GRASSROOTSMOBILISE is a five year research programme based at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP), and funded by the European Research Council (ERC). The Principal Investigator is Dr Effie Fokas. The programme studies grassroots level mobilisations ‘in the shadow’ of European Court of Human Rights religious freedoms jurisprudence.

The European public square has, in the last twenty years and increasingly so, been inundated with controversies and debates broadly conceived around the place of religion in the public sphere. In spite of (or, some would argue, because of) popular and scholarly expectations of religion’s retreat, issues such as freedom of religious expression, freedom of speech v. blasphemy, and the public display of religious symbols loom large in the workplace, in schools, in media coverage etc., at the local, national, and supranational level. The presence of Islam has been a catalyst for many debates on religion in Europe, but these debates have now grown to encompass much broader assumptions about the nature of religious communities, their relationship to state institutions, and the place of minority religious communities in society. Against this backdrop the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR, or the Court) jurisprudence on religious issues has emerged to add its own voice. In so doing it significantly influences the terms of the debates.

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Effie Fokas | Principal Researcher

Effie Fokas is a Research Fellow at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP), host institution to the Grassrootsmobilise project. She is also Research Associate of the Hellenic Observatory at the London School of Economics, where she was founding Director of the LSE Forum on Religion (2008-2012), A. C. Laskaridis Fellow at the Hellenic Observatory (2007-8), and co-taught on the MSc in Theories of Nationalism in the Government Department (2005-7).

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