No Escape: Freedom of Speech and the Paradox of Rights [NOOK Book]

Overview

Conventional legal and political scholarship places liberalism, which promotes and defends individual legal rights, in direct opposition to communitarianism, which focuses on the greater good of the social group. According to this mode of thought, liberals value legal rights for precisely the same reason that communitarians seek to limit their scope: they privilege the individual over the community. However, could it be that liberalism is not antithetical to social group identities like nationalism as is ...

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No Escape: Freedom of Speech and the Paradox of Rights

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Overview

Conventional legal and political scholarship places liberalism, which promotes and defends individual legal rights, in direct opposition to communitarianism, which focuses on the greater good of the social group. According to this mode of thought, liberals value legal rights for precisely the same reason that communitarians seek to limit their scope: they privilege the individual over the community. However, could it be that liberalism is not antithetical to social group identities like nationalism as is traditionally understood? Is it possible that those who assert liberal rights might even strengthen aspects of nationalism?

No Escape argues that this is exactly the case, beginning with the observation that, paradoxical as it might seem, liberalism and nationalism have historically coincided in the United States. No Escape proves that liberal government and nationalism can mutually reinforce each other, taking as its example a preeminent and seemingly universal liberal legal right, freedom of speech, and illustrating how it can function in a way that actually reproduces nationally exclusive conditions of power.

No Escape boldly re-evaluates the relationship between liberal rights and the community at a time when the call has gone out for the nation to defend the freedom to live our way of life. Passavant challenges us to reconsider traditional modes of thought, providing a fresh perspective on seemingly intransigent political and legal debates.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Using freedom of speech as a lens onto the meaning of being American, Passavant has written a remarkable book. No Escape is a nuanced and sophisticated treatment of the complex connections of legal rights and nationalism. It is enormously important and timely in its exploration of the ways identity plays out on the terrain of liberal government. Sharply argued and theoretically rich, it makes a cutting-edge contribution to interdisciplinary legal scholarship.”
-Austin Sarat,Amherst College

“A significant contribution to the field. Its focus on the exclusionary practices involved in legalizing rights to free expression make this a provocative and important book.”
-Sanford Schram,Bryn Mawr College

“A brilliant critical historical look at the thinkers who have contributed to the construction of the collective American subject.”
-Michael Shapiro,University of Hawaii

“This is a thought-provoking and well-written book.”
-American Political Science Association

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“Passavant’s argument depends on establising a paradoxical tension between two principles conventionally involved in an adversary relationship.”
-Journal of American Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814768358
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 9/15/2002
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author


Paul A. Passavant is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction: Freedom of Speech and the Paradox of Rights 1
1 Liberal Legal Rights and the Grounds of Nationalism 13
2 John Burgess Is to Woodrow Wilson as Individual Rights Are to Community? Nation, Race, and the Right of Free Speech 41
3 A Moral Geography of Liberty: John Stuart Mill and American Free Speech Discourse 86
4 The Landscape of Rights Claiming: The Shift to a Post-Cold War American National Formation 110
5 Whose First Amendment Is It, Anyway? 137
6 The Governmentality of Discussion 164
Conclusion 186
Notes 193
Index 231
About the Author 240
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