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Political Science in Europe

Revisiting Religion and Politics Research: Achievements, Critique, Future Questions

Comparative Politics
Human Rights
Section Number
Section Chair
Luca Ozzano
Università degli Studi di Torino
Section Co-Chair
Anja Hennig
Europa-Universität Viadrina

Despite an established research tradition on religion and politics that cuts across several sub-disciplines of political science as well as neighbouring disciplines (or even constitutes a genuine sub-discipline), there is very little reflection today about the state of the art of this research.
As religion regained prominence in the public and political spheres since the 1970s and 1980s, a major concern among scholars was to question the prevailing secularization paradigm. The empirical study of religious actors, and their interaction with political forces, brought evidence to the fact that neither religion and politics are totally separated nor is religiosity fading away as modernization and secularization theories had assumed.
A vibrant academic debate joining comparative politics and political theory emerged. In recent years, the debate in Europe and the US gained in relevance through the salience of public debates brought by the rise in immigration from religious diverse backgrounds, and by new developments in relation to family patterns, reproduction techniques, genetic engineering and euthanasia.
Editorial projects abound. Several new handbooks on religion and politics (e.g. Jeff Haynes (2009/2016) or the Oxford Dictionary of Religion and Politics in the United States (2009), books and edited volumes have been published and new journals (e.g. APSA "Religion and Politics") have been created. The disciplinary fragmentation and, thus, the sometimes isolated analysis of similar phenomena, however, leads to some conceptual confusion, and debate on the challenging questions in empirical and theoretical terms could be of use.
Against this background the Section revisits religion and politics research by reflecting on perspectives, methods, pre-assumptions, general achievements and future questions. It is envisioned to publish a collection of Papers selected from this Section as a handbook.

Panel List

Code Title Details
P272Moral Authority of Churches in Secular Times: Religious Actors and Their Engagement in Policy Implementation View Panel Details
P327Pluralization of Islamist Politics in the MENA Region View Panel Details
P386Religion and Political Parties in Contemporary Democracies I View Panel Details
P387Religion and Political Parties in Contemporary Democracies II View Panel Details
P388Religion and Politics in Western Europe View Panel Details
P389Religion and Politics Research in Dispute: How Western/Eurocentric is its Agenda? (Theoretical Perspectives) View Panel Details
P390Religion and Politics Research in Dispute: How Western/Eurocentric is its Agenda? Empirical Perspectives View Panel Details
P495Transcending the Secular-Religious Dichotomy: The AKP and the Blurred Edges of Politics and Religion in Turkey View Panel Details
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