Political science Assignment on What, in your view, is the most significant harm of hate speech, and why?

The single most useful resource is Alexander Brown’s Hate Speech Laws: A Philosophical Examination, available as an e-book

Please make sure you focus on the question

This question is about the different kinds of harms that hate speech can involve, a question distinct from the law on hate speech. The harms of hate speech surveyed in the lecture include health setbacks, group defamation, subordination, stereotyping, stigmatization, and affronts to dignity. There are other possible harms besides these, see the discussion in the most useful single resource on the topic: Hate Speech Laws: A Philosophical Examination (2015) by Alexander Brown (available online). However, there is no need to survey every possible harm that hate speech involves. A good answer could look at what you consider to be the three or four most significant harms and compare and contrast them. In fact, a good answer could mention briefly a variety of harms and then spend most of the time explaining why one of them is so severe. Think also about whether it makes a difference what sort of group is targeted by hate speech attacks (e.g. based on race, ethnicity or religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc) and the context in which it occurs (e.g. online, in a workplace, at a university, a public figure’s speech, etc) – perhaps some harms of hate speech are more salient in some context or against some groups than others?

Please make sure your aware of the difference between hate speech and offensive speech

It is better to use a few readings and really go into depth with them such as the alexander brown one instead of using lots and not really going into detail. So anywhere between 7-10 readings would be sufficient!


The single most useful resource is Alexander Brown’s Hate Speech Laws: A Philosophical Examination, available as an e-book

Jeremy Waldron, The Harm in Hate Speech, Ch.4 [online access]
Jeffrey Howard, ‘Free Speech and Hate Speech. Annual Review of Political Science 22 (2019): 93–109

Alexander Brown, ‘What Is So Special about Online (as Compared to Offline) Hate Speech?’ Ethnicities 18/3 (2018): 297–326.

Caleb Yong, ‘Does Freedom of Speech Include Hate Speech?’ Res Publica 17/4 (2011): 385-403

David Brink, ‘Millian Principles, Freedom of Expression and Hate Speech’ Legal Theory 7/2 (2001): 119-57

Susan Brison, ‘The Autonomy Defense of Free Speech’ Ethics 108/2 (1998): 312-39

Robert Post, ‘Hate Speech’ in Ivan Hare and James Weinstein (eds), Extreme Speech and Democracy [online access]
Jonathan Seglow, ‘Hate Speech, Dignity and Self-Respect’ Ethical and Moral Practice 19/5 (2016):1103-1116

Richard Delgado, ‘Words that Wound: A Tort Action for Racial Insults, Epithets, and Name-Calling’ Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review 17 (1982): 133-81

offensive speech readings- if you want to use any of these

Matteo Bonotti and Jonathan Seglow ‘Self-Respect, Domination and Religiously Offensive Speech’ Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22/3 (2019): 589-605

Sune Laegaard, ‘The Cartoon Controversy: Offence, Identity, Oppression’ Political Studies 55/3 (2007): 481-98.

Joel Feinberg, Offense to Others, Ch. 9

Catriona McKinnon, Toleration, pp.83-9 (on Feinberg), Ch. 8 [online access]
Raphael Cohen-Almagor, ‘Harm Principle, Offence Principle, and the Skokie Affair’ Political Studies 41/3 (1993): 453-70