Free Speech and the State

An Unprincipled Approach

Authors: van Mill, David

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  • Uses a Hobbesian absolutist position to reconsider existing arguments surrounding rights to free speech 
  • Argues that the limits of free speech should be set by the state through a process of social and political contestation 
  • Highlights how any analysis of free speech requires nuanced arguments depending on specific place and circumstance
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About this book

This book addresses the question: “What should be the appropriate limits to free speech?” The author claims that it is the state, rather than abstract principles, that must provide the answer. The book defends a version of Hobbesian absolutism and rejects the dominant liberal idea that there is a right (human or civil) setting the boundaries of free speech. This liberal view can be known as the “principled defence of free speech”, in which speech is established as a constitutional principle that has priority over the state. The author instead offers an “unprincipled approach to free speech”, suggesting that the boundaries of speech must necessarily be set by the state, which in liberal democracies means through social and political contestation. The final chapter applies the argument to the topic of hate speech and argues that it is appropriate to limit such speech when it causes harm and offense. The book will be of use to students and scholars across political theory, political science, sociology, philosophy and law. 

About the authors

David van Mill is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Western Australia. 

Table of contents (4 chapters)

Table of contents (4 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $54.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-51635-6
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $69.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-51634-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $69.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-84706-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Free Speech and the State
Book Subtitle
An Unprincipled Approach
Authors
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-51635-6
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-51635-6
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-51634-9
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-84706-1
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VIII, 122
Topics