggressive, independent, and investigative press tradition, FoI laws can be used effectively to increase government accountability.

Keywords: Freedom of Information laws; access; press; accountability

Chapter.  10229 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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