Freedom of Information and the Developing World - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9781843341475, 9781780630205

Freedom of Information and the Developing World

1st Edition

The Citizen, the State and Models of Openness

Authors: Colin Darch Peter G Underwood
eBook ISBN: 9781780630205
Paperback ISBN: 9781843341475
Imprint: Chandos Publishing
Published Date: 14th December 2009
Page Count: 336
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Table of Contents

Developing countries and freedom of information; The diffusion problem and the semantic shift; Compliance and the impulse to secrecy; Freedom of information as a human right; Struggles for freedom of information in countries in transition; Struggles for freedom of information in Africa; From adversarialism to FoI 2.0.


Rather than simply summarising the state of play in African countries and elsewhere, Freedom of Information and the Developing World identifies and makes explicit the assumptions about the citizen’s relationship to the state that lie beneath Freedom of Information (FoI) discourse. The book goes on to test them against the reality of the pervasive politics of patronage that characterise much of African practice.

Key Features

  • Develops a discourse about the concept of FoI
  • Discussion of the human rights claim appropriates the concepts of Hohfeldian analysis for more radical purposes in support of the idea that the state has a duty to implement FoI practices


Social activists, library and information science professionals, African studies specialists; publishers, legislators, politicians. Students of: law, politics, sociology and information science at the final year/postgraduate levels


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About the Authors

Colin Darch Author

Dr Colin Darch is based at the African Studies Library at the University of Cape Town as a researcher, and his current research interests include the role of intellectual property laws in relation to development issues in less developed countries, the functioning of such research quality controls as peer review in the LIS environment, and FoI issues in Africa.

Peter G Underwood Author

Professor Peter G. Underwood is Director of the University of Cape Town Centre for Information Literacy and Professor of Librarianship at the University of Cape Town, having occupied this position since 1992. Prior to this he spent twenty years as Lecturer in the Department of Information and Library Studies, University College of Wales, Aberystwyth. He is the author of many books and articles.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Cape Town, South Africa