In this provocative book, Alexander offers a sceptical appraisal of the claim that freedom of expression is a human right. He examines the various contexts in which a right to freedom of expression might be asserted and concludes that such a right cannot be supported in any of these contexts. He argues that some legal protection of freedom of expression is surely valuable, though the form such protection will take will vary with historical and cultural circumstances and is not a matter of human right. Written in a clear and accessible style, this book will appeal to students and professionals in political philosophy, law, political science, and human rights.
Larry Alexander is Warren Distinguished Professor, University of San Diego School of Law.
Introduction; Part I. Defining Human Rights and Delimiting the Scope of Freedom of Expression: 1. Preliminaries: what is a human right, and what activities implicate freedom of expression?; 2. Freedom of expression and regulations that affect messages but are not enacted for that reason; 3. The puzzles of governmental purpose; Part II. The Core of Freedom of Expression: Government Regulations and Acts Taken To Affect Messages: 4. The core of freedom of expression: regulations of conduct for the purpose of affecting messages received; 5. Track three: Government speech and subsidies of speech; 6. Miscellaneous regulations of expression; Part III. Theoretical Perspectives on Freedom of Expression: 7. General justifying theories of freedom of expression; 8. The paradoxes of liberalism and the failure of theories justifying a right of freedom of expression; Epilogue: 9. Muddling through: freedom of expression in the absence of a human right.