Free Speech History Podcast

Recent Podcasts

Free Speech History Podcast
Episode 35 - White Man´s Burden: Empire, Liberalism and Censorship 

Dec 02, 2019

During the mass protests that have rocked Hong Kong since June 2019 pro-democracy protestors have waved Union Jack flags and been singing God Save the Queen. A clear rejection of the authoritarian political system of mainland China in favor of the... Read more

Free Speech History Podcast
Episode 34 – The Age of Reaction: The fall and rise of free speech in 19th century Europe 

Nov 21, 2019

The 18th century ended with free speech in full retreat. With the French Revolution, the call for “Enlightenment Now!” was no longer seen as the harbinger of humanity’s inevitable march toward progress. It had become synonymous with radical... Read more

Free Speech History Podcast
Special Edition - A conversation with Professor David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur 

Oct 28, 2019

In this special edition of Clear And Present Danger we leave the past and jump into the present for a discussion on how international human rights standards are relevant to the burning question of where to draw the limits of free speech online". With... Read more

Oct 18, 2019

Faced with bloody terrorism democratic Europe has often reacted with tough measures. The UK Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act of 2019 criminalizes expressing an opinion that is “supportive” of a proscribed organization if done in a way... Read more

Free Speech History Podcast
Episode 32 - Policing opinion in the French Revolution with Charles Walton 

Sep 28, 2019

On Aug. 26, 1789, France’s National Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. Article 11 of the Declaration proclaimed: The free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious of the rights of man.... Read more

Free Speech History Podcast
Episode 31 - The Old Regime 

Sep 12, 2019

In Nov. 2018, French President Emanuel Macron declared war on “offensive and hateful content” on the internet. Subsequently, France adopted strict laws against both online hate speech and fake news, which is thought to threaten France’s liberal... Read more

Free Speech History Podcast
Episode 30 - Northern Lights, The Scandinavian Press Freedom Breakthrough 

Aug 23, 2019

In the 1760s and 1770s, Sweden and Denmark-Norway shortly became the epicenter of press freedom protections in Enlightenment Europe.  In 1766, the Swedish Diet passed the Press Freedom Act, making Sweden the first country in the world to provide... Read more

Free Speech History Podcast
Episode 29 - The Philosopher King - Enlightened Despotism, part 2, Prussia 

Aug 02, 2019

In his famous essay “What is Enlightenment?” the Prussian philosopher Immanuel Kant declared: “[E]nlightenment requires nothing but freedom … to make public use of one’s reason in all matters. Now I hear the cry from all sides: ‘Do not... Read more

Free Speech History Podcast
Episode 28 - Writing on Human Skin - Enlightened Despotism, part I, Russia 

Jul 12, 2019

The Enlightenment´s emphasis on science, progress, tolerance and rationality not only attracted philosophers. Even absolute monarchs dreamt of “Enlightenment Now.” But how do you combine enlightenment without undermining the traditions and ideas... Read more

Free Speech History Podcast
Episode 27 - How Enlightening 

Jun 21, 2019

data-contrast="auto">After a brief detour into the present, we return to Ground Zero of the Enlightenment in 18th century Europe, with this recap of past episodes and a brief overview of the themes and countries to be explored in the upcoming... Read more