Is There a Right of Freedom of Expression?

by Larry Alexander

Series: Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and Law

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.

In The Press

'… As a work of scholarship in the strict sense, this book is impeccable. Alexander knows the primary legal, secondary legal, and philosophical literatures thoroughly, and deals carefully with the positions and arguments of others. He confronts directly the increasing association of free speech with human rights, and his largely skeptical conclusion is a philosophical breath of fresh air … This book stakes out a strong and novel position and defends it with argumentative rigor and scholarly care.' Frederick Schauer, author of Free Speech: A Philosophical Inquiry