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On the Road to Permissiveness?Change and Convergence of Moral Regulation in Europe$
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Christoph Knill, Christian Adam, and Steffen Hurka

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198743989

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198743989.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 April 2021



‘soft-core’ liberalization of indecent material in Europe

(p.102) 7 Pornography
On the Road to Permissiveness?

Christian Person

Oxford University Press

Since the 1960s, the regulation of pornography or indecent material has undergone substantial changes in many Western European countries. Yet, specifically, cultural pressures as well as noncompliance-induced legal pressures have created an impulse pushing the status quo towards more permissive styles of regulation and obscenity laws. This impulse has not resulted in similar policy shifts in all countries, however. By focusing on two deviant cases—Austria and Germany—the chapter finds that theoretically expected compensatory policy shifts are rather exceptional in the regulation of adult pornography and can only be identified when taking child pornography into account. Furthermore, the chapter highlights the relevance of the national degree of legal activism in explaining the occurrence of absorption as courts can put legal pressure on or take legal pressure off the regulatory status quo. Sometimes they even function as decision-makers themselves in light of political stalemate, as the Austrian case illustrates.

Keywords:   pornography, adult pornography, indecent material, obscenity law, child pornography

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