Openness as a new communication strategy for political parties. A comparison between Spanish and Portuguese websites




political parties, political communication, transparency, open government, accountability


Spanish and Portuguese political parties are highly distrusted by citizens and need significant democratic regeneration. The promotion of transparency and citizen participation by political organizations might be a useful communication strategy. However, previous academic studies have not paid much attention to political parties in assessing openness, transparency, and accountability. Rather, they have focused on administrations. This article not only explores transparency but also the rest of the open government principles, these being participation and collaboration, as performed by political organizations, and as new communication strategies. The paper will argue that political parties should implement these ideas because of their public role but also to demonstrate honesty and integrity to the electorate. The implementation of transparency, accountability, deliberation, decision-making and collaboration by Spanish and Portuguese political parties has been analysed through a detailed study of the information available on their websites. The results of this analysis show that political parties are still far from being open and should focus especially on developing principles that involve citizen interaction. Although transparency was the most developed aspect, further promotion of participation and collaboration would imply a paradigm shift in how parties communicate with the electorate.


Amtiran, Paulina Y. and Angi, Yohanna F. (2019). Student perception of accountability and transparency of financial management political party in the context of local election. Academy of Accounting and Financial Studies Journal, 23, 1-18.

Aslan, Ramazan (2022). Digital marketing of political parties in Turkey. Journal of Politics and Development, 12(1), 30-43.

Bartolini, Stefano and Mair, Peter (2001). Challenges to contemporary political parties. In Larry Diamond and Richard Gunther (Eds.), Political parties and democracy. Johns Hopkins University Press, 327-344.

Biezen, Ingrid van (2000). Party financing in new democracies: Spain and Portugal. Party Politics, 6(3), 329-342.

Biezen, Ingrid van (2004). Political parties as public utilities. Party Politics, 10(6), 701-722.

Brandsma, Gijs Jan and Meijer, Albert (2020). Transparency and the efficiency of multi-actor decision-making processes: An empirical analysis of 244 decisions in the European Union. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 0, 1-18. https://

Brunswicker, Sabine; Jensen, Bjørn; Song, Zhounan, and Majchrzak, Ann (2018). Transparency as design choice of open data contests. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 69(10).

Cahlikova, Tereza and Mabillard, Vincent (2020). Open data and transparency: Opportunities and challenges in the Swiss context. Public Performance and Management Review. Routledge, 43(3), 662-686.

Carpentier, Nico; Melo, Ana Duarte, and Ribeiro, Fábio (2019). Rescuing participation: A critique on the dark participation concept. Comunicação e Sociedade, 36, 17-35.

Criado, Juan Ignacio; Valero, Julián, and Villodre, Julián (2020). Algorithmic transparency and bureaucratic discretion: The case of SALER early warning system. Information Polity, 25, 449-470.

Cucciniello, Maria; Porumbescu, Gregory A., and Grimmelikhuijsen, Stephan (2017). 25 years of transparency research: Evidence and future directions. Public Administration Review, 77(1), 32-44. doi: 10.1111/puar.12685.25.

Davies, Tim G. and Bawa, Zainab Ashraf (2012). The promises and perils of open government data (OGD). The Journal of Community Informatics, 8(2), 1-6.

Diamond, Larry and Gunther, Rrichard (Eds.). (2001). Political parties and democracy. JHU Press.

Díez-Garrido, María (2020). Los partidos políticos abiertos: Aplicación de los principios del Gobierno abierto a las formaciones políticas. Doxa Comunicación. Revista Interdisciplinar de Estudios de Comunicación y Ciencias Sociales, 31, 63-86.

European Commission (2019). Standard Eurobarometer 92. Public opinion in the European Union. November 2019.

Fazendeiro, Julio and Razzuoli, Isabelle (2016). Party organizations in a new environment: A perspective on the internal life of parties in the digital environment. In Institutionalisation and De-Institutionalisation of Political Organisations. ECPR Joint Sessions of Workshops, Pisa April 2016, 1-25.

Fox, Jonathan (2007). The uncertain relationship between transparency and accountability. Development in Practice, 17(4-5), 663-671.

Frank, Mark and Oztoprak, Abdullah Abid (2015). Concepts of transparency: Open data in UK local authorities. Proceedings of the 5th Conference for E-Democracy and Open Government (CeDEM 2015).

Gascó-Hernández, Mila; Martin, Erika G.; Reggi, Luigi; Pyo, Sunyoung, and Luna- Reyes, Luis F. (2018). Promoting the use of open government data: Cases of training and engagement. Government Information Quarterly, 35(2), 233-242.

