CfP fot the panel “The religious-secular cleavage in party competition in the 21st century”

ECPR General Conference at Charles University, Prague, 4-8 September 2023
Section “Religion and Politics in the 2020s: The State of the Field”
Convenor: Matthias Kortmann (Technical University of Dortmund,

Contrary to expectations of secularization theorists of the 20st century, religion has remained an important and contested issue between parties in the 21st century. First, this can be traced back to increasing religious pluralization or, more concretely, to the establishment of Muslim communities and the enhanced visibility of their religion in societies which have portrayed themselves as Christian and/or secular. Second, religion has increasingly become a security issue against the backdrop of terrorist attacks particularly committed by religious extremists. Third, changing moral concepts in liberal democracies with regard to, for instance, family values, gender equality or LGBT rights have prompted actors such as religious parties to defend their more conservative point of views against liberalizing reform efforts by progressive parties.

This panel focuses on party competition on issues that have contributed to the revival of the religious-secular cleavage. The aim is to get a better understanding of recent party discourses on these issues and patterns or party competition along this cleavage. Researchers that deal with party competition on issues such as the accommodation of religious pluralization, morality politics or religious extremism are invited to submit a proposal. Empirical papers applying single case studies are as welcome as those employing comparative perspectives.

Please send your proposal of up to 200 words to the convenor by 21 February (and NOT via the ECPR homepage yet!). After your abstract will be accepted it will be included in the panel proposal and submitted electronically. Please make sure that you have an active MyECPR account.