Speech and Reciprocity

A Theory of the First Amendment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Existing rationales for the Speech Clause of the First Amendment
emphasize the roles free speech performs in a democracy:
generating truth through competition among ideas; protecting individuals
by exposing government mischief, respecting the autonomy
of citizens to form their own beliefs; and protecting minority
citizens against the majority. While these accounts are useful, an
additional benefit offree speech has so far been overlooked. This
Article argues that free speech also promotes reciprocity-the disposition
of citizens to engage in cooperative behavior with each
other for mutual benefit. Reciprocity is a resource that allows
people to overcome collective action dilemmas and achieve their
goals. It therefore improves individual and collective productivity.
Accordingly, freedom of speech does not merely protect certain
democratic principles. It also enhances the quality of individual
and collective life. In addition to setting out the ways in which free
speech promotes reciprocity, the Article uses the theory to account
for some specific First Amendment doctrines. The Article also explores
some implications for First Amendment law.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-452
JournalConnecticut Law Review
Volume34
StatePublished - 2002

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Speech and Reciprocity : A Theory of the First Amendment. / Mazzone, Jason.

In: Connecticut Law Review, Vol. 34, 2002, p. 405-452.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Existing rationales for the Speech Clause of the First Amendmentemphasize the roles free speech performs in a democracy:generating truth through competition among ideas; protecting individualsby exposing government mischief, respecting the autonomyof citizens to form their own beliefs; and protecting minoritycitizens against the majority. While these accounts are useful, anadditional benefit offree speech has so far been overlooked. ThisArticle argues that free speech also promotes reciprocity-the dispositionof citizens to engage in cooperative behavior with eachother for mutual benefit. Reciprocity is a resource that allowspeople to overcome collective action dilemmas and achieve theirgoals. It therefore improves individual and collective productivity.Accordingly, freedom of speech does not merely protect certaindemocratic principles. It also enhances the quality of individualand collective life. In addition to setting out the ways in which freespeech promotes reciprocity, the Article uses the theory to accountfor some specific First Amendment doctrines. The Article also exploressome implications for First Amendment law.",
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AB - Existing rationales for the Speech Clause of the First Amendmentemphasize the roles free speech performs in a democracy:generating truth through competition among ideas; protecting individualsby exposing government mischief, respecting the autonomyof citizens to form their own beliefs; and protecting minoritycitizens against the majority. While these accounts are useful, anadditional benefit offree speech has so far been overlooked. ThisArticle argues that free speech also promotes reciprocity-the dispositionof citizens to engage in cooperative behavior with eachother for mutual benefit. Reciprocity is a resource that allowspeople to overcome collective action dilemmas and achieve theirgoals. It therefore improves individual and collective productivity.Accordingly, freedom of speech does not merely protect certaindemocratic principles. It also enhances the quality of individualand collective life. In addition to setting out the ways in which freespeech promotes reciprocity, the Article uses the theory to accountfor some specific First Amendment doctrines. The Article also exploressome implications for First Amendment law.

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