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The Swedish Black Box: On the Principle of Public Access to Official Documents in Sweden
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Engineering and Management.
2017 (English)In: The Right of Access to Information and the Right to Privacy: A Democratic Balancing Act / [ed] Patricia Jonason & Anna Rosengren, Huddinge: Södertörns högskola, 2017, p. 77-109Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In The Swedish Black Box, historian and archival law expert Anna Rosengren proposes a model for the Swedish principle of public access to official documents. Having found that models used in archival science were not entirely applicable on the Swedish case, concepts from black box theory were proposed to shed light over the Swedish principle of public access to official documents. Black box theory is used when a system is not directly observable, and knowledge about it must be obtained through the analysis of the relation between input brought to the system, and the output emanating from it. From a literature study on archival science research, Rosengren had identified seven different factors as having an influence on the creation and release of official documents. These factors were combined with concepts of black box theory into a model, the Swedish Black Box, to shed light over the principle of public access to official documents in Sweden. The high number of factors having an impact on the creation and release of official documents makes it hard to predict the total amount of accessible documents at a specific point in time, i.e. the “system” cannot be directly observed. The article also describes a test of the model using the theoretical case of a pupil handing in a text for assessment to the teacher in 2003 and 2016, respectively. The analysis showed that changes occurred in two factors, resulting in more official documents being accessible towards the end of the period. As the factors were related to technology and routines, not to legislation, the effect on the creation and release of official documents was difficult to predict. The Swedish principle of public access to official documents, therefore, seems to resemble a black box.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Huddinge: Södertörns högskola, 2017. p. 77-109
Series
Working paper ; 2017:2
National Category
Law
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-38229ISBN: 978-91-88663-30-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-38229DiVA, id: diva2:1167523
Available from: 2017-12-19 Created: 2017-12-19 Last updated: 2018-06-12Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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