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Political Research Exchange

The Dynamics of Morality Politics and Policy across Space and Time

Workshop Number
Workshop Director
Isabelle Engeli
University of Exeter
Workshop Co-Director
Frédéric Varone
University of Geneva

There is a growing interest in the emergence and development of a special group of policy issues called morality issues, such as gambling, pornography and prostitution, same-sex couples, biotechnology and organ transplantation, euthanasia and death penalty. Morality issues have achieved a great political importance across Western countries and have launched political conflicts over non-economic and personal values, often regarding broad questions such as the beginning of life, religious beliefs and personal orientations.
The workshop will focus on three mains questions in the field of morality politics and policy:
1) Dynamics of issue attention: How are morality issues politicized? What are the hot issues and for which reasons? What can account for variation in the politicization of morality issues across countries, sectors and time?
2) How are morality issues regulated? Why and under which conditions governments decide to decide to regulate morality issues? Does the redistribution of values, which is implied by morality issues, lead to a specific type of policy process and/or policy outcomes?
3) From a normative stance, which policy instruments are the most adequate and effective to regulate morality issues? How to solve a controversy with a moral dimension? How should and could policies be designed in order not to impose a particular set of values?
The workshop intends to attract (1) empirical studies analyzing morality politics and/or policies, as well as (2) theoretical studies discussing the regulation of morality issues from a normative perspective. Comparative studies, across countries, sectors and/or time, are particularly welcomed.

Paper List

Title Details
“A detention centre is no place for a child!”: Emergence of child detention and removal as a morality issue in France and Britain View Paper Details
A Paradigm Change in Morality Policy? View Paper Details
Agenda-setting in morality policies in the Netherlands View Paper Details
Courts and Morality Policy in Canada : explaining differences in legal mobilisation and court impact View Paper Details
Exploring Morality Politics Across Space and Time: Does the ‘Saliency Theory’ (still) hold? View Paper Details
Governing Biotechnology View Paper Details
Issues of Conscience in Finnish Politics View Paper Details
Liberal abortion laws and Diffusion: Explaining the Geographical Spread of Liberalized Abortion Laws in Europe, 1961-2005’ View Paper Details
MorMoral’ Legislation? The questionable wisdom of allowing members of parliament to cast free votes of conscience. View Paper Details
Regulating Morality Issues in Spain View Paper Details
Self-determination and the moral order of society: euthanasia and living will as end-of-life issues View Paper Details
Sinners in the Laboratory. Morality Issues from the Politics of Sin to Biomedical Regulation View Paper Details
The Two Worlds of Morality Politics View Paper Details
Why didn't they legalize it? Determinants of Legal Prohibitions on Sexual Activities Between Adults of the Same Sex View Paper Details
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