It has been part of the liberal tradition to decry censorship in all its forms, and to attempt to separate censorship from democratic forms of government. There has been as yet no real attempt to integrate censorship into political theory.
The twenty-three contributors to this book view censorship pragmatically. They aim to treat it as a constituent feature of any system of social control or practice. By capturing and analyzing the social, political, cultural and economic components of restriction of freedom of expression and access to information, they go beyond the merely ideological pro and anti censorship arguments, exposing the extent of censorship in Canada today, exploring its structures, and showing what it reveals about our political culture.
Because censorship manifests itself in so many ways, the diversity of approach of this book contributes to the authors purpose - to enhance our awareness to not only the practice of censorship, but also how talk about censorship as an expression of changes in thoughts, values, and social behaviour over time.
Despite their different approaches, the contributors to this volume agree in their perception of censorship as a value-driven instrument of power. It is not their intention to deride this control as such. Socially organized activity cannot occur without censorship, and the questions concern forms of censorship, the implementation of censorship, and the interests served.