January 28, 2008 Free Speech and its Limits in a Democracy Topic of Feb. 12 Lecture By Raphael Cohen-Almagor
Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022
According to Raphael Cohen Almagor, author of “ha Milkud ha Demokrati” (“The Democratic ‘Catch’: Freedom of Expression and Its Limits”), one of the dangers of any political system is that it can be destroyed by the application of the very principles that underlie and characterize the system. He argues that the “catch” of democracy is that, as a relatively young form of government, it lacks experience in dealing with its own pitfalls. Cohen-Almagor will discuss the theories about democracy outlined in his book at a lecture to be held at noon on Tuesday, Feb. 12 in Room 220 of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building located at 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C. The lecture, sponsored by the African and Middle Eastern Division, is free and open to the public. Reservations are not required but seating is limited. Published in 2007 by the Maariv Publication House in Tel Aviv, Israel, Cohen Almagor’s latest book—a combination of theory and practice—is an interdisciplinary study in the areas of communication, law and ethics. It addresses the public’s right to know and the costs of freedom of expression. The author of “Euthanasia in the Netherlands” (2004), “The Scope of Tolerance” (2006) and a book of poetry titled “Voyages” (2007), Cohen Almagor received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Tel Aviv University and a doctorate degree from Oxford University. He has served as an associate professor and senior lecturer at the University of Haifa in Israel where he also founded and directed the Center for Democratic Studies. In 2007 he was appointed professor and chair in politics in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Hull in the United Kingdom. He is spending the 2007 2008 academic year at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.