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

Bruce E. Cain, Patrick Egan, Sergio Fabbrini

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDemocracy Transformed?
Subtitle of host publicationExpanding Political Opportunities in Advanced Industrial Democracies
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191603259
ISBN (Print)9780199264995
StatePublished - Feb 1 2006


  • Access
  • Accountability
  • Freedom of information laws
  • Press

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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