IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/acb/agenda/v23y2016i1p5-30.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Section 18C, Human Rights, and Media Reform: An Institutional Analysis of the 2011–13 Australian Free Speech Debate Patterns in Neighboring Areas

Author

Listed:
  • Chris Berg
  • Sinclair Davidson

Abstract

The paper examines two Australian freedom-of-speech controversies between 2011 and 2013 – the debate over section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, and the debate over the Gillard Government's print media laws. These controversies featured rhetorical and ideological debate about the limits of free speech and the nature of human rights. The paper applies a subjective political economy framework to these debates in order to trace the effect of increased perceived disorder costs and dictatorship costs of freedom-of-speech restrictions. The paper concludes that policy change is driven by exogenous changes in perceived institutional costs. In the case of the Gillard Government's media laws, those costs were borne by the Gillard Government, and one would not expect print media laws to be a major political issue in the absence of a further exogenous shock. In the case of section 18C the revealed dictatorship costs of legislation, which includes the words 'offend' and 'insult', suggest the section 18C controversy will endure.

Suggested Citation

  • Chris Berg & Sinclair Davidson, 2016. "Section 18C, Human Rights, and Media Reform: An Institutional Analysis of the 2011–13 Australian Free Speech Debate Patterns in Neighboring Areas," Agenda - A Journal of Policy Analysis and Reform, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics, vol. 23(1), pages 5-30.
  • Handle: RePEc:acb:agenda:v:23:y:2016:i:1:p:5-30
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://press-files.anu.edu.au/downloads/press/n2264/pdf/analysis01.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. J. B. Rosser-Jr. & M. Rosser., 2009. "A Critique of the New Comparative Economics," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 8.
    2. D. Rodrik., 2015. "When Ideas Trump Interests: Preferences, Worldviews, and Policy Innovations," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 1.
    3. Andrei Shleifer, 2005. "Understanding Regulation," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 11(4), pages 439-451, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:acb:agenda:v:23:y:2016:i:1:p:5-30. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/feanuau.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.