Department of Political ScienceØster Farimagsgade 5, Postboks 2099, 1014 Kbh K
12, 2. sal, 12.2.15Phone: +45 353-23428Phone (Reception desk): +45 353-23366E-mail:
Hannah Arendt, Autonomy, Respect, Immanuel Kant, Jürgen Habermas, Freedom of Expression, Deliberative Democracy, Republicanism, Liberalism, Conceptions of Freedom
I am currently pursuing a research project on the relationship between freedom of expression and respect. My interest in this issue was provoked by the conflict in Denmark over the publication of some cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad. The debate over the cartoons in Denmark has evolved into a conflict between two camps, those who favor absolute freedom of speech and those who call for toleration and respect of Muslims. Both sides refer to fundamental liberal principles, and the debate could be seen as setting "autonomy liberals" against "toleration liberals" (Galston). However, it is my thesis that without a commitment to autonomy, "toleration liberalism" lacks a normative foundation on which to base its position. Do the liberal principles of autonomy and toleration point in the same or in different directions when it comes to the boundaries of freedom of expression in a multicultural society? To answer this question, I study classical sources such as Kant and Mill, as well as contemporary writings on freedom of speech, political liberalism, religion and politics, autonomy, toleration, and multiculturalism.