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Month: February 2017

Vacancy: Political Science and International Affairs (John Cabot University, Rome)

Vacancy: Political Science and International Affairs (John Cabot University, Rome)

Full-time tenure track faculty position in Political Science and International Affairs.
John Cabot University, a four year, fully-accredited American liberal arts college in Rome, Italy, invites applications for a full-time faculty position in political science and international affairs at the assistant or associate professor rank. We seek candidates with a Ph.D. in Political Science, demonstrated excellence in teaching and research, commitment to academic service, and interested in the development of programs in a growing department.

The ideal candidate will be expected to teach introductory and advanced undergraduate courses in international relations and global public policy with a load of three courses per semester. Ability to teach classes in American politics and foreign policy is an asset.

The ideal candidate should have extensive experience in the American liberal arts educational tradition. The initial appointment is for two years with the possibility of tenure. Candidates are expected to be fluent in English, which is the language of instruction. Applicants should send a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, transcript, three letters of recommendation, one or two research papers or journal publications, and evidence of teaching excellence to: politicalSciSearch@johncabot.edu. John Cabot University is an equal opportunity employer. Review of applications will begin on March 1, 2017. Only short-listed applicants will be notified.

Call for papers: Religion and Illiberal Politics (ECPR General Conference, Oslo 6-9 September 2017)

Call for papers: Religion and Illiberal Politics (ECPR General Conference, Oslo 6-9 September 2017)

Religion and Illiberal Politics:

Challenges and Common Patterns in Comparative Perspectives

Panel Proposal for the ECPR General Conference 6-9 September 2017, Oslo

Section “Religion, Politics, and the Public Spheres: Contesting Liberalism?

Panel Chairs:

Anja Hennig, European University of Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder)

Email: ahennig@europa-uni.de

Simona Guerra, University of Leicester

Email: gs219@leicester.ac.uk

This panel aims at empirically and theoretically analyzing the ideological, structural, and historical linkages between religion and illiberal and/or contested politics. In particular, the interest focuses on cases of alliances between religion and populism, radical right wing parties, Euroscepticism, nationalist rhetoric, programs, conflicts and actors. In conceptual terms this implies to include several approaches dealing with political contestation in democratic systems to the broader concept of illiberal politics. A striking example is populism as an anti-pluralistic programmatic that relies on a clear distinction between an imagined “we” as the true leaders of “the people” and “them” as a corrupt elite ruling against “the people”. In their recent edited book, Mazouki, McDonnell and Roy convincingly show that more often then not populists tend to hijack religion. Whereas populists talk about identity and Churches about faith, religion bears the potential to serve populist identity politics.

At the same time, however, the role of religion itself is fundamental to examine identity, the state and institutional actors in comparative political studies. As noted by Jose Casanova (2006), the impact of secularization provides the Churches opportunities to emerge and enter the social and political discourse. And Grzymała-Busse examined in her comparative contributions on the role of the Churches to what extent they can maximize their policy influence (Grzymała-Busse 2012, 2015).

In 2015, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, addressed the contemporary struggle against extremism. In his more recent words, all the major world faith traditions shows ‘a group that cannot tolerate diversity’, a violent attitude, that, in his words, ‘we’ve not seen in Christianity, since the end of the wars of Reformation… the theological narrative [seems to] fill[ing] a vacuum left by an alternative narrative.’ It is this vacuum that the return to more identitarian narratives, growing perceived immigration and security threats, and the social challenges of the recent financial and economic crisis have filled and seen the rise of an alliance between religion and illiberal politics.

Paper givers will address the following questions:

1) How can we conceptually approach the observed linkages between religion (theologies, values, actors) and illiberal politics in terms of populist, right-wing, Eurosceptic, nationalist rhetoric, programs, conflicts and actors?

2) How and why do illiberal actors use religion?

3) How and why do religious actors ally with illiberal actors?

4) From a comparative perspective: Which different pattern of religious illiberalism or the illiberal appropriation of religion can be observed? Under which conditions do illiberal religious and/or political actors cooperate?

