call for papers: “Public Debates on Religious/Ethical Issues in Western Europe”

Call for papers: Public Debates on Religious/Ethical Issues in Western Europe
Alberta Giorgi, University of Coimbra, Portugal (
Luca Ozzano, University of Turin, Italy (


Panel abstract: A number of controversies related to religious issues have characterised the European public debate in recent years, at both the EU and the country members level. The ‘affaire du foulard’ in France (2004-2011), the referendum on abortion in Portugal (2007), the recognition of same-sex marriages in many Western European States – from Belgium (2003), to Spain (2005), to France (2013) –, the debate over bioethics and the regulation of euthanasia (legalized in Belgium and the Netherlands – 2002), as well as the discussion on religious pluralism and the religious roots of Europe in the EU Constitution, are only a few examples of contentious issues involving religion. All these debates have been at the centre of the political and public spheres across Europe, contributing to revive the attention towards the role of religion in contemporary societies, and highlighting the diverse forms of political secularism in Europe, but also other issues, such as the right of the national/supranational institutions to regulate matters related to the private lives of European citizens. This panel aims at analysing this recent evolution of the Western European public and political debate, by providing insights on the actors who started the debates and their interrelations, their motives and the arguments they put forward. Both single-case studies and broad comparative analyses are welcome.

 Conference on “Religion, Democracy and Law”, London Metropolitan University, 14-15 January 2014.

Sponsored by Brigham Young University, ECPR, IPSA, and The Centre for the Study of Religion, Conflict and Cooperation (London Metropolitan University).

Deadline for paper proposals: 30 August 2013.