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The Talkative Leviathan–Deliberative Democracy, Legitimacy and Freedom of Expression

Mattsson Apelmo, Oskar LU (2014) LAGM01 20142
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Med ett politiskt parti anklagat för fascism i riksdagen, och nynazister marscherande på gatorna är frågor om demokrati och frihet viktigare än någonsin. Var bör yttrandefrihetens gränser dras? Bör den överhuvudtaget begränsas? Syftet med den här uppsatsen är att utforska en möjlig lösning till de problem som dagens demokrati står inför. Det här åstadkoms genom en konstruktion av ett konceptuellt ramverk, baserat på teorier om ”deliberative democracy”, som kan användas för att diskutera frågor om demokrati och lag, och genom att illustrera detta ramverk med en diskussion om yttrandefrihet och kriminalisering av ”hate speech”. Det hävdas att det här angreppssättet för med sig viktiga konsekvenser för yttrandefriheten, och för ansatserna att... (More)
Med ett politiskt parti anklagat för fascism i riksdagen, och nynazister marscherande på gatorna är frågor om demokrati och frihet viktigare än någonsin. Var bör yttrandefrihetens gränser dras? Bör den överhuvudtaget begränsas? Syftet med den här uppsatsen är att utforska en möjlig lösning till de problem som dagens demokrati står inför. Det här åstadkoms genom en konstruktion av ett konceptuellt ramverk, baserat på teorier om ”deliberative democracy”, som kan användas för att diskutera frågor om demokrati och lag, och genom att illustrera detta ramverk med en diskussion om yttrandefrihet och kriminalisering av ”hate speech”. Det hävdas att det här angreppssättet för med sig viktiga konsekvenser för yttrandefriheten, och för ansatserna att rättfärdiga den demokratiska staten. Det teoretiska fokuset i uppsatsen ligger på Habermas The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere och den debatt som boken har väckt. Uppsatsen sammanfaller delvis med Maheila Maliks deliberative democracy-modell för att hantera extremistiska grupper i en liberal kontext, men rör sig utanför det liberala ramverket i sitt ifrågasättande av hur detta härleder legitimitet. Den moderna individualismens principer anger att individer är fria och jämlika samt att individens vilja är den enda källan för legitimitet. Av den konventionella förståelsen av vilja som någonting redan bestämt vid tiden för beslutsfattande följer enhällighetsprincipen, dvs. att endast de regler som alla berörda individer kan acceptera är legitima. För praktisk tillämpning ersätts dock den här principen med majoritetsprincipen. Det här nödvändiggör att rättigheter införs, för att motverka majoritetens tyranni. Om istället individens vilja förstås som någonting som formas i en resonerande process, kan förslagsvis principen om jämlikhet i deltagande (”participatory parity”) ersätta enhällighetsprincipen. För rationell debatt i en politisk offentlighet måste privata intressen sättas inom parantes (”bracketing”). Detta har problematiska konsekvenser för jämlikheten i deltagandet. Det anförs att sådan ”bracketing” för fram dominanta gruppers intressen. Alternativa strategier för underordnade grupper diskuteras, som till exempel ett organiserande i subalterna ”counterpublics”, eller användandet av offentliga rum för att utmana ojämlikheten, och för ”empowerment”. Det argumenteras dock för att deltagarjämlikhet kräver ett visst mått av materiell jämlikhet. Diskussionen illustreras med en kommentar av omständigheterna i rättsfallet Pastor Green, som handlar om en predikan på temat ”Är homosexualitet en medfödd drift eller onda makters spel med människor?” Det konstateras att yttrandefrihet tillsammans med något mått av materiell jämlikhet är nödvändigt för att tillgodose den moderna individualismens ideal. Detta åstadkoms bäst inom ramen för ”deliberative democracy”, som bär på en transformativ potential. (Less)
Abstract
With a political party accused of fascism in the Swedish parliament and neo-nazis marching in the streets, questions of democracy and freedom of expression are as important as ever. Where to draw the boundaries of the freedom of expression? Why have, or limit, such freedoms in the first place? The purpose of this thesis is to investigate a possible solution to the problems facing contemporary democracy. This is done by constructing a conceptual framework of deliberative democracy that can be used to discuss questions of democracy and law, and to illustrate this framework with a discussion on the freedom of expression and hate speech criminalization. It is argued that this approach has important implications for the freedom of expression,... (More)
With a political party accused of fascism in the Swedish parliament and neo-nazis marching in the streets, questions of democracy and freedom of expression are as important as ever. Where to draw the boundaries of the freedom of expression? Why have, or limit, such freedoms in the first place? The purpose of this thesis is to investigate a possible solution to the problems facing contemporary democracy. This is done by constructing a conceptual framework of deliberative democracy that can be used to discuss questions of democracy and law, and to illustrate this framework with a discussion on the freedom of expression and hate speech criminalization. It is argued that this approach has important implications for the freedom of expression, and for the project of legitimizing the democratic state. A theoretical focal point for the discussion, is Habermas's The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere and subsequent debates. The thesis partly overlaps Maheila Malik's proposed model of deliberative democracy to deal with extremist groups within a liberal