Freedom of Information Reform in China: Information Flow Analysis, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Freedom of Information Reform in China

Information Flow Analysis, 1st Edition

By Weibing Xiao


230 pages

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Freedom of Information (FOI) in China is often perceived as a recent and intriguing phenomenon. This book presents a more complex and detailed understanding of the evolution of FOI in China, using information flow analysis to explore the gradual development of government receptivity to FOI in an information environment through time. The book argues that it is necessary to reassess the widely divergent origins of FOI reform in China, and asserts that social, political and legal factors should have central roles in understanding the development of FOI in China. The book uses information flow analysis to find that FOI reform in China formed part of a much longer process of increased transparency in the Chinese information environment, which gradually shifted from the acceptance of proactive disclosure to that of reactive disclosure. FOI thus has become a beneficiary of this gradual transformation of the Chinese information environment.


"Xiao’s book is a very accessible, scholarly text geared to readers in a wide range of

disciplines. Public administration and legal scholars will find new and eloquent arguments explaining the emergence of legislation on freedom of information in China; for political science scholars, the book’s in-depth portrait and analysis of the ensuing legislative process offer another case illuminating the complexity and intricacies of China’s reform; and for media and communication scholars focusing on freedom of the media, the book introduces a closely related but less studied subject: freedom of information."- Fei Shen, City University of Hong Kong; China Information 2012 26: 391

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Information Flow as an Analytical Device for FOI Research 3. The Improved Information Environment as a Rationale for FOI Reform in China 4. Democratization as a Rationale for FOI Reform in China 5. Law-Based Administration as a Rationale for FOI Reform in China 6. Reassessment of Economic Growth and Anti-Corruption Efforts as Rationales for FOI Reform in China 7. Gradual Legislative Process for FOI Reform in China 8. China’s Limited Push Model of FOI Legislation 9. Compliance with Proactive Disclosure Requirements in Practice 10. Non Compliance with Reactive Disclosure Requirements in Practice 11. Information Flow Analysis Improving FOI Theoretical Development

About the Author

Weibing Xiao is Associate Professor of Law, Shanghai University of Political Science and Law, China.

About the Series

Routledge Law in Asia

The series examines legal system development and rule of law in Asia, using Western legal systems as comparison points. Given the great diversity among legal systems, the purpose is to understand how rule of law is conceived and implemented, and the role of law and the legal system with respect to economic growth, political reform and democratization, the protection of human rights, geopolitical stability and the engagement of Asian countries with other countries in the international arena. The project also addresses the Euro-American centricism of comparative law by replacing outdated stereotypes with empirically grounded, in-depth and up-to-date analyses of Asian legal systems across a wide range of issues and areas of law.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies