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Varför yttrandefrihet?: Om rättfärdigandet av yttrandefrihet med utgångspunkt från fem centrala argument i den demokratiska idétraditionen
Växjö University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Social Sciences.
2006 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis focuses primarily on the question ”why is freedom of speech valuable in a democratic context?” I argue that it is problematic that free-dom of speech takes for granted and that the main question therefore is absent in current political science research, in legal texts, and in public discourse. I also argue that in democratic states the focus, regarding freedom of speech, is often on its boundaries and limits rather than on its justification. But it is highly problematic to find and establish its limits without dis-cussion why freedom of speech is desirable in the first place.

The thesis poses two questions. The first concerns how freedom of speech is justified by the five strongest available arguments. I analyze the arguments and conclude that they justify freedom of speech differently but that they are similar in one aspect. Freedom of speech is not primarily justified as an individual right. It is rather justified in terms of the public good.

The second question asks if we can reach a better understanding of the central arguments. I argue that the arguments have something in common; all of them justify freedom of speech with reference to a common value. I argue that this common value is what I call, a “reliable communication process”. All five arguments claim that freedom of speech is valuable because it promotes a reliable communication process. This process is reliable in terms of its capacity to create a pluralistic public discourse that exposes citizens to ideas and perspectives that they would not have chosen in advance.

This study results in the following findings. First, that freedom of speech is valuable in a democratic context because the reliable communication process supports the central democratic value of the enlightened understanding of the democratic citizen. Secondly, that I can give a principled reason for the boundaries of freedom of speech. This means that, according to the arguments, there are reasons to abolish or limit freedom of speech if the reliable communication process is damaged or absent, for example in case of war, anarchy, or violent circumstances. Third, that there are strong reasons in support of a public service media, and greater state intervention in media politics. One strong reason for that conclusion is that a public service media can ensure a pluralistic communication in society and counteract information conformity and intolerance among the members of society.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö: Växjö University Press , 2006. , p. 198
Series
Acta Wexionensia, ISSN 1404-4307 ; 83/2006
Keywords [en]
Justification of freedom of speech, Democracy and freedom of speech, Reliable communication process, Arguments for freedom of speech
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:vxu:diva-463ISBN: 91-7636-494-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:vxu-463DiVA, id: diva2:206765
Public defence
2006-03-31, Myrdal, Växjö universitet, Växjö, 10:15
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2006-03-10 Created: 2006-03-10 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf