Enabling Policies for Responding to "Hate Speech" in Practice

Course Status: 
CEU credits: 
ECTS credits: 
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Start and end dates: 
12 Jan 2015 - 3 Apr 2015
Peter Molnar

Peter Molnar: Enabling Policies for Responding to “Hate Speech” in Practice

Winter 2015

“Hate-extremist speech” is a burning issue in many countries. Such speech can be very harmful and also dangerous, and it requires carefully choosen responses, including legal responses. But regulation of alleged “hate/extremist speech” can cover suppression of political dissent.

This interactive, practice oriented course will consider intersectionality between “hate speech” based on different grounds such as gender, race, and religion. It will examine - from a comparative perspective, in light of relevant international law and policy – that to what extent regulatory and other public policy and civil society responses to “hate speech" has enabled societies in wildly different, usually increasingly diverse local contexts to develop the culture of peaceful and appreciative co-existence and well-informed, open, participatory and meaningful public discourse (with free press) in which people can peacefully discuss their differences.

The workshop course will emphasize the significance of the context of speech. It will consider how policies that work in a democracy can be transplantable to other countries after being carefully adopted to the local socio-legal environments with special attention to differences between longer-established and developing democracies as well as semi-democratic, or non-democratic countries.

The students will submit a 3000 words paper by April 16. The papers will map typical ways of “hate speech” and the existing policies that provide for legal, artistic and other educational responses - to „hate speech” in two countries. The papers will either propose some alternative policies, or support the existing ones, and argue why some best practices from other countries would, or would not be applicable in the two countries covered by the paper. The papers will compare that to what extent regulation and other public policy enable effective responses to „hate speech” in the two countries they examined.

The grade for the class will be based on the following elements:

- 20%: participation in class discussions,

- 20% class presentation,

- 60%: paper.