Please send your proposals of up to 250 words to the convenors by 10 February (and NOT via the ECPR homepage). Please make sure that you have an active MyECPR account with an e-mail address that corresponds with the one on your proposal. ​

Call for papers: Religious Organizations in European Welfare States in the 21st Century (ECPR General Conference, Oslo 6-9 September 2017)

Call for papers: Religious Organizations in European Welfare States in the 21st Century (ECPR General Conference, Oslo 6-9 September 2017)

Religious Organizations in European Welfare States in the 21st Century

Josef Hien (University of Milan, josefhien@googlemail.com)

Matthias Kortmann (University of Munich, matthias.kortmann@gsi.lmu.de)

Abstract:

This panel focuses on the role of religious organizations in welfare service provision and social politics in Europe in the 21st century. Traditionally, religious organizations have been important actors in welfare states both as providers of social services (on behalf of the state) and as political players in socio-political decision-making processes. In recent decades, this role has been challenged on two fronts: a twin process of decreasing religiosity and religious pluralization within European societies and decentralization and privatization of welfare services across European welfare states. This twin-pressure on faith-based care providers has already received a decisive spin through the refugee crisis and is likely to amplify in the long run through demographic change. Finally, the entrance of first generation immigrants as care clients and the accelerated immigration from countries with Muslim or Orthodox cultural backgrounds has consequences on two fronts for the role of traditional Catholic and Protestant organizations as faith based welfare providers and socio-political veto players in Europe: a religious pluralization of clients and the potential challenge through the entering of new Muslim and Orthodox care providers and political actors in welfare politics.

The aim of this panel is to get a better understanding of the present role of religious organizations in welfare policy as providers of social services, as societal veto players as well as promoters of welfare in political processes. How are religious organizations included in welfare delivery in Western and Eastern Europe? How do they react to an increasingly secularizing or religiously pluralizing clientele? To what extent are they able to maintain their distinct religious profile under increasing cost and market pressures triggered by welfare state retrenchment and the Europeanization of the care market? To what extent are they involved in decision-making processes on socio-political issues (such as welfare reforms, but also refugee policies)? What role are newly established Islamic organizations able to play within European welfare states?

We welcome particularly empirical papers that deal with one of these questions above and help uncovering the role of religious organizations in European welfare states in the 21st century.

Please send your proposals of up to 200 words to the convenors by 7 February (and NOT via the ECPR homepage yet!). After we will have accepted your paper we will include them in our panel proposal and submit them electronically. Please make sure that you have an active MyECPR account.

Call for papers: Religion, economy, and welfare (ECPR General Conference, Olso 6-9 September 2017)

Call for papers: Religion, economy, and welfare (ECPR General Conference, Olso 6-9 September 2017)

Religion, economy, and welfare: universal values, plural interpretations, and local politics

Convenor: Xabier Itçaina (CNRS, Centre Emile Durkheim, Sciences po Bordeaux)

x.itcaina@sciencespobordeaux.fr

While contemporary religious campaigns on issues related to family policy, educational policy and civilizational issues enjoy high visibility in the media and the public sphere, this is not the case for socio-economic campaigns led by religious actors. Yet religious social thought continues to inspire conceptions of economic and welfare linkages and of local and regional socio-economic configurations. These experiments have even undergone a silent process of renewal since the 2008 economic crisis, which particularly hit Southern Europe. The hypothesis assumed in this panel is that the elective affinities (Weber 1991) existing between religious thought and economic and welfare approaches are to be numbered in the plural, and that this pluralism can be fully grasped only at the local scale. In other words, and rather than repeating the sometimes ideologically-marked post-Weberian controversy over the respective economic impact of the Catholic and the Protestant ethics, this panel instead emphasizes the internal diversity of the various religious ethics on economy and welfare. Significantly, the Catholic entrepreneurial repertoire tends to oscillate between a straightforward discourse on the need to raise the moral standards of capitalism and a search for utopian alternatives to the market economy, with an infinity of nuances in between. Local observation provides an opportunity to grasp the concrete dimension of these different interpretations as well as, in a comprehensive approach, the doctrinal and ethical interpretations made by the social actors concerned.

This panel will welcome papers presenting monographic or comparative case-studies concerning the contemporary socio-economic and socio-assistance role of the religious actors, ranging from the purely charitable initiatives to the most entrepreneurial ones. Papers should take into consideration – among others – some of the following aspects: the economic ethics and practices displayed by religious actors, the relations with public authorities, and the interactions with social movements mobilized on socio-economic and welfare issues.

