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Tolerating Hate in the Name of Democracy

Greene, AR; Simpson, RM; (2017) Tolerating Hate in the Name of Democracy. The Modern Law Review , 80 (4) pp. 746-765. 10.1111/1468-2230.12283. Green open access

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This article offers a comprehensive and critical analysis of Eric Heinze’s book Hate Speech and Democratic Citizenship (Oxford University Press, 2016). Heinze’s project is to formulate and defend a more theoretically complex version of the idea (also defended by people like Ronald Dworkin and James Weinstein) that general legal prohibitions on hate speech in public discourse compromises the state’s democratic legitimacy. We offer a detailed synopsis of Heinze’s view, highlighting some of its distinctive qualities and strengths. We then develop a critical response to this view with three main focal points: (1) the characterisation of democratic legitimacy as something distinct from (and whose demands aren’t identical with those of) legitimacy per se; (2) the claim that the requirements of democracy are hypothetical, rather than categorical, imperatives; and relatedly (3) the question of how we should reconcile the requirements of democratic legitimacy with the costs that may follow from prioritising democratic legitimacy. We argue that there are significant difficulties for Heinze’s account on all three fronts.

Type: Article
Title: Tolerating Hate in the Name of Democracy
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/1468-2230.12283
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-2230.12283
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 Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Philosophy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1572467
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