Yttrandefrihetens dilemma : en idécentrerad studie om yttrandefrihetens roll och begränsningar

by Persson, Daniel

Abstract (Summary)

This paper concerns the freedom of speech in our democracy and the principles underlying the restrictions. The study is aimed at using a descriptive theory to provide a useful basis for analyzing a justification of the role behind freedom of speech and its limitations. The analysis is made on the basis of the Swedish parliament debate in the form of motions and the non-governmental organization Swedish Helsinki Committee's report. The study has a focus on the law of hate speech and will be done with an idea centred analysis. On the basis of democratic theory, the central role of freedom of speech was clarified on the basis of a clear need for a reliable communication. An absence of this process could disrupt the democratic order. The theoretical function of restrictions is to maintain that reliable communication process where, for example, special circumstances, threats of violence and certain types of information were seen as examples of situations where the process could be in danger.

The empirical result was largely in line with the theoretical conclusions. The ability to argue and keep open debates was seen as important building blocks in a democratic society and therefore implies the benefits of a reliable communication process. Justification for the restrictions was made with regard to harmful information, threatening circumstances and xenophobic organizations, who were examples of counter-productive expressions to the democratic order. However, the study showed that parliamentary motions and the Swedish Helsinki Committee often focused their justifications on different fundamental views which partly could be explained by the concepts of positive and negative freedom and the perception of minority rights. The findings indicated that the issue of restrictions on freedom of speech is extremely complex because of the varied opinions in the drafting of the law of hate speech. The dilemma of freedom of expression can therefore be seen as relevant up to this day.

Bibliographical Information:


School:Högskolan i Gävle

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:democracy freedom of speech restrictions hate swedish parliament helsinki committee demokrati yttrandefrihet begränsningar hets mot folkgrupp riksdagen svenska helsingforskommittén political science statsvetenskap


Date of Publication:01/01/2009

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