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The Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions at the University of Haifa

in collaboration with

Freie Universität Berlin and

Technischen Universität Berlin

invite submissions for

International Workshops on

“Hate Speech – an interdisciplinary approach”


1. Subject-Matter of Workshop

This workshop focuses on theoretical, empirical, normative and practical aspects of hate speech from interdisciplinary perspectives and fields, (including: political science, law, sociology, psychology, history, media and communication studies, applied linguistics, discourse analysis, and philosophy), analysing hate speech, its origins, determinants and patterns, support-systems that allows it to exist and develop, the boundaries vis-à-vis freedom of speech, and the attempts to prevent and confine its harms. These various approaches aim to provide a unique and holistic perspective on this phenomenon and to contribute recommendations for policy.

Although hate speech is by no means a new phenomenon, and although its contours are not easily defined, recent years have shown an alarming rise in such incidents, especially through the growth of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, accessible via Google searches. Recent reports by the Fundamental Rights Agency,[1] OSCE[2], and the FBI,[3] show that this is not a local phenomenon, but rather a global one. Hate speech singles out groups on the basis of their race (i.e., racism), their foreign origin (xenophobia), and their ethnic or religious affiliation (such as anti-Semitism and Islamophobia). Hate speech, causes psychological harm to those targeted, and can, among other things, lead to silencing effects in public discourse, diminished social trust, a decline in media credibility and pro-social intentions - thus it threatens societal cohesion and, in many cases, also leads to physical violence and other types of hate crimes.

Recently, the United Nations’ human rights system has addressed this issue from different angles, including by the special rapporteurs on racial discrimination, freedom of expression, and freedom of religion. The Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance published a report focusing on “Intersections of Antisemitism with Other Forms of Racism and Intolerance”.[4]

Submission of papers is welcome in the following (not exclusive) research topics:

  • Definition of hate speech (including the possible relation with incitement)
  • Online speech - framework, borders and identification
  • Modes of regulation addressing hate speech
  • The trans-jurisdictional (and international) dimension of speech in the digital era
  • Platform accountability - written, visual and social medias
  • Hate speech vs. freedom of speech
  • Sociological dimensions of contemporary hate speech in German parliaments and social media
  • Psychological aspects of hate speech: effects on the victims and their social groups
  • History and semantics of anti-Semitic hate speech in Germany
  • Case studies of specific hate speech incidents in Israel and Germany
  • The interaction between freedom of speech, hate speech and incitement
  • Policy and regulatory recommendations (including public law, private ordering by social networks, or co-regulation)
  • Public opinion formation and tipping points (how hate speech may change discourse to a dangerous point) 

2. Workshops

Chosen papers will be presented and discussed in two workshops to be held in Haifa, Israel (estimated in January 2022) and in Berlin, Germany (May 2022). The purpose of these workshops is to convene a group of scholars for a high-level discussion on enduring and emerging questions on law and policy related to hate speech. This workshop will offer participants an interdisciplinary and rigorous scholarly platform for discussion. To that end, a group of 6 – 10 young researchers will be selected through a competitive process. This group of young researchers will meet in both workshops to explore different angles of hate speech.

In each workshop, the participants will convene for 3 – 4 days of presentations and discussions. During each session, selected participants will present their papers to the workshop group. Following each presentation, there will be an open discussion among the workshop participants.

The last day of each workshop will be dedicated to a discussion over relevant conclusions and recommendations for a policy paper on the struggle with hate speech that will be published as an outcome of the workshop.

COVID-19 Notice: In the case where, due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, there will not be an option to hold the event in Israel/Germany, the organizers will provide an online alternative. However, the organizers believe that there is great value for holding the workshop in person and therefore, priority will be given to applicants planning to arrive in Haifa and Berlin and attend all sessions.

3. Eligibility

Submissions are invited from early career researchers from various disciplines, namely e.g. master students, PhD candidates, post-doc fellows, and scholars up to 5 years since the completion of their PhD.

4. Submission Instructions

Interested scholars should email an abstract of up to 500 words along with their current CV by August 22, 2021, to the following address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Abstracts should reflect papers that have not been published. Researchers should identify their submission with the following subject line: “Hate Speech Workshop 2022 Application.”

5. Notification and Participation Requirements

Successful applicants will be selected by a Symposium Organizing Committee and notified no later than September 30, 2021

6. Conditions

An invitation to participate in this Symposium will be issued to a participant on the following conditions:

(a) The participant agrees to submit an original, unpublished paper between 8,000 words and 12,000 words consistent with submission guidelines issued by the workshop conveners;

(b) The participant agrees to submit

  • A full pre-workshop draft by December 10, 2021.
  • A revised version for the second workshop by April 8, 2022
  • Final draft by July 31, 2022.

(c) The participant agrees to acknowledge in a future publication of their relevant paper, "the Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions at the Faculty of Law and the Geography and Environmental Studies Department, the University of Haifa".

7. Costs

There is no cost to participate in the Workshop. The organizers will cover travel and accommodation expenses for the participants for both workshops (within the available budget limitations)

8. Streaming

In accordance with the ongoing practice of the Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions (RLEC), all of the workshop sessions will be live-streamed and recorded online. We believe that almost any academic event should be live-streamed and recorded, however, this is not a mandatory requirement and every speaker can choose to opt-out from this option for his or her presentation. For previous recordings please visit the Minerva RLEC YouTube page.

9. Questions

Please direct inquiries in connection with this Workshop to Adv. Ido Rosenzweig by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

10. Workshop Organizing Committee (in alphabetical order)

  • Dr. Laura Ascone, Technische Universität Berlin
  • Prof. Gad Barzilai, Faculty of Law, University of Haifa, & PI Minerva RLEC
  • Dr. Michal Ben Gal, Research coordinator, Minerva RLEC
  • Dr. Matthias J. Becker, Technische Universität Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Martin Emmer Freie Universität Berlin
  • Dr. Sünje Paasch-Colberg, Freie Universität Berlin
  • Adv. Ido Rosenzweig, Director of Research (Cyber, Terrorism & Belligerency) Minerva RLEC
  • Prof. Deborah Shmueli, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Haifa, & PI Minerva RLEC
  • Prof. Dr. Anne Van Aaaken, Faculty of Law, University of Hamburg, & PI Minerva RLEC

Please circulate this call widely.





[4] “Racial discrimination and emerging digital technologies: a human rights analysis” of 18 June 2020, available at: