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    A genealogy of the 'Stirring Up Hatred' offences of England and Wales

    Neller, Jennifer Karen (2020) A genealogy of the 'Stirring Up Hatred' offences of England and Wales. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

    Jennifer Neller Thesis A_Genealogy_of_the_Stirring_Up_Hatred_Offences_of_England_and_Wales_676054_1372161488.pdf - Full Version

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    This project constructs a genealogy of Parts III and IIIA of the Public Order Act 1986, which prohibit the stirring up of hatred on grounds of race, religion or sexual orientation. The aim is to investigate the contexts and rationales that produced these offences in order to understand a) how they came to be stratified across three identity categories and b) how those identity categories were delineated and c) what it means for hate speech legislation to be classified as public order law. This investigation was conducted through a critical discourse analysis of relevant parliamentary Hansard, from 1936 to 2013. By producing contextualised knowledge of how these specific offences have been justified, the analysis moves beyond abstract debates about whether hate speech legislation can be justified. The project pays close attention to the ways in which parliamentarians constructed identities and distinguished between the valued population that they sought to protect, on the one hand, and those who were variously alienated and deemed threatening to that population, on the other. The research points to a number of problematic logics underpinning the offences, including an insistence on viewing identities as fixed and objective, a tendency to view groups as having separate and conflicting interests, the dominance of majoritarian over egalitarian rationales, and persistent myths about the foreign or aberrant – rather than systemic – nature of hatred. The problematisation of racialised identities also emerges as a consistent theme throughout the different debates, exposing the nationalist fantasies at play in representations of a uniquely tolerant and inclusive British culture. These logics of differentiating and ordering identities that have shaped the current stirring up hatred offences must be confronted in discussions about their future if we wish them to meaningfully challenge – rather than reproduce – inequalities and exclusions.


    Item Type: Thesis
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2022 17:13
    Last Modified: 24 Feb 2022 19:55


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