Journal of Applied Philosophy 32 (1):82-97 (2015)

The discourse of hate crime has come to Europe, supported not least by international human rights actors and security and policy organisations. In this article, I argue that there is a need for a philosophical response to challenging claims about the conceptualisation and classification of hate crime. First, according to several scholars, hate crime is extraordinarily difficult to conceptualise and there is a fatigue among practitioners caused by the lack of clarity and consensus in the field. I agree that there is a need, not for additional definitions, but for a more comprehensive conceptual framework, that may help us think more clearly about given definitions of hate crime; about their basic structure, cross-cutting problems, and possible variations. Supplying such a conceptual perspective represents a timely task for applied philosophy. I engage with this by offering a four-tiered concept of hate crime. Second, the involvement of human rights actors in the consolidation of hate crime law and policy in Europe has supported the classification of hate crime as a human rights violation. Ultimately, what is at stake is not only our understanding of hate crime, but also our maintenance of a precise and pointed discourse on human rights violations. I argue that we should hesitate or even abstain from classifying hate crime as a human rights violation, and that doing so is compatible with taking both hate crimes and human rights seriously
Keywords Human rights  Hate Crime
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DOI 10.1111/japp.12079
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