Liberty and Authority in Free Expression Law: The United States and Canada

Liberty and Authority in Free Expression Law: The United States and Canada

Liberty and Authority in Free Expression Law: The United States and Canada

Liberty and Authority in Free Expression Law: The United States and Canada

Excerpt

The seeds of this study were planted on my arrival in the United States in 1992 as a master’s student in mass communication. Being from Canada, I had been raised, essentially, on American culture. I thought moving to the United States would involve no more than would moving to another city in Canada. Therefore, I found myself surprised at how different culturally I was from my American colleagues. Perhaps it was because I was suddenly surrounded by journalists who were trained to be distrustful of authority, but I was most struck by our differing attitudes toward government and by their strong devotion to individual rights, especially in the area of freedom of expression.

The more I thought about the differences the more I came to wonder whether they stemmed in part from the difference in the way Americans and Canadians conceptualize the individual, the state, and their relationship. It was this difference in conceptualization that I set out to explore by comparing the political thought of each country and freedom of expression case law.

As with all writers, I need to thank many people for their support and encouragement in the course of my research. In particular, I want to thank Cathy L. Packer, associate professor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, for her guidance, sense of humor, and most of all friendship throughout the researching and writing of this book. Ruth Walden, Margaret Blanchard, Stephen Leonard, and Kevin McGuire also are to be thanked for their assistance and advice.

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