Freedom of Information in Post-Communist Countries: Case Studies of the Czech Republic, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina

by Hampton, Ellen M.

Abstract (Summary)
The freedom of the public to access government information is one of the cornerstones of democracy. Free access to information allows citizens to monitor their government, to keep it accountable to the people it represents and to become engaged in the democratic process. With the end of the Cold War and the fall of communism, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe began the process of democratization, and free access to information has been an important aspect of that transformation.

This paper examines the relationships between freedom of information and post-communist democratization. What types of laws have post-communist put in place to ensure free access to government information? How has the process of joining the European Union affected information access? Has increased information access affected the levels of government transparency? After a discussion of these topics and the current political and information science literature which address them, I will explore these topics specifically through case studies of three countries: the Czech Republic, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

While each of these three countries have the legal structures in place to ensure free access to information, the Czech Republic, farther along in its democratic development than Croatia or Bosnia, allows its citizens to access government information more easily. However, as Croatia and Bosnia join the European Union, hopefully both democratic governments and further access to government information will follow.

Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:David Carr

School:University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

School Location:USA - North Carolina

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:freedom of information czech republic croatia bosnia and herzegovina case studies government


Date of Publication:04/09/2007

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