Thirty Years Reflection and Implication of the Allowability o ...

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Abstract

Great Britain has a long, storied history of both freedom and censorship in book publishing. The timeline shows peaks and valleys beginning with the early laws under King Henry VII who, essentially, banned the publication of anti-monarchy books. Historical events including revolutions, world wars, and terrorist attacks have also necessitated Great Britain’s government to censor and ban particular books. This government overreach has not always been popular with their citizens. Therefore, this study was designed to examine a thirty-year period when Britain allowed revolutionary or anti-government books to be published. Using the International Social Survey Program (ISSP) Role of Government themed survey data from 1985, 1990, 1996, 2006, and 2016, the hypotheses on Great Britain’s citizens’ book publishing beliefs were analyzed. During a five-year period from 1985 to 1990, when data was available for analysis, Britain demonstrated a belief on whether specific controversial books, including white supremacists’ books, should be allowed to be published. This article also notes that various times have shown a downward trend of censorship that might be due to environmental factors. Implications and future research endeavors are also discussed.