CfP: Religion, secularization and party politics in the 21st century

Panel at 29th DVPW Convention (German Political Science
Association) 2024

  • When: 24-27 September 2024
  • Where: Georg-August-University Göttingen / Germany

The panel examines the religious-secular cleavage in party competition in democratic political systems. Until recently, political scientists assumed that due to the ongoing secularization process in Western societies religion would no longer play a significant role as a relevant issue in party competition. However, current debates show that the role of religion and religiosity in the public sphere (headscarves, crucifixes, muezzin calls etc.) has become more visible again. One reason for this is the increasing religious pluralization, as Muslim communities in particular have established themselves in societies that have portrayed themselves as Christian or secular. In addition, right-wing populist parties are gaining ground in parliaments with their anti-immigration and/or Islamophobic positions. Finally, changing moral concepts regarding family values, gender equality or LGBTIQ* rights have prompted religious actors and parties to either defend their conservative positions against liberating reform efforts or to adapt their positions.

Against this background, the panel will focus on recent developments in party competition on religion and secularization in democratic systems. Researchers who study party competition empirically in single case studies or from a comparative perspective on topics such as morality politics, religious pluralization, or religious extremism are invited to submit abstracts. Contributions on the future of Christian democracy or the relationship of right-wing populist parties with religion are also welcome.

CfP Details:

  • Deadline for paper proposal: October 31, 2023 via the submission form on the DVPW website: 
  • each proposal must include the title, a short abstract (max. 250 words), and all authors of the contribution
  • the language of the panel is English
  • each person can propose a maximum of two contributions to panels and roundtables at the convention.
  • Participants from abroad have the opportunity to apply for subsidies for travel expenses by the German Research Foundation (DFG) through the DVPW .
  • If you have any questions about the call, please contact the panel organizers:
    • Matthias Frey (, TU Dortmund University
    • Matthias Kortmann, TU Dortmund University
    • Arvid Rose, TU Dortmund University