Cfp: Religion and Politics Research in Dispute: How Western/Eurocentric is its Agenda? (ECPR General Conference, Hamburg 22-25 August 2018)

Religion and Politics Research in Dispute: How Western/Eurocentric is its Agenda?
ECPR General Conference, Hamburg 22-25 August 2018
Section: Revisiting Religion and Politics Research: Achievements, Critique, Future Questions
Panel Chair: Anja Hennig, European University Viadrina (

This panel specifies some of the major questions, addressed in the section “Revisiting Religion and Politics Research: Achievements, Critique, Future Questions”. It departs from the observation that over the last three to four decades a research fieldanalysing the mutual impact of religion and politics has been consolidating. The existence of various research networks on national and transnational level, dictionaries, handbooks, an ever growing number of edited volumes with empirical studies on various aspects of religion and politics such as Church-state arrangements, governance of religious diversity, religious voting, religion and public policy etc. and respective journals are a proof of it.
However, a reflection on theapproaches, theories, or assumptions constitutive of this fieldis rare. This panel opensthe floor for dispute and reflection on the subject by taking the Western origin of the religion and politics research agenda as point of departure.
To what extent does contemporary religion and politics research reflect a predominantly Western- or Eurocentric agenda? What justifies such perspective? Which decentralizing perspectives (empirically or theoretically) do exist or are desirable?
West- or Eurocentrismhere implies primarily a reference to the liberal-democratic separation principle, and, thus, to the normative assumption that religion and politics/Churches and state ought to be separated or constitute separate spheres; a still dominant perspective despite the fact that politico-religious cooperation or overlaps of both spheres is a matter of fact also in the global West. Such a perspective reflects not only the normative impact of the secularization (or nowadays rather differentiation) paradigm. The separation principle grounded in Western liberal thinkingstructures also empirical research on religion and politics. An example would be the widely used analytical distinction between religious and political actors or factors
Paper givers mayalso proposea different understanding of “West-or Eurocentrism” as focal point for critically revisiting the state of the art of religion and politics research.Counter arguments are welcomed as well!
Scholars are invited to submit a proposal of max. 350 wordsthat outlines the major arguments in relation to the central questions. Such arguments may be based on(comparative) case studies or reflect theoretical or conceptual thoughts.

Please submit your proposals (350 words) to latest by
1 February 2018!

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