Proposals are to be submitted before 15 February on the conference website

Call for papers: Religion and morality policy implementation (ECPR General Conference, Oslo 6-9 September 2017)

Call for papers: Religion and morality policy implementation (ECPR General Conference, Oslo 6-9 September 2017)

CALL FOR PAPERS

Religion and morality policy implementation

In the research on morality politics, scholars examine intensively how religion determines policy outputs and dynamics of policy change. This focus is primarily motivated by the relevance of religious doctrines. They shape individual and collective belief systems, including certain practices, norms, and values and hence, challenge liberal principles such as autonomy, freedom and equality. If these religious values prevail, they are able to determine the political process and outputs of morally charged policies. A bunch of studies attests that the religiosity of a nation, the presence of religious or church-associated parties, and the constitution of the church-state-relationship influence the politicization of morality issues and the strictness of regulation (Engeli et al. 2012, 2013; Fink 2008; Minkenberg 2002, Hennig 2012, Ozzano and Giorgi 2016). However, recent research questions the explanatory power of the religious factor in morality policy-making (Knill et al. 2014, 2015). In accordance to Knill et al. (2014), religion seems to affect solely the dynamics of policy change but not the content of regulation.

This new empirical finding raises the question of whether increasing secularization implies a diminishing power of religious communities and their agents in morality policy debates in general and across all stages of the policy-making process.

Existing research does not provide a comprehensive answer to this puzzle, as it is confronted with several shortcomings. This includes not only the lack of comparative studies across times and different morality policies, but also analytical limitations. Firstly, research falls short in analyzing the role of different religious communities, including not only the Catholic Church but also Protestant churches and Muslim communities. Secondly and most importantly, previous studies concentrate on investigating the influence of religion during the first stages of the policy-making process (agenda-setting and policy formulation), but not during the implementation phase. Following Mooney (2001), it is rather likely that religious communities try to influence the rule-enforcement, especially when they did not succeed in pushing their interests through during the legislative process. Depending on their institutional access points and their stake in the welfare, health, and education system, they might modify adopted rules and constrain the liberalization of the moral order.

We invite scholars to contribute with papers that shed more light on the impact of religious factors and tackle the limits of the state of the art in morality policy research. Qualitative, in-depth studies, but also comparative large n-studies, as well as theoretical work are welcome.

Key words: religion, policy analysis, liberal principles, secularization, implementation, morality policy

Panel Chair: Eva-Maria Euchner, LMU Munich

Panel Co-Chair: Irina Ciornei, University of Bern

Discussant: tba

Please send us your paper proposals (up to 200 words) until February 3, 2017.

(Email: eva-maria.euchner@gsi.lmu.de)

Call for papers: Religious diversity, gender and citizenship (ECPR General Conference, Oslo 6-9 september 2017)

Call for papers: Religious diversity, gender and citizenship (ECPR General Conference, Oslo 6-9 september 2017)

Religious diversity, gender and citizenship

Claude Proeschel (Fondation Nationale de Sciences Politiques-GSRL, claude.proeschel@wanadoo.fr) and Luca Ozzano (University of Turin, luca.ozzano@unito.it)

ECPR General Conference, Oslo 6-9 september 2017

Please send paper proposals of up to 200 words to the convenors by email by 5 February 2017. DO NOT submit the proposals electronically at this stage: the papers accepted for the panel will be included in the panel proposal by the convenors themselves. You just need to have an active MyECPR account on the ECPR website.

ABSTRACT
Since the mid-1980s, Europe has been going through a diversification of its religious landscape in a context marked by secularization, individualization of beliefs and religious bricolage, and migrations from Christian and non-Christian-majority countries alike. These processes have resulted in an increased religious pluralism which represents a challenge for contemporary European democracies.
Among the several issues that have been the subject of public and political debates, that of gender is one of the major stakes of religious and political tensions, being linked to religious diversity, principally in terms of religiously-oriented people against secular ones, in terms of religious freedom and fundamental rights of women and sexual minorities.
These issues concern most mainstream religious confessions, particularly the conservative or radical trends which disagree with the principles of equality and individual freedom. These oppositions are not only religious but also political, social and cultural (for example with protest movements such as the French ‘Manif pour tour’ or the Italian ‘Sentinelle in piedi’). On the other hand, some minority religions and new spiritual movements, as well as some strands of mainstream organized religions, are more favourable to embrace demands from women organizations and sexual minorities. The gender issues cross all these domains of society and, therefore, clearly point out the complexity of the links between them, particularly the interactions between the sexual issues, the ethical and the religious diversities.

This increasing relevance has also meant, in recent years, an increasing presence in public debates, with the involvement of both the media and the political institutions, which have been called to discuss new regulations to accommodate demands from both sides of the debate.
Against this background, this panel will provide new knowledge about the multifaceted role of gender for understanding religious tensions and religious coexistence, in contemporary times, in a citizenship perspective, as well as in terms of public policies.

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