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The New Politics of Pornography

Fresh empirical evidence of pornography’s negative effects and the resurgence of feminist and conservative critiques have caused local, state, and federal officials to reassess the pornography issue. In The New Politics of Pornography, Donald Alexander Downs explores the contemporary antipornography movement and addresses difficult questions about the limits of free speech. Drawing on official transcripts and extensive interviews, Downs recreates and analyzes landmark cases in Minneapolis and Indianapolis. He argues persuasively that both conservative and liberal camps are often characterized by extreme intolerance which hampers open policy debate and may ultimately threaten our modern doctrine of free speech. Downs concludes with a balanced and nuanced discussion of what First Amendment protections pornography should be afforded. This provocative and interdisciplinary work will interest students of political science, women’s studies, civil liberties, and constitutional law.

290 pages | 6.00 x 9.00 | © 1989

Law and Legal Studies: Legal Thought

Political Science: American Government and Politics, Judicial Politics

Table of Contents

1. The New Politics of Pornography and the Challenge to the Modern Doctrine of Free Speech and Obscenity
2. The Minneapolis Ordinance and the Feminist Theory of Pornography and Sexuality
3. The Politics of the Minneapolis Ordinance
4. Strange Bedfellows: The Politics of the Ordinance in Indianapolis
5. Pornography and Harm: Toward a New Classification of Unprotected Speech?


American Political Science Association: Gladys M. Kammerer Award

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