On citizens' right to information: Justification and analysis of the democratic right to be well informed

Journal of Political Philosophy 31 (3):358-384 (2023)
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Abstract

The idea that citizens have a right to receive information that is relevant for their suitable exercise of political rights and liberties is well established in democratic societies. However, this right has never been systematically analyzed, thus remaining a blurry concept. This article tackles this conceptual gap by conceptualizing citizens’ right to information. After reviewing previous approaches to this idea, I locate citizens’ right to information on the map of communication rights, and put forward a systematic framework for both justifying and analyzing it. This framework focuses on this right’s grounds, its function, its holders, its content, and its correlative duties. Although the conceptualization offered here will be incomplete, it will be enough to distinguish the general concept of citizens’ right to information from both its specific conceptions and from the other two best-known rights of the public: freedom of information and the public’s right to know.

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Rubén Marciel
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

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