New Book: Politics of Religion in Western Europe

François Forêt and Xabier Itçaina have edited a new volume on the politics of religion, which was published on Routledge in August 2011. The book discusses the role of religion in relation to modernity, suggesting that not all roads to modernity imply secularisation and the eradication of religion. Forêt is member of RECON’s WP 5 on civil society and the public sphere.


Politics of Religion in Western Europe

François Forêt and Xabier Itçaina (eds), Routledge, 2011 (ECPR Studies in European Political Science)


Religion is becoming increasingly important to the study of political science and to re-examine key concepts, such as democracy, securitization, foreign policy analysis, and international relations.

The secularisation of Europe is often understood according to the concept of ‘multiple modernities’ — the idea that there may be several roads to modernity, which do not all mean the eradication of religion. This framework provides support for the view that different traditions, societies and groups can come to terms with the components of modernity (capitalism, democracy, human rights, science and reason) while keeping in touch with their religious background, faith and practice.

Contributors examine the interaction between EU-integration processes and Western European countries, such as Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Austria, Scandinavia, Italy, and the UK, and shine fresh light on the economic and cultural contexts brought about by relationships between politics and religion, including immigrant religions and new religious movements. This volume combines theoretical perspectives from political sociology and international relations to consider the role of religion as a source of power, identity and ethics in institutions and societies.

Contributors: François Foret, Xabier Itçaina, Jeffrey Haynes, Lucian Leustean, Pieterjan De Vlieger, Philippe Portier, John Madeley,  Martin Steven, Émilie van Haute, Jean-Benoît Pilet and Giulia Sandri, Philippe Poirier, Kristina Stöckl, Julia Mourão Permoser and Sieglinde Rosenberger, Justin Gest, and Sabrina Pastorelli.

See more at the publisher’s website.