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"Freedom of Speech"

Simpson, Robert; Howard, Jeffrey William; (2024) "Freedom of Speech". In: Tomlin, Patrick and Jubb, Robert, (eds.) Issues in Political Theory. Oxford University Press: Oxford, UK. (In press).

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Abstract

Freedom of speech is among the most cherished values of liberal democracy. But there is a surprising amount of disagreement as to what, exactly, it requires, and what priority it should take over other values. This chapter surveys debates in modern political theory on this topic. After setting out the traditional liberal defence of a strict right to free speech, it considers two critiques of that position: that the value of free speech should be balanced against (and sometimes subordinated to) other values such as equality; and that protecting the voices of all citizens sometimes requires restricting speech rather than protecting it. The chapter then reviews recent efforts to defend the traditionalist stance against these critiques. Finally, it considers the way free speech is increasingly dependent on the decisions of private companies that host, curate, and broker public communication. It closes with a case study on whether social-media companies should be expected to restrict hate speech on their networks.

Type: Book chapter
Title: "Freedom of Speech"
Publisher version: https://global.oup.com/academic
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author-accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10179624
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