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Democracy Transformed?Expanding Political Opportunities in Advanced Industrial Democracies$
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Bruce E. Cain, Russell J. Dalton, and Susan E. Scarrow

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199264995

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199264996.001.0001

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

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

(p.115) 6 Towards More Open Democracies: The Expansion of Freedom of Information Laws
Democracy Transformed?

Bruce E. Cain (Contributor Webpage)

Patrick Egan (Contributor Webpage)

Sergio Fabbrini (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

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

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