Politics, Media and International Relations

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Freedom of Expression & Human Rights

Historical, Literary and Political Contexts

Dr Liam Gearon is Reader and Director of the Centre for Research in Human Rights at Roehampton University. The author and editor of numerous books in education, study of religion and literature, recent books include Landscapes of Encounter (2002), The Human Rights Handbook: A Global Perspective for Education (2003), Citizenship through Religious Education (2004) and the critically acclaimed Human Rights & Religion: A Reader (2002).

A Companion volume to Human Rights & Religion, it provides appendices for all those activists interested in furthering investigation of issues in writing and human rights

“I write this Foreword as the current President of English PEN. As Dr. Gearon notes, this organisation has played a significant role in campaigning in the UK against the Government’s proposals to make the incitement of religious hatred an offence…Would that we had had this book to help us, with its calm and assured discussion of the history that lies behind our prevailing anxiety today.” Alastair Niven

Freedom of Expression and Human Rights provides a critical and contentious overview of the fundamental relationship between writing and political dissent from early Greek democracy to post-Enlightenment forms of totalitarianism, such as Communism, Fascism and Nazism and through to modern forms of liberal democracy based upon universal human rights encapsulated by the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Complementing such historical contexts, this book explores the range of predominantly theological and religious, civil and political, social and cultural rationales for contemporary repression, contending that in the modern age at least freedom of expression issues are deeply affected not only by national law but by factors of a trans-national (ideological or theological) nature.

Finally – through a review key inter-governmental and non-governmental (NGO) agencies – the book examines current geo-political trends in the denial of freedom of expression, highlighting post-Cold War and post-September 11 shifts in political and religious repression, a movement in the locale of freedom of expression issues (especially towards electronic forms and Internet) and a heightening of global and trans-national dimensions in freedom of expression.

Freedom of Expression provides also a substantial series of appendices for scholars, researchers and activists interested in furthering investigation of human rights discourse.

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-84519-158-0
Hardback Price: £49.50 / $65.00
Release Date: April 2006
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-84519-089-7
Paperback Price: £19.95 / $32.50
Release Date: April 2006
Page Extent / Format: 256 pp. / 246 x 171 mm
Illustrated: No


Foreword by Alastair Niven

General Introduction
One Hundred Years of Censorship
1901–2001: From the Nobel Prize to the Twin Towers

Part I
Classic Texts on Writing and Dissent
Political, Literary and Historical Contexts in Freedom of Expression

1 Plato The Republic
2 Saint Augustine Confessions
3 Martin Luther Ninety-Five Theses
4 Thomas Paine Rights of Man
5 Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels Manifesto of the Communist Party
6 John Stuart Mill On Liberty
7 Adolf Hitler Mein Kampf
8 Chairman Mao Little Red Book
9 The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Part II
Freedom of Expression and Human Rights
Contemporary Historical, Literary and Political Contexts

10 The State Control of Freedom
The UN and Its Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs)
11 Writing and Human Rights
Towards a Typology for the Interrogation of Dissent

Part III
Charter of the United Nations (1945)
Freedom of Expression in International Law
The United Nations and Related Regional Inter-Governmental Instruments
Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural
and Natural Heritage (1972)
World Heritage Sites List (Results by Country)
United Nations
Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom
of Opinion and Expression
United Nations
Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on Freedom
of Religion or Belief
United Nations
Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination
Based on Religion or Belief (1981)
Freedom of Expression
Inter-Government and Non-Governmental Organisations:
Internet Sources
The Nobel Prize in Literature
Awards 1901–2004
A Typology of Dissent and A Typology for Interrogation of Dissent


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