Cfp: Moral authority of churches in secular times (ECPR General Conference, Hamburg 22-25 August 2018)

Call for Papers:
Moral authority of churches in secular times:
Religious actors and their engagement in policy implementation
ECPR General Conference 2018, Hamburg
Section: Revisiting Religion and Politics Research: Achievements, Critique, Future Questions

The moral authority of churches in policy fields that deal with ethically contested issues diminished dramatically in the past decades. Policies such as abortion, euthanasia, prostitution or religious education witnessed an increasing process of liberalization in which secular values and, more importantly, state authorities, crowded out the influence of religious values and institutions. However, although religious actors have lost influence in policy-making processes, they are likely to become engaged in processes of policy implementation. Theopportunities opened by vague or abstract policy formulations, as well as a large array of resources and infrastructure, such as members, networks of hospitals, schools and charities are likely to determine religious actors to claim a stake during policy implementation.We call for papers that focus on religious actors and institutions’ strategies to become engaged in processes of policy implementation. We also invite contributions that deal with the diversity of religious landscape in contemporary western societies, such as Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam or Neo-Protestantism. The topic of the panel focuses, but is not limited to, morality policies. Contributions can also focus on other policy areas such as welfare and immigration policies.By exploring the engagement of religious communities in policy implementation from different theoretical angles and for different policy fields, the panel tackles an important future question in the research on religion and politics, namely the power position of religious communities in secular times.Topropose a paper, please send an abstract of up to 250 words to Irina Ciornei ( and Eva-Maria Euchner ( by February 2, 2018.
Keywords:policy implementation, religious communities, morality policies, immigration, welfare.
Panel Chair: Irina Ciornei, University of Bern (
Panel Co-Chair: Eva-Maria Euchner, University of Munich (LMU)
Discussant: tba

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