context, but stretches beyond the liberal framework by questioning the liberal derivations of legitimacy. The principles of modern individualism states that individuals are free and equal, and that the individual will is the sole source of legitimate obligation. With the conventional understanding of individual will as something already formed at the point of decision-making, what follows is the principle of unanimity, i.e. that only rules that all affected individuals can accept are legitimate. For practical purposes, however, this principle is substituted with the majority principle. This necessitates a conception of rights in order to counter the tyranny of the majority. If, instead, the will of the individuals is conceived of as something that is formed through the process of deliberation, it is suggested that the principle of participatory parity can replace the principle of unanimity. For rational debate in a political public sphere, private interests must be bracketed. This has problematic implications for the participatory parity. It is argued that bracketing serves to promote the interests of dominant groups. Alternative strategies for subordinate groups, such as organization in subaltern counterpublics, and uses of public space for contestation and empowerment, are discussed. However, it is argued that participatory parity requires some level of social equality. The discussion is illustrated with a commentary on the circumstances in the legal case of Pastor Green, who held a sermon on the topic “Is Homosexuality a Congenital Urge or Evil Powers' Play with Men?” It is concluded that freedom of expression, together with some level of substantive equality, is crucial to fulfilling the ideals of modern individualism. This is best achieved within the framework of deliberative democracy, which carries a transformative potential. (Less)
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author
Mattsson Apelmo, Oskar LU
supervisor
organization
course
LAGM01 20142
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Participatory Parity, Hate Speech, Free Speech, Freedom of Expression, Legitimacy, Deliberative Democracy, Liberalism, Law, Jurisprudence, Individualism, Public Sphere, Deliberation, Democracy, Pastor Green
language
English
id
4927054
date added to LUP
2015-01-31 11:56:57
date last changed
2015-01-31 11:56:57
@misc{4927054,
  abstract     = {With a political party accused of fascism in the Swedish parliament and neo-nazis marching in the streets, questions of democracy and freedom of expression are as important as ever. Where to draw the boundaries of the freedom of expression? Why have, or limit, such freedoms in the first place? The purpose of this thesis is to investigate a possible solution to the problems facing contemporary democracy. This is done by constructing a conceptual framework of deliberative democracy that can be used to discuss questions of democracy and law, and to illustrate this framework with a discussion on the freedom of expression and hate speech criminalization. It is argued that this approach has important implications for the freedom of expression, and for the project of legitimizing the democratic state. A theoretical focal point for the discussion, is Habermas's The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere and subsequent debates. The thesis partly overlaps Maheila Malik's proposed model of deliberative democracy to deal with extremist groups within a liberal context, but stretches beyond the liberal framework by questioning the liberal derivations of legitimacy. The principles of modern individualism states that individuals are free and equal, and that the individual will is the sole source of legitimate obligation. With the conventional understanding of individual will as something already formed at the point of decision-making, what follows is the principle of unanimity, i.e. that only rules that all affected individuals can accept are legitimate. For practical purposes, however, this principle is substituted with the majority principle. This necessitates a conception of rights in order to counter the tyranny of the majority. If, instead, the will of the individuals is conceived of as something that is formed through the process of deliberation, it is suggested that the principle of participatory parity can replace the principle of unanimity. For rational debate in a political public sphere, private interests must be bracketed. This has problematic implications for the participatory parity. It is argued that bracketing serves to promote the interests of dominant groups. Alternative strategies for subordinate groups, such as organization in subaltern counterpublics, and uses of public space for contestation and empowerment, are discussed. However, it is argued that participatory parity requires some level of social equality. The discussion is illustrated with a commentary on the circumstances in the legal case of Pastor Green, who held a sermon on the topic “Is Homosexuality a Congenital Urge or Evil Powers' Play with Men?” It is concluded that freedom of expression, together with some level of substantive equality, is crucial to fulfilling the ideals of modern individualism. This is best achieved within the framework of deliberative democracy, which carries a transformative potential.},
  author       = {Mattsson Apelmo, Oskar},
  keyword      = {Participatory Parity,Hate Speech,Free Speech,Freedom of Expression,Legitimacy,Deliberative Democracy,Liberalism,Law,Jurisprudence,Individualism,Public Sphere,Deliberation,Democracy,Pastor Green},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The Talkative Leviathan–Deliberative Democracy, Legitimacy and Freedom of Expression},
  year         = {2014},
}