Freedom of Information Law in Action: From Global Explosion to Erosion in the Realm of Government Transparency


Drawing from 63 reports from journalists and non-governmental agencies spanning 25 countries, we qualitatively examine regressive trends that erode freedom of information laws. We elaborate on elements associated with FOI policy transfer successes and failures using Dolowitz and Marsh’s framework for policy transfer. We also identify factors limiting the effectiveness of FOI laws and elaborate on the enactment of other laws that undermine FOI, which we interpret using Ericson’s (2007) notion of counter-law (laws that undermine other laws). We reflect on what these findings mean for transparency, and we contemplate other strategies for gaining access to government records to foster public engagement in civic affairs.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Bilguundari Enkhtugs, Kevin Walby