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Back to Paper Details
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Defining a Secular Identity in an Increasingly Religious World? Religion in EU Foreign Policy

European Union
Foreign Policy
Religion
Anne Jenichen
Aston University
Anne Jenichen
Aston University
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Abstract

The paper will deal with the tension between the EU’s secular character and the growing salience of religion in states which the EU internationally interacts with. Adopting a discursive approach, it explores the ideas on the appropriate place of religion in politics which form the background against which the EU historically has defined its external relations. Drawing on the concepts of organizational identity and of the varieties of secularism, the paper asks how consistent the EU’s foreign policies have been when it comes to religion, and to what extent and how religion has become part of the EU’s international identity. The paper reviews these questions from a historical perspective through a content analysis of official documents before and after the formation of the EU’s religious freedom and religious engagement agenda.