Performative Hate Speech Acts. Perlocutionary and Illocutionary Understandings in International Human Rights Law


  • Alessandro Di Rosa University of Parma - Universidad Carlos III de Madrid



hate speech, freedom of speech, performativity, non-domination


The first part of this work analyses the concept of hate speech and its legal-philosophical foundations linked to freedom of speech, through the use of tools provided by current trends in the theory of performativity. The second part, in turn, aims to suggest two possible perspectives on the translation of these philosophical demands into positive legislation within human rights law: the first one based on a liberal conception of freedom as non-interference and a perlocutionary understanding of performative speech acts; the second one adopting a neo-republican interpretation of freedom as non-domination and an illocutionary understanding of speech acts. Finally, the work aims to critically sift through the application of the theory of performativity to the legal definitions that hate speech has acquired within this context.


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How to Cite

Di Rosa, A. (2019). Performative Hate Speech Acts. Perlocutionary and Illocutionary Understandings in International Human Rights Law. The Age of Human Rights Journal, (12), 105–132.