Finland Finland


Pettersson, K. (2019), '"Freedom of speech requires actions": Exploring the discourse of politicians convicted of hate-speech against Muslims', European Journal of Social Phsychology, Vol. 49, pp. 938-952.

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Type of publication

Study - qualitative research

Geographical coverage


Area/location of interest

Not applicable - national level

Type of Institution



Finland, University of Helsinki, Department of Social Research

Main Thematic Focus

Hate crime Incitement to hatred or violence

Target Population

Muslims Religious minorities

Key findings

The article contributes to the debate on the boundaries between hate-speech and freedom of speech. The researcher identifies four subject positions that the politicans convicted of hate-speech against Muslims claim when accounting for their actions in Facebook updates and reported interviews. These positions are labled in the article Only Human, Voice of Reason, Victim and Hero. One of the conclusions are that the combination of the Victim and Hero positions are essential for the discursive justification of outgroup hatred. This combination allows the politican to present him- or herself as a victim of unfair treatment, while also as a defender of the nation and its people. With respect to media outlets, the Hero and Victim discourse was more prominent in Facebook-entries, whereas the tone was more submissive in news media.

Methodology (Qualitative/Quantitative and exact type used, questionnaires etc)

Analysis of how three politicans convicted of hate-speech talk about hate-speech in their Facebook-entries and in their statements in mainstream media. The researcher applies a critical discursive and rethorical psychological approach.

Sample details and representativeness

38 Facebook-accounts and 60 news articles related to three politicians convicted of hate-speech against Muslims.

DISCLAIMERThe information presented here is collected under contract by the FRA's research network FRANET. The information and views contained do not necessarily reflect the views or the official position of the FRA.