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Freedom of Speech and Hate Speech: American and European Perspectives

University House - Room G06
Research, Social Sciences
Thursday 26th May 2016 (14:00-16:00)
Download the date to your calendar (.ics file)

The Department of Marketing, Birmingham Business School would like to invite you to what promises to be a thought provoking seminar which will examine European and US perspectives on freedom of speech and hate speech.  We are delighted to welcome two leading scholars who will speak about their research in this area from marketing, legal and political science perspectives.  


Dr Mona Moufahim, Durham University Business School

Professor HW Perry, The University of Texas School of Law and the Department of Government


Dr. Mona Moufahim is a Lecturer at Durham University Business School. Her current research interests include political marketing, activism, discourse, consumption and identity (organizational, ethnic, national, religious or political). Her research has been published in Organization Studies, Journal of Marketing Management, Marketing Theory and Consumption, Markets and Culture.

She has also contributed chapters to scholarly books on political marketing, critical marketing and Islamic marketing.  Mona will primarily focus her talk around her doctoral research which was undertaken at University of Nottingham; Marketing an Extremist Ideology: the Vlaams Belang’s nationalist discourse.  She is particularly interested in the impact of marketing on politics, and how political parties deploy a marketing toolkit to achieve success at the polls. The apparent success of traditionally marginal, extreme right parties across Europe has raised concerns because of their radical stance, blatant xenophobia, their growing popular acceptance, and their participation in legitimate governing institutions.

Her research has focused on how controversial issues (e.g. racism, anti-Muslim sentiments, etc.)  are framed and normalised in one particular extreme right parties’ marketing communications: the Flemish Vlaams Blok/Vlaams Belang. In November 2004, the Belgian Cour de Cassation condemned the three not-for-profit foundations funding the Vlaams Blok, following a legal suit by anti-racism organisations. This decision effectively rendered the Vlaams Blok unable to function (Kundnani, 2012). As a consequence, the Vlaams Blok had to disband, and the Vlaams Belang was immediately created with the same leaders and same structures as the Vlaams Blok (De Tijd, 13/09/2004). Through a discursive analysis of the party’s communication material, Mona deconstructs the persuasive and rhetorical processes at play when communicating politically controversial stances. 

Professor H. W. Perry, Jr. has tenured appointments on the faculties of the School of Law and the Department of Government at the University of Texas at Austin.  Previously, he was on the faculty at Harvard University and at Washington University.   He has held visiting lectureships abroad including ones at Oxford University and in Australia.  He received his Ph.D. from The University of Michigan.

He teaches a wide array of courses in the Law School and in the College of Liberal Arts at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.  His research interests focus mostly on topics at the intersection of law and politics and on topics in Constitutional Law.  His book Deciding to Decide: Agenda Setting in the United States Supreme Court (Harvard University Press) was awarded the Thomas J. Wilson Prize by Harvard University Press, and the C. Herman Pritchett Award by the Law and Courts section of the American Political Science Association.  In 2007, he received the Wadsworth Publishing Award for a book 10 years old or older that has made a lasting impression on the field of law and courts.  He is co-editor of Civil Liberties 9th ed. (Pearson), and he has published widely in scholarly journals.  His current research involves the “Elitification of the U. S. Supreme Court” and the possible convergence of Free Speech doctrine among liberal democracies.  H.W. will explain some of the basic jurisprudence of American free speech doctrine with a particular focus on how it has led the United States to be an outlier in terms of what type of speech is allowed, especially hate speech.

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