Arguments For and Against Communication on Policy Intentions


  • Dave Gelders
  • Marleen Brans


This article identifies, describes and analyzes arguments for and against more transparent government communication about its policy intentions. In our view the advantages from improved government communication are: (a) the Government can counterbalance misleading and/or incorrect information from the opposition; (b) communication about policy intentions can reduce and/or avoid possible public surprises, misunderstandings, resistance, frustrations and speculations, and increase efficiency; and (c) due to such communication, citizens are informed regarding several points of view, which is an important democratic value. We see the disadvantages of greater transparency as: (a) public money may be used to spread propaganda; (b) there is an increased risk of confusion between policy intentions and actual policy decisions; and (c) the Parliament is not the first body to be informed about the Government’s intention.


How to Cite

Gelders, D., & Brans, M. (2014). Arguments For and Against Communication on Policy Intentions. International Public Management Review, 8(1), 154–167. Retrieved from