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

EXTREME SPEECH AND DEMOCRACY, Chapter 10, James Weinstein & Ivan Hare, eds., pp. 182-203, Oxford University Press, 2009

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper

23 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2009  

Eric Heinze

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law

Date Written: October 4, 2009

Abstract

All European states prohibit some form of hate speech. US 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, hate speech, legal formalism, legal realism, US law

JEL Classification: K1

Suggested Citation

Heinze, Eric, Wild-West Cowboys Versus Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Some Problems in Comparative Approaches to Hate Speech (October 4, 2009). EXTREME SPEECH AND DEMOCRACY, Chapter 10, James Weinstein & Ivan Hare, eds., pp. 182-203, Oxford University Press, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1482687

Eric Heinze (Contact Author)

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law ( email )

67-69 Lincoln’s Inn Fields
London, WC2A 3JB
United Kingdom

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