Regulating Hate Speech

  • Bhikhu Parekh
Part of the International Political Theory book series (IPoT)


This chapter focuses on the right to free speech. It argues that it is a mistake to reduce free speech to freedom of expression which puts the individual at the centre of discussion and makes free speech a matter of their more or less unlimited right to express themselves. Free speech is better seen as a vital human good, which is why individuals have a right to it and why that right has certain built-in limits that vary with a society’s history and circumstances. Applying this to hate speech, the chapter shows why it deserves to be limited in the interest of the common good and why the limits are best defined in local terms.


Freedom of speech Social harmony Public morality 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bhikhu Parekh
    • 1
  1. 1.Politics and International RelationsUniversity of HullHullUK

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