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The Freedom to Be Racist?$
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Erik Bleich

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199739684

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199739684.001.0001

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Banning Racist Groups and Parties

Chapter:
(p.85) 5 Banning Racist Groups and Parties
Source:
The Freedom to Be Racist?
Author(s):

Erik Bleich

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199739684.003.0005

Freedom of association is not absolute. If terrorist organizations can be banned, what about neo-Nazi groups or parties that stir up racism and create an atmosphere conducive to discrimination or violence? In practice, countries weigh freedom of association against limits to racism in a wide variety of ways. The United States has aggressively protected racists’ autonomy. By contrast, many European countries have provided the state ample tools for undermining, disbanding, and dismantling organizations because of their racist nature. This chapter looks in depth at the United States, Belgium, and Germany—three countries with dramatically different laws and enforcement histories. This allows us to gauge the pros and cons of divergent approaches to balancing freedom of association with the fight against racism.

Keywords:   freedom of association, political parties, racism, United States, Belgium, Germany

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