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Table 6.14a: Mid 1950s: BV5.12 Protection of Civil Rights

Table 6.14b: Early 1960s: BV5.12 Protection of Civil Rights

Basic Variable 5.13: Interference with Civil Liberties

From a classical standpoint, civil liberties derive from individuals as ends in themselves rather than as instruments in the effectuation of greater, usually statist, ends. For our purposes, civil liberties may be defined as opportunities for expressing opinions, commonly in the form of governmental criticism, in an atmosphere free of political repression or illegitimate communal restraint. Reprisals against the purveyors of undesirable sentiments may issue both from political authorities and from powerful social institutions and organizations (viz., the church, the tribal hierarchy). In the latter instance, whether any instrumentalities of the state undertake to protect the unfettered expression of ideas assumes critical importance.

While noting that we construe civil liberties in their traditional broad sense--so as to include free assembly, speech, worship, and the like--we may follow Bayley (1964, p. 54), who considers "the position of the press . . . to be the bellwether of freedom of speech," by focusing here upon the attitude of the party with respect to the untrammeled publication and dissemination of ideas and opinions via the mass media. Although the press is frequently the exclusive object of study when "public liberties" are examined (see, e.g., Bayley), it seems appropriate to include broadcasting as a more effective communications medium for the masses in underdeveloped countries. Concentration upon media freedom in our operational definition, however, is not intended to exclude infringement on individual or group assembly or speech from consideration. It is the extent of collective control over expression, rather than the method or object of that control, which is the basic concern to us.

Operational Definition. Like party policy vis-a-vis government protection of civil rights, party attitudes toward government interference with he exercise of civil liberties exhibit dual directionality. Increased governmental activity, in this instance however, means increased governmental interference with the expression of civil liberties. Thus the leftist stance (pro) is associated with interference with civil liberties and the rightist stance (con) with freedom of expression.



Favors state ownership of all mass media: radio, television, and newspapers.



Allows for private ownership of mass media, but advocates regular state censorship of political news.



Allows for private ownership of mass media, but advocates state censorship of political content on "sensitive issues."



Includes ambiguous or contradictory positions.



Advocates freedom of expression, but does not oppose occasional retaliation by social or low-order political instruments against the assertion of undesirable opinions; supports government allocation of broadcast time or newspaper coverage; supports govern



Advocates freedom of expression as an acknowledged and enforced governmental policy, with censorship on content limited to matters of morality.



Recognizes freedom of expression as an acknowledged and enforced governmental policy, with virtually no censorship on content other than slander, libel.


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