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Two legal systems founded on similar Enlightenment philosophical and political values use state coercion differently to regulate a liberty at the core of the Enlightenment: freedom of expression. This comparative study of France and the United States proposes a novel theory of how the limits of freedom of expression are informed by different revolutionary experiences and constitutional and political arrangements. Ioanna Tourkochoriti argues that the different ways freedom of expression is balanced against other values in France and the United States can be understood in reference to the role of the government and the understanding of republicanism and liberty. This understanding affects how jurists define the content and the limits of a liberty and strike a balance between liberties in conflict. Exploring both the legal traditions of the two countries, this study sheds new light on the broader historical, social and philosophical contexts in which jurists operate.


'Should all democracies maintain the same freedoms of expression simply because they are democracies? Or should the extent of free speech depend on each society’s culture and history? By the end of the eighteenth century it was clear that France and the United States had created different conceptions of democracy, which, as this study masterfully demonstrates, continue to provide illuminating yet complex responses to those enduring questions.'

Eric Heinze - Professor of Law and Humanities, Queen Mary University of London

'There is no one with as deep a knowledge of the French and American law and politics of freedom of expression as Ioanna Tourkochoriti. This book draws on history, culture, philosophy, and positive law to offer a persuasive account not only of how French and American freedom of expression regimes vary, but also, and more importantly, of what has led to the differences.'

Frederick Schauer - David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Virginia

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