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Free Expression and Democracy

Free Expression and Democracy
A Comparative Analysis


  • Date Published: March 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316623084

£ 28.99

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About the Authors
  • Free Expression and Democracy takes on the assumption that limits on free expression will lead to authoritarianism or at least a weakening of democracy. That hypothesis is tested by an examination of issues involving expression and their treatment in countries included on The Economist's list of fully functioning democracies. Generally speaking, other countries allow prohibitions on hate speech, limits on third-party spending on elections, and the protection of children from media influences seen as harmful. Many ban Holocaust denial and the desecration of national symbols. Yet, these other countries all remain democratic, and most of those considered rank more highly than the United States on the democracy index. This book argues that while there may be other cultural values that call for more expansive protection of expression, that protection need not reach the level present in the United States in order to protect the democratic nature of a country.

    • By examining national differences in the treatment of free expression, readers will see how differently democracies balance free expression against other values
    • Compares countries that are listed by The Economist as fully-functioning democracies
    • The issue of freedom of expression is one that is prevalent in today's news cycles, so the book will be well-received and well-timed
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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316623084
    • length: 386 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 150 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.56kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. The protection of free expression in a democracy
    2. Varieties of expression
    3. Incitement of crime
    4. Hate speech
    5. Holocaust denial and other false assertions of fact
    6. Political party bans
    7. Political campaign limitations
    8. The desecration of national symbols and lèse majesté
    9. Defamation
    10. Attacks on personal honor
    11. Obscenity and child pornography
    12. Children and expression
    13. Criminal trials and freedom of the press
    14. Government secrecy
    15. A matter of choices

  • Author

    Kevin W. Saunders, Michigan State University
    Kevin W. Saunders received his PhD from the University of Miami and JD from the University of Michigan. He clerked at the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit for Judge Kenneth Starr. He taught at the University of Arkansas and the University of Oklahoma, and as visiting James Madison Chair at Drake University, Iowa, before moving to Michigan State University, where he holds the Charles Clarke Chair in Constitutional Law. He is the author of three earlier books: Violence as Obscenity (1996), Saving our Children from the First Amendment (2006), and Degradation: What the History of Obscenity Tells Us about Hate Speech (2011).

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