Grimmelikhuijsen, Stephan; Piotrowski, Suzanne. J., and Ryzin, Gregg G. van (2020). Latent transparency and trust in government: Unexpected findings from two survey experiments. Government Information Quarterly, 37(4), 101497.

Ismail, Zenobia (2020). The role of government communication in open government. K4D Helpdesk Report 761. Institute of Development Studies.

Lathrop, Daniel and Ruma, Laurel (2010). Open government: Collaboration, transparency, and participation in practice. O’Reilly Media, Inc.

Lei Orgânica n.o 2/2003, de 22 de agosto, dos Partidos Politicos, com as alterações introduzidas pela Lei Orgânica n.o 2/2008, de 14 de Maio 1,2 (TP) e Lei Orgânica n.o 1/2018, de 19 de abril.

Ley 19/2013, de 9 de diciembre, de transparencia, acceso a la información pública y buen gobierno. BOE n. 295, 10/12/2013.

Ley 9/2017, de 8 de noviembre, de Contratos del Sector Público, por la que se transponen al ordenamiento jurídico español las Directivas del Parlamento Europeo y del Consejo 2014/23/UE y 2014/24/UE, de 26 de febrero de 2014.

Ley Orgánica 8/2007, de 4 de julio, sobre financiación de los partidos políticos.

Manin, Bernard (1997). The principles of representative government. Cambridge University Press.

Matheus, Ricardo and Janssen, Marijn (2020). A systematic literature study to unravel transparency enabled by open government data: The window theory. Public Performance and Management Review, 43(3), 503-534.

Matheus, Ricardo; Janssen, Marijn, and Janowski, Tomasz (2020). Design principles for creating digital transparency in government. Government Information Quarterly, 38(1), 101550.

Mayernik, Matthew S. (2017). Open data: Accountability and transparency. Big Data and Society, July-December 2017, 1-5.

Meijer, Albert (2015). E-governance innovation: Barriers and strategies. Government Information Quarterly, 32(2), 198-206. doi:10.1016/j.giq.2015.01.001.

Meijer, Ronald; Conradie, Peter, and Choenni, Sunil (2014). Reconciling contradictions of open data regarding transparency, privacy, security and trust. Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research, 9(3). S0718-18762014000300004.

Park, Sora and Gil-Garcia, J. Ramon (2020). Open data innovation: Visualizations and process redesign as a way to bridge the transparency-accountability gap. Government Information Quarterly, 39(1), 101456.

Rivas-de-Roca, Rubén; Morais, Ricardo, and Jerónimo, Pedro (2022). Comunicación y desinformación en elecciones: Tendencias de investigación en España y Portugal. Universitas, (36), 71-94.

Ruijer, Erna; Détienne, Francoise; Baker, Michael; Groff, Jonathan, and Meijer, Albert J. (2020). The politics of open government data: Understanding organizational responses to pressure for more transparency. The American Review of Public Administration, 50(3), 260-274.

Serra-Silva, Sofia; Dias-Carvalho, Diana, and Fazendeiro, Julio (2018). Party-citizen online challenges: Portuguese parties’ Facebook usage and audience engagement. In M. Costa Lobo, (coord.). Changing societies: Legacies and challenges. Vol. II. Citizenship in crisis. Citizen in crisis. Instituto de Ciências Sociais, 185-214.

Shepherd, Elizabeth (2015). Freedom of information, right to access information, open data: Who is at the table? The Round Table, 104(6), 715-726.

Sousa-Santos, Boaventura de (2015). The Podemos Wave. OpenDemocracy.

Vaccari, Christian (2008). Research note: Italian parties’ websites in the 2006 elections. European Journal of Communication, 23(1), 69-77.

Vaccari, Christian (2013). Digital politics in western democracies: A comparative study. Johns Hopkins University Press. Baltimore. 62825.

Villoria, Manuel (2015). La transparencia como política pública. Eunomía. Revista En Cultura de La Legalidad, 7, 85-103.

Villoria, Manuel (2021). ¿Qué condiciones favorecen una transparencia pública efectiva? Artículo de revisión. Revista de Estudios Políticos, (104), 213-247.

Yu, Harlan and Robinson, David G. (2011). The new ambiguity of open government. UCLA Law Review Discourse, 59, 178-207.




How to Cite

Díez-Garrido, M. (2023). Openness as a new communication strategy for political parties. A comparison between Spanish and Portuguese websites. Tripodos, (53), 122–142.

Similar Articles

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 > >> 

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.