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Regular version of the site
Master 2020/2021

Religion, Governance and Social Policy

Type: Elective course (Political Analysis and Public Policy)
Area of studies: Political Science
Delivered by: Public Policy Department
When: 2 year, 1, 2 module
Mode of studies: offline
Instructors: Artem Uldanov
Master’s programme: Political Analysis and Public Policy
Language: English
ECTS credits: 5
Contact hours: 40

Course Syllabus


The course examines the role that political institutions and social changes play in determining the direction of government policies, explains the importance of political and social issues within the relevant social, cultural and historical context, and draws extensive examples from different regions of the world. course maps patterns in state/church relationships, the scope and consequences of increased religious diversity and the growing interest in regulating the public presence of minority religions. The course provides introductions to basic concepts that have evolved to account for and manage religious change in European societies, such as secularization, secularism/post-secularism and multiculturalism.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • To equip students through the general concepts and theoretical knowledge of The political management of religious change in Europe and emerging economies of the world including the dwindling attendance in churches, the growing presence of Muslim religious practices and the increase in people with no religious affiliation.
  • The course shall study the impact of the religion in the return to the conservative and populist politics world wide.
  • The course shall have a global outlook in analysing the comparative impact of the religious organizations in the policy making spaces.
  • To equip students through the general concepts and theoretical knowledge of the policymaking and governance of religion in regional institutions like the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • To have the substantial knowledge, comparative material and critical analytical tools to gain deeper insights into - and educate the judgment on - the principled issues at stake in the various liaisons between religion and politics in the social policy making spheres
  • The students shall be aware of the main trends and current affairs in the politico-religious landscape of Asia, Africa and Europe. This will include comparisons with the landscape in other parts of the world, in particular the US.
  • Having mastered the course, the students are expected to be in the position to identify the main sociological and theoretical debate of secularization and de-secularization (the historical processes and their underlying causes).
  • Ability to analyze and summarize court cases and policy papers on religion from around the world in the context of ECHR, UNHCR and ICPPR perspective.
  • To analyze and explain through the critical perspective on the cultural relativism and beyond
  • Design and propose customized solutions keeping a holistic perspective on the issue of the issue of the social policy making and understand the role of the different actors
  • To examine the efficacy of the limits on secular vs communal debate and to test the idea beyond
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Religion and Secularism, Part 1: Rethinking Secularism
  • Religion and Secularism, Part 2: Is Europe an Exceptional Case
  • Challenged secular cases. Post modern policy spaces in EU
  • Political Climate Change – From multiculturalism to assertive conservative social identity – Shaping up of the policy space
  • The agenda setting by religious organizations
  • Challenged secular cases: New Age in Europe – Fact or Myth
  • Islam and the Models of Church and State Relations in Europe
  • Debates on the anti-Semitism The hate crimes and discriminatory laws
  • Regional security and the religion based convergences
  • Global politics and the Resurrection of Religion in the social policy spaces
  • Religious issues on the emancipating laws of Human Rights
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Active participation
  • non-blocking Midterm paper
  • non-blocking Group presentation
  • non-blocking Final paper
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (2 module)
    0.1 * Active participation + 0.4 * Final paper + 0.2 * Group presentation + 0.3 * Midterm paper


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Ahmed, T. (2010). A Critical Appraisal of EU Governance for the Protection of Minority Rights. International Journal on Minority & Group Rights, 17(2), 265–285. https://doi.org/10.1163/157181110X495890
  • Brown, N. J., & Hamzawy, A. (2010). Between Religion and Politics. Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for Int’l Peace. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=504115
  • Buckley, D. T., & Mantilla, L. F. (2013). God and governance: Development, state capacity and the regulation of religion. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.434E5A7D
  • Falk, R. (2002). Religion and Global Governance: Harmony or Clash? International Journal on World Peace, 19(1), 3. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=sih&AN=7512537
  • Rubin, A. (2013). Integration of Religion in Democratizing Societies: Lessons from the Israeli Experience. Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies, 31(2), 31–54. https://doi.org/10.1353/sho.2013.0002
  • Stack, T., Goldenberg, N. R., & Fitzgerald, T. (2015). Religion As a Category of Governance and Sovereignty. Leiden: Brill. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1001088

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Daniel Wolfish, & Gordon Smith. (2000). Governance and Policy in a Multicentric World. Canadian Public Policy, (s2), 51. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.a.cpp.issued.v26y2000is2p51.72
  • Gvosdev, N. K. (2009). Finding Religion: A Guide for the Perplexed (Policy-maker). Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.B25655EB
  • Küpper, J., Hempfer, K. W., & Fischer-Lichte, E. (2014). Religion and Society in the 21st Century. Berlin: De Gruyter. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=852662
  • Lavinia Stan, & Lucian Turcescu. (2006). Politics, national symbols and the Romanian Orthodox Cathedral. Europe-Asia Studies, (7), 1119. https://doi.org/10.1080/09668130600926447
  • Temperman, J. (2010). State-religion Relationships and Human Rights Law : Towards a Right to Religiously Neutral Governance. Leiden: Brill | Nijhoff. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=338694