Standards of Expression in Transitional Societies: Incitement in Kosovo

25 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2013 Last revised: 17 Jan 2013

See all articles by Ryan Suto

Ryan Suto

Pennsylvania State University; Syracuse University

Date Written: December 18, 2012


This paper argues that standards of incitement should adhere to a more restrictive model of free expression in transitional societies and a less restrictive model of free expression in mature societies. The several international agreements which involve standards of hate speech and incitement regulations envision a singular standard by which all societies should be held. The view which is dominant in international law will be referred to as the International Model; the alternative view, the Libertarian Model, advocates for greater individual freedom with respect to incitement, hate speech and governmental restrictions on speech. At present there exists an assumption that these views are wholly separate legal understandings and do not operate in concert.

Next, the paper selects a particular case, Kosovo, to elucidate the nature of free expression in transitional societies. The time immediately after the recent 1999 Kosovo War and Kosovo today will be discussed. Kosovo presents a case where the repressive pre-war Milosevic-controlled media environment has been succeeded by a restrictive media regime imposed by international organization in the name of peace and security.

Keywords: incitement, media law, international media, Kosovo, post-conflict, transitions, democracy

Suggested Citation

Suto, Ryan, Standards of Expression in Transitional Societies: Incitement in Kosovo (December 18, 2012). Available at SSRN: or

Ryan Suto (Contact Author)

Pennsylvania State University ( email )

University Park
State College, PA 16802
United States

Syracuse University ( email )

900 S. Crouse Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2130
United States

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