Call for papers: “Politics of Values in the 21th Century” (ECPR Joint Sessions, Nicosia, 10-14 April, 2018)

Dear all,

We are delighted to invite you to submit a paper proposal to our ECPR Joint Session Workshop on the Politics of Values in the 21th Century.

University of Nicosia, 10-14 April, 2018

Please feel free to disseminate the CFP through your networks!

Submissions shall be made online on the ECPR website:

Deadline for submission: December 6, 2017

Isabelle Engeli (University of Bath) on behalf of the standing group gender and politics and Eva-Maria Euchner on behalf of the standing group religion and politics (LMU)

The Politics of Values: Actors, Institutions, and Dynamics in the 21st Century

Value-based issues have been attracting growing attention in politics across post-industrial democracies over the last decade. Prominent examples include referenda and court decisions on same-sex marriage and LGBTQI rights in Ireland or Austria, European Court of Justice rulings on headscarves in the workplace, recent attempts to restrict access to abortion services in Europe and the United States, and the growing politicization of identity-based issues by populist parties across Europe. Increasing populist engagement with the politics of values across Europe and during Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is likely to intensify the trend in the politicization of value based issues as well a change the dynamics of value politics through emerging strategies that combine nationalist and social conservative values on family, gender, or sexual orientation. The common feature of value-based politics and policies is that they deal with fundamental social norms that touch upon, for instance, life and death, sexuality, family, and gender (Mooney, ed. 2001). In that sense, their regulation entails the ‘validation of a particular set of basic values’ which in turn involves far-reaching political conflicts (Mooney 2001: 3). While it was traditionally assumed that religious doctrines were important in shaping individual and collective value systems, the process of secularization was predicted to lower the impact of religion and values on politics and to shift political decisions towards rationalization (Bruce 1995). However, as Norris and Inglehart (2012: 5) have emphasized, “secularization is a tendency, not an iron law”. Recent debates have provided ample evidence that secularization has indeed not stemmed the politicization of values in political life but has rather transformed the dynamics of the politics of values that is becoming increasingly shaped by non-traditional religious actors (Bruce 2003; Fox 2015; Stark 1999). The systematic examination of the dynamics of the politics of values has led to re-assess the role of religion and other political and social forces in determining issue attention, policy making and dynamics of policy change (Foret 2015). A number of studies assert that the religiosity of a nation, the presence of religious or church-associated parties, and the character of church-state-relations influence the politicization of value-loaded issues and the restrictiveness of regulatory regimes (e.g., Engeli et al., eds. 2012; Grzymala-Busse 2015; Hennig 2012; Minkenberg 2002; Schmitt et al. 2013). Other scholars, by contrast, question the explanatory power of the religious factor in value-loaded policy-making and claim that the causal mechanisms underlying the effect remain largely unexplained (Knill et al., eds. 2015).

The following questions are raised to better understand and account for:

How, why and to what effect have the politics of values reemerged in contemporary politics?

What is the impact of on increasing secularization on the long-term change in the politics of values related to party competition, issue attention, and policy making?

What are the implications of the diminishing power of religious communities and their agents and the growing pre-eminence of non-traditional religious actors in shaping value-loaded politics and policy?

To what extent are identity-based issues the new morality issues of the 21th century?

This workshop invites contributions that shed light on the transformation of the politics of values overtime in comparative or (in-depth) single-case study perspective by focusing – alternatively or in a combined fashion on:

1) the appearance of new actors in the politics of values and the transformation;

2) the disappearance of traditional actors;

3) the impact of Church-State relations and secularization in voting behavior and party competition, issue attention, policy making and implementation.

The workshop welcomes qualitative, in-depth studies, but also comparative large n-studies, as well as more theoretical work focusing on the politics of values. This debate is stimulating for a very broad and interdisciplinary group of scholars working on comparative politics, electoral politics, party competition, public policy and policy change, religion, gender and morality politics. The workshop is intended as a platform for scholarly dialogue across subfields and analytical approaches and to attract a variety of scholars who are working on the politics of values from various perspectives such as: Scholars who are working on the dynamics and current transformations of issue attention, party competition and policy making about value-loaded topics. Scholars specialized in the field of morality issues like abortion, prostitution, religious issues, new reproductive technologies, embryo and stem cells research, same-sex couples. Scholars interested in the influence of religion and secularization on politics and policy making. Scholars who are working on electoral politics or far right and populist parties with an interest in the dynamics of voting behaviour, party competition, issue framing and coupling. Scholars who work in the field of gender/sexuality and politics and focus on gender/sexuality-related morality policies with a specific interest to connect their research with analyses of the political dynamics of religion.


Dr Isabelle Engeli| Reader|

PoLIS| University of Bath|

Co-Convener of the European Conference on Politics and Gender|

Co-Convener of the ECPR Standing Group in Gender and Politics|

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