Congratulations to International Studies junior Teo Icliyurek ’19 who has received a 2018 William F. Clinger, Jr. undergraduate research award. Teo’s research is titled Negative vs. Positive Conceptions: Freedom of Expression in the United States and France. Following is his abstract and we wish Teo the best with his research.
Both the United States and France began their modern political development in the aftermath of liberal revolution, influenced by Enlightenment thinkers such as John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. As a result, the freedom of expression is a shared value, cemented in both nations’ political cultures. However, despite these foundational parallels, legal deliberations and outcomes surrounding the subject have been thoroughly distinct in each country. This study will explore the factors significant to the development of these bifurcate policy outcomes in an attempt to understand the contemporary structure of French and American political culture. The divergence will be examined through the evaluation of legal approaches to hate speech and campaign finance. The research will center around the analysis of legal documents and interviews of scholars in the United States and France. Three distinct hypotheses will serve as the framework of the project: one cultural, one institutional and one considering divergent political/historical contexts. The goal will be to provide insight on the foundations of both French and American political culture and to explain their development into the political realities of today.