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Positions on the Politics of Porn: a debate on Government plans to criminalise the possession of extreme pornography

McGlynn, CMS



E Rackley

N Westmarland


In March 2007 we organised a seminar at Durham University on the Government’s plans to criminalise the possession of extreme pornography (Home Office, 2005; Home Office, 2006; Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill, 2007).1 These proposals reignite not only the debate regarding the legitimate scope and role of the criminal law in proscribing private adult behaviour but also the so-called ‘porn wars’ of the 1980s. Our aim was to bring together speakers and participants from a variety of ideological positions and perspectives to discuss not only the proposals, but also the politics of porn more generally. In providing a forum in which to consider the varied, and often polarised, responses to pornography, the seminar sought to create a space for dialogue and debate between the diverse groups through the exploration of, inter alia, the international discussions on the role of law in regulating pornography and conduct across borders; the gender dimension to debates regarding the regulation of pornography and, in particular, the links between government regulation of pornography and other policy fields such as trafficking and prostitution; the boundaries between the explicit and exploitative understandings of harm contained therein; and different conceptions of ‘human rights’ involved in the porn debates. The papers in this report discuss the Government’s proposals as of March 2007 and are, as far as possible, as given at the seminar including the order in which they were presented. Read together, they highlight the difficulty of conversation at the extremes, of finding enough common ground for effective engagement. At times the papers appear to be addressing different things; the different concerns, priorities and background of the author(s) reflected in their diverse styles, content, and even format. At once polemic, academic and political, the papers occupy a space at the intersection of the personal, political and the academic.


McGlynn, C. (2007). Positions on the Politics of Porn: a debate on Government plans to criminalise the possession of extreme pornography

Other Type Other
Publication Date 2007
Deposit Date Mar 23, 2011
Keywords extreme pornography, feminism
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