Odi et Amo within the European Union: A Space to Love, A Space to Hate

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Odi et Amo within the European Union: A Space to Love, A Space to Hate

Type: Bachelor thesis
Title: Odi et Amo within the European Union: A Space to Love, A Space to Hate
Author: Breugem, Amber
Issue Date: 2018-08-31
Keywords: Freedom of Speech
Democracy
Hate Speech
European Union
Geert Wilders
Insult
Legal enforcement
Racism
Discourse
Antagonism
Abstract: Where do the European Court of Justice and national tribunals draw the line between freedom of speech and the protection of minorities? How is social coherence in democratic societies pursued if linguistic insults drive a wedge between citizens? Recent attempts to ban hate speech, court cases on Holocaust denials, and the condemnation of comedy expressions reveal the vibrant intersection of freedom of expression and hate speech. With the aim of providing an outlook on the juridical, political, and ideological future of EU member-states, this thesis investigates some of the implications of attempts to legally enforce speech. Focusing on the prosecution of Geert Wilders since 2014, I argue that the victim of hate speech is always influenced by a historicity that exceeds the present, regardless of context. Furthermore, I will state that the roots of insults lie in the antagonisms of modern democratic societies that encapsulate latent enmity and a lack of tolerance. I therefore propose to address hurt through public debate and not law, since the latter is a mere regulatory instrument of human behavior. Finally, the criminalization of speech narrows the space for debate and ignores and reinforces societal antagonisms: the deep-rooted cause of distrust and conflict that is once to blossom.
Supervisor: Van Weyenberg, Dr. A.L.B.
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: International Studies (Bachelor)
Specialisation: Europe
ECTS Credits: 15
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/63630
 

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