In May, Oxford University Press will release Atrocity Speech Law: Foundation, Fragmentation, Fruition by Gregory S. Gordon (Chinese University of Hong Kong). The publisher’s description follows:
Hate speech is widely considered a precondition for mass atrocity. Since the rise of international criminal tribunals after World War II and the development of international criminal law, defendants have been prosecuted for individual speech acts connected to gross human rights violations under charges that have coalesced into direct and public incitement to commit genocide; persecution as a crime against humanity; and instigation. The resulting jurisprudence has been fragmented and confused, and existing scholarship has been focused on particular tribunals or situations. The splintered rulings give inadequate notice to would-be hate speakers as to what speech is prohibited, which weakens prevention efforts and leads to inconsistent results. This is especially problematic considering ongoing atrocity speech prosecutions across the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
This book is the first comprehensive study of the international law encompassing hate speech. Prof. Gordon provides a broad analysis of the entire jurisprudential output related to speech and gross human rights violations for courts, government officials, and scholars. The book is organized into three parts. The first part covers the foundation: a brief history of atrocity speech and the modern treatment of hate speech in international human rights treaties and judgments under international criminal tribunals. The second part focuses on fragmentation: detailing the inconsistent application of the charges and previous prosecutions, including certain categories of inflammatory speech and a growing doctrinal rift between the ICTR and ICTY. The last part covers fruition: recommendations on how the law should be developed going forward, with proposals to fix the problems with individual speech offenses to coalesce into three categories of offense: incitement, speech-abetting, and instigation.
This month, New York University Press releases Alternative Sociologies of Religion:
Through Non-Western Eyes by James V. Spickard (University of Redlands). The publisher’s description follows:
Alternative Sociologies of Religion explores what the sociology of religion would look like had it emerged in a Confucian, Muslim, or Native American culture rather than in a Christian one.
Sociology has long used Western Christianity as a model for all religious life. As a result, the field has tended to highlight aspects of religion that Christians find important, such as religious beliefs and formal organizations, while paying less attention to other elements. Rather than simply criticizing such limitations, James V. Spickard imagines what the sociology of religion would look like had it arisen in three non-Western societies. What aspects of religion would scholars see more clearly if they had been raised in Confucian China? What could they learn about religion from Ibn Khaldun, the famed 14th century Arab scholar? What would they better understand, had they been born Navajo, whose traditional religion certainly does not revolve around beliefs and organizations?
Through these thought experiments, Spickard shows how non-Western ideas understand some aspects of religions–even of Western religions–better than does standard sociology. The volume shows how non-Western frameworks can shed new light on several different dimensions of religious life, including the question of who maintains religious communities, the relationships between religion and ethnicity as sources of social ties, and the role of embodied experience in religious rituals. These approaches reveal central aspects of contemporary religions that the dominant way of doing sociology fails to notice. Each approach also provides investigators with new theoretical resources to guide them deeper into their subjects. The volume makes a compelling case for adopting a global perspective in the social sciences.