One of the dangers in any political system is that the principles that underlie and characterize it may, through their application, bring about its destruction. Liberal democracy is no exception. Moreover, because democracy is relatively a young phenomenon, it lacks experience in dealing with pitfalls involved in the working of the system - the ‘catch’ of democracy.
This is an interdisciplinary study concerned with the limits of tolerance, this ‘democratic catch’, and the costs of freedom of expression. Rights are costly, and someone must pay for them. We can and should ask about the justification for bearing the costs, weighing them against the harms inflicted upon society as a result of a wide scope of tolerance. While recognizing that we have the need to express ourselves, we should also inquire about the justifications for tolerating the damaging speech and whether these are weighty enough.
This book combines theory and practice, examining issues of contention from philosophical, legal and media perspectives and covers such issues as:
This book is essential reading for anyone who has research interests in political theory, extremism, and free speech.
This series covers academic studies within the broad fields of ‘extremism’ and ‘democracy’, with volumes focusing on adjacent concepts such as populism, radicalism, and ideological/religious fundamentalism. These topics have been considered largely in isolation by scholars interested in the study of political parties, elections, social movements, activism, and radicalisation in democratic settings. A key focus of the series, therefore, is the (inter-)relation between extremism, radicalism, populism, fundamentalism, and democracy. Since its establishment in 1999, the series has encompassed both influential contributions to the discipline and informative accounts for public debate. Works will seek to problematise the role of extremism, broadly defined, within an ever-globalising world, and/or the way social and political actors can respond to these challenges without undermining democratic credentials.