In 2011, Brazil finally approved a Freedom of Information (FOI) Act that recognises and regulates the right to public information. However, scholars have paid insufficient attention to its impact on Brazilian foreign policy. How has the Brazilian ministry of foreign affairs responded and adapted to this new law? Has it been adequately implemented, and if not, in what ways? Also, how do these challenges in promoting transparent foreign policy connect to the broader debate about democratising Brazilian foreign policy? This article analyses the implementation of the FOI Act by mapping all the requests for information refused by the foreign affairs ministry since 2012, and exploring its legal and political justifications for withholding information. We further argue that the ministry’s adherence to the law is an important factor in the democratisation of foreign policy-making in Brazil.
Brazilian Foreign Policy; Transparency; Public Policy; Freedom of Information; Democratisation