Governance: An international journal of policy, administration and institutions

Why governments adopt strong transparency laws

When are governments likely to adopt strong transparency laws?  Greg Michener says that too much of the existing research has tried to answer that question by looking only at countries with single-party or small-coalition governments.  In those cases, political leaders often have strong reasons for resisting openness.  The dynamic is different when the number of parties controlling government rises.  In broad multiparty coalitions, transparency laws can be used as tools for monitoring coalition partners.  Michener uses Brazil’s experience with freedom of information law to illustrate his argument.  “The leaders of large coalitions,” Michener concludes, “may find FOI particularly appealing because it avoids the high political costs of ‘shadowing ministers’ or traceable leaks.  It delegates diffuse monitoring responsibilities to citizens.”  Free access to the article.

Written by Governance

February 15, 2015 at 7:50 am

Posted in Current issue


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