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Restrictions on Freedom of Speech in Democratic States: Cases of Political Censorship and Party Affiliation of the Media in the United States, Great Britain and Spain

Student: Veronika Fedotova

Supervisor: Maxim Bratersky

Faculty: Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs

Educational Programme: Double degree programme in International Relations of the NRU HSE and the University of London (Bachelor)

Year of Graduation: 2021

This thesis paper explores the relationship between the concept of freedom of speech and the democratic system based on the analysis of three Western states: Spain, the United States, and the United Kingdom. In particular, the work examines the influence of democratic values and institutions on the level of state control over the media. To answer the research question, the theoretical part of the paper reviews the scientific literature regarding mass media and democracy, institutional censorship, and two indexes: the Democracy Index and the World Press Freedom Index. Finally, the practical part provides an empirical analysis of digital newspapers in each of the three countries under the study. The main criterion for the selection of articles is the coverage of particular issues, critical to the citizens of Spain, the United States, and the United Kingdom, namely the Catalan separatist movement, the US presidential election of 2020, and Brexit, respectively.

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