Meaning a Global Perspective

Meaning of a Global Perspective

A global perspective on freedom of expression borrows from different disciplines and theories, including international law, global norms formation, comparative jurisprudence and international legal pluralism. As such, it covers the international institutions, treaties, soft law and jurisprudence underpinning international free speech standards. It includes analyses of national constitutions, laws and jurisprudences to identify convergence and conflicts across jurisdictions. It focuses on the extent to which global norms of freedom of expression have emerged and cascaded around the world and the actors and forces responsible for it. Finally, a global perspective on freedom of expression is predicated on the notion that multiple legal orders support judicial dialogues but the existence of a “global village of precedents.”

10 items found, showing 1 - 10
Author: Stephen Krasner
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"International regimes are defined as principles, norms, rules, and decision making procedures around which actor expectations converge in a given issue-area. As a starting point, regimes have been conceptualized as intervening variables, standing between basic causal factors and related outcomes and behavior. There are three views about the importance of regimes: conventional structural orientations dismiss regimes as being at best ineffectual; Grotian orientations view regimes as an intimate component of the international system; and modified structural perspectives see regimes as significant only under certain constrained conditions. For Grotian and modified structuralist arguments, which endorse the view that regimes can influence outcomes and behavior, regime development is seen as a function of five basic causal variables: egoistic self-interest, political power, diffuse norms and principles, custom and usage, and knowledge."

Krasner, Stephen D. "Structural Causes and Regime Consequences: Regimes as Intervening Variables." International Organization 36, no. 2 (1982): 185-205. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2706520.

Author: Robert Howse, Ruti Teitel
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"The conceptual, and more recently empirical, study of compliance has become a central preoccupation, and perhaps the fastest growing subfield, in international legal scholarship. The authors seek to question this trend. They argue that looking at the aspirations of international law through the lens of rule compliance leads to inadequate scrutiny and understanding of the diverse complex purposes and projects that multiple actors impose and transpose on international legality, and especially a tendency to oversimplify if not distort the relation of inter-national law to politics. Citing a range of examples from different areas of international law – ranging widely from international trade and investment to international criminal and humanitarian law – the authors seek to show how the concept of compliance (especially viewed as rule observance) is inadequate for understanding how international law has normative effects. A fundamental flaw of compliance studies is that they abstract from the problem of interpretation: interpretation is pervasively determinative of what happens to legal rules when they are out in the world, yet ‘compliance’ studies begin with the notion that there is a stable and agreed meaning to a rule, and we need merely to observe whether it is obeyed."

Robert Howse and Ruti Teitel, “Beyond Compliance: Rethinking Why International Law Really Matters,” Global Policy, 1 (2010)

Author: Nani Jansen Reventlow
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“The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) imposes important transparency and accountability requirements on different actors who process personal data. This is great news for the protection of individual data privacy. However, given that “personal information and human stories are the raw material of journalism,” what does the GDPR mean for freedom of expression and especially for journalistic activity? This essay argues that, although EU states seem to have taken their data protection obligations under the GDPR seriously, efforts to balance this against the right to freedom of expression have been more uneven. The essay concludes that it is of key importance to ensure that the GDPR's safeguards for data privacy do not compromise a free press.”

Reventlow, Nani Jansen. “Can the GDPR and Freedom of Expression Coexist?”. AJIL Unbound 114 (2020): 31-34.

Author: John Ruggie
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"Constructing the World Polity brings together in one collection the theoretical ideas of one of the most influential International Relations theorists of our time. These essays, with a new introduction, and comprehensive connective sections, present Ruggie's ideas and their application to critical policy questions of the post-Cold War international order. Themes covered include:* International Organization. How the 'new Institutionalism' differs from the old. The System of States. Explorations of political structure, social time, and territorial space in the world polity. Making History. America and the issue of 'agency' in the post-Cold Was era. NATO and the future transatlantic security community. The United Nations and the collective use of force."

John Ruggie. Constructing the World Polity: Essays on International Institutionalization. London: Routledge, 1998.

Author: School of Public Policy at Central European University, David Kaye
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“In this public talk hosted by the Center for Media, Data and Society at the CEU School of Public Policy, UN Special Rapporteur David Kaye discussed global threats to freedom of expression. He was introduced by Sejal Parmar, Assistant Professor at the CEU Department of Legal Studies. The agenda of the talk and themes discussed in his lecture and in the ensuing Q&A spanned the following: global threats to freedom of expression; how to promote protective measures to free speech, hate speech and access to information; protection of whistleblowers; role and liability of intermediaries and social media companies; surveillance; digital security; transparency; the Bernstein case, Apple v. FBI; code speech; different national security measures on freedom of expression, and the UN standard on the issue; Facebook posts as reasons for prosecution for incitement; Article 19; the right to be forgotten; content discrimination in relation to freedom of expression; Article 19 to promote government transparency and access to information; the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction Movement and its academic implications; academic freedom; how the Special Rapporteur prioritizes over requests and communications; and, contempt of court in relation to freedom of expression.”

School of Public Policy at Central European University, David Kaye. “David Kaye on the Global Challenges to Freedom of Expression”. 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mv5EqJMYXGQ.

Author: Jack M. Balkin
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“In this essay, Professor Balkin argues that digital technologies alter the social conditions of speech and therefore should change the focus of free speech theory, from a Meiklejohnian or republican concern with protecting democratic process and democratic deliberation, to a larger concern with protecting and promoting a democratic culture. A democratic culture is a culture in which individuals have a fair opportunity to participate in the forms of meaning-making that constitute them as individuals. Democratic culture is about individual liberty as well as collective self-governance; it concerns each individual’s ability to participate in the production and distribution of culture. Balkin argues that Meiklejohn and his followers were influenced by the social conditions of speech produced by the rise of mass media in the twentieth century, in which only a relative few could broadcast to large numbers of people. Republican or progressivist theories of free speech also tend to downplay the importance of nonpolitical expression, popular culture, and individual liberty. The limitations of this approach have become increasingly apparent in the age of the Internet. By changing the social conditions of speech, digital technologies lead to new social conflicts over the ownership and control of informational capital. The free speech principle is the battleground over many of these conflicts. For example, media companies have interpreted the free speech principle broadly to combat regulation of digital networks and narrowly in order to protect and extend their intellectual property rights. The digital age greatly expands the possibilities for individual participation in the growth and spread of culture, and thus greatly expands the possibilities for the realization of a truly democratic culture. But the same technologies also produce new methods of control that can limit democratic cultural participation. Therefore, free speech values – interactivity, mass participation, and the ability to modify and transform culture – must be protected through technological design and through administrative and legislative regulation of technology, as well as through the more traditional method of judicial creation and recognition of constitutional rights. Increasingly, freedom of speech will depend on the design of the technological infrastructure that supports the system of free expression and secures widespread democratic participation. Institutional limitations of courts will prevent them from reaching the most important questions about how that infrastructure is designed and implemented. Safeguarding freedom of speech will thus increasingly fall to legislatures, administrative agencies, and technologists.”

Balkin, Jack. “Digital Speech and Democratic Culture: A Theory of Freedom of Expression for the Information Society”. New York University Law Review 79, no. 1 (2004).

Author: Beth Simmons, Volha Charnysh, and Paullete Lloyd
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"This article examines the process of consensus formation by the international community on how to confront the problem of trafficking in persons. We analyze the corpus of UNGA Third Committee resolutions to show that (1) consensus around the issue of how to confront trafficking in persons has increased over time; and (2) the formation of this consensus depends on how the issue is framed. We test our argument by examining the characteristics of resolutions’ sponsors and discursive framing concepts such as crime, human rights, and the strength of enforcement language. We conclude that the consensus formation process in international relations is more aptly described as one of “accommodation” through issue linkage than a process of persuasion."

Volha Charnysh and  Paulette Lloyd and Beth A. Simmons, Frames and Consensus Formation in International Relations: The Case of Trafficking in Persons (2015). European Journal of International Relations, Vol. 21, Pg. 323, 2015; U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 16-39. https://scholar.harvard.edu/bsimmons/publications/frames-and-consensus-formation-international-relations-case-trafficking 

Author: Adam D. Moore
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“While autonomy arguments provide a compelling foundation for free speech, they also support individual privacy rights. Considering how speech and privacy may be justified, the article argues that the speech necessary for self-government does not need to include details that would violate privacy rights. Additionally, it argues that if viewed as a kind of intangible property right, informational privacy should limit speech and expression in a range of cases. In a world where we have an overabundance of content to consume, much of which could be called “information pollution,” and where there are numerous platforms to broadcast one’s expressions, it is increasingly difficult to maintain that speech should trump privacy.”

Moore, Adam. “Free Speech, Privacy, and Autonomy”. Social Philosophy and Policy 37, no. 2 (2021): 31-51.

Author: ARTICLE 19
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“In this briefing paper, ARTICLE 19 outlines the importance of protecting women’s freedom of expression when tackling online harassment and abuse, setting out applicable international human rights standards, and how governments must act on this issue in a freedom of expression compliant way. ARTICLE 19 hopes that this briefing paper will offer clear answers to the question of how to strike the right balance between the protection of the right to freedom of expression and the protection of women’s rights as well as robust measures that States must adopt to promote and protect both rights.”

ARTICLE 19. “Freedom of Expression and Women’s Equality: Ensuring Comprehensive Rights Protection”. 2020. https://www.article19.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Gender-Paper-Brief-1.pdf.

Author: Ethan A. Nadelmann
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"The dynamics by which norms emerge and spread in international society have been the subject of strikingly little study. This article focuses on norms that prohibit, both in international law and in the domestic criminal laws of states, the involvement of state and nonstate actors in activities such as piracy, slavery, counterfeiting, drug trafficking, the hijacking of aircraft, and the killing of endangered animal species. It analyzes the manner in which these norms have evolved into and been institutionalized by global prohibition regimes and argues that there are two principal inducements to the formation and promotion of such regimes. The first is the inadequacy of unilateral and bilateral law enforcement measures in the face of criminal activities that transcend national borders. The second is the role of moral and emotional factors related to neither political nor economic advantage but instead involving religious beliefs, humanitarian sentiments, fears, prejudices, paternalism, faith in universalism, the individual conscience, and the compulsion to proselytize. The ultimate success or failure of an international regime in effectively suppressing a particular activity depends, however, not only on the degree of commitment to its norms or the extent of resources devoted to carrying out its goals but also on the vulnerability of the activity to its enforcement measures."

Ethan A. Nadelmann. "Global Prohibition Regimes: The Evolution of Norms in International Society," International Organization 44(4): 479–526, p. 481-2 (1990)