Chapter

Wild-West Cowboys versus Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Some Problems in Comparative Approaches to Hate Speech

Eric Heinze

in Extreme Speech and Democracy

Published in print February 2009 | ISBN: 9780199548781
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720673 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199548781.003.0011
 Wild-West Cowboys versus Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Some Problems in Comparative Approaches to Hate Speech

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All European states prohibit some form of hate speech. U.S. law fundamentally precludes such bans. Euro-American comparisons can shed light on debates about hate speech, but little attention has been paid to comparative methodology. In view of the political and symbolic importance of free speech, the trans-Atlantic divide inevitably invites cultural comparisons. It is important to avoid drawing broad conclusions about deeper Euro-American differences based solely on black-letter norms. Unduly broad extrapolation from formal norms can lead to problems of essentialism and ahistoricism. Attention is paid in this chapter to the balance between formalist and realist jurisprudence as a pathway into constructive comparisons.

Keywords: comparative law; European law; free speech; hate speech; legal formalism; legal realism; U.S. law

Chapter.  10819 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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