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Governance and Religion in Europe

With the support of the Ministry of State, Government of Luxembourg, the international conference Governance and Religion in Europe is jointly organised by the Eurel and the Research Group for European Governance of the University of Luxembourg. It also receives the support of the Droit, Religion, Entreprise et Société (University of Strasbourg), the Groupe, Sociétés, Religions, Laïcités (Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes of Paris) and the Luxembourg School of Religion and Society.

The contributions are organized through four bilingual panels and two special lectures. The working languages of the conference will be English and French. The conference will take place on 29 and 30 September 2016, Limperstberg campus of the University of Luxembourg, 162a Avenue de la Faïencerie, L-1511 Luxembourg City.

Panel 1: Religion, Party Discourse, and Policy-Making

The partial deconstruction of the traditional party system in contemporary times has gradually altered the systemic interaction between the political actors and religious institutions. In particular, the larger religious communities have the potential to mobilise their members in politically influential ways and to ally themselves with political parties, which may advocate their agenda not solely on the basis of ideology, but also with regard to expected electoral effects.

Panel 2: Religious Engagement and Political Mobilization of Minority Religious Groups

This panel aims at elaborating political, cultural and social factors, which fuel the claim for political legitimacy and institutional recognition by State authorities. It is directed at broadening the knowledge of political and religious engagements, and of the status of religious leaders and their relations within and outside their own community’s structures, regardless of the respective level of the State’s recognition. Both quantitative and qualitative works are welcome for this panel.

Panel 3: Religious Groups as Actors and Objects of Local Governance

Religious organisations are increasingly taking part in local governance functions. They are invited to join local governments in their attempts to counter radicalization. They are often considered crucial actors for the provision of social services, and actively advocate minority rights. Simultaneously and, in particular, after 9/11, religious diversity groups and religious organisations have moved up in the agenda of most European countries. Hereby, the local level is the first to govern religious diversity.

This panel aims at analysing whether, how, and why religious organisations become subjects and objects of local governance. The focus is both at the level of religion in local governance as such, and at the level of the symbolic and discursive repertoires mobilised to justify or oppose it. Papers looking at the involvement of religious organisations and faith-based NGOs in local governance networks and policy-making processes, as well as contributions dealing with the ways religious variety is depicted as an object of policy and is diversely governed, are welcome.

Panel 4: Religion in Legislation and Law Enforcement

States and religions interact in different ways. Firstly, secular State law refers to religion because it provides religious freedom and accommodates religious needs. Beyond that level, it may draw from religious thought in order to resolve contemporary problems. This panel aims at tracing the religious as well as the anti-religious argument in both legislative acts and case law.  

Conference committee: Brian Conway (Ireland), Julia Martinez Ariño (Spain), Konstantinos Papastathis (Luxembourg), Philippe Poirier (Luxembourg), Wolfgang Wieshaider (Austria), Siniša Zrinščak (Croatia), Anne-Laure Zwilling (France).

For more information: governance@uni.lu- eurel@misha.cnrs.fr