Comparative Susceptibility and Differential Effects on the Two European Courts: A Study of Grasstops Mobilizations around Religion

Effie Fokas

Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, 2016, 5(3), 541-574

‘Grasstops mobilizations’ in the context of the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union refers to legal and political mobilization carried out by cause lawyers, NGOs, religious, secularist and humanist organizations, political figures and national governments, and by transnational networks which may develop within and between the above groups, depending on their stakes in a given issue. In the domain of religion, such grasstops mobilizations may seek to influence what religion-related issues get placed on a court’s agenda and the climate within which the Court takes its decisions on the latter; they are forces at the European and transnational levels potentially influencing the Court’s engagements with and ultimate handling of religion-related cases. This article draws on interviews carried out with various actors engaged with or impacted by mobilizations around the European courts to yield special insight into who mobilizes, for what reasons and to what effects, and into the conditions under which particular political, religious, or NGO actors are influential. Based upon the latter research as well as examination of certain structural differences between the two courts rendering them differently ‘open’ to various pressures, this contribution considers the comparative susceptibility of the two courts to such mobilizations.

Download: Fokas – OJLR 2016

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D come Donne, D come Dio (D for Women, D for God)

Eds. Alberta Giorgi and Stefania Palmisano, (2016) Milan: Mimesis

The interest in the theme “Women, Religion, Gender Relations” has gained particular resonance since the mid-90s in Europe and, more recently, even in Italy, developing beyond the disciplinary boundaries of sociology of religion and of gender studies. Three factors have contributed, in particular, to the re-emergence of this interest in the academy and its resonance in the public sphere: migration and the pluralisation of the religious field; the increasing role of controversies around religion-related issues and involving women’s bodies; and the complex negotiation of boundaries between the private and the public sphere. What is the role of women in religion? What are the forms of – and the interconnections between – religious and female agency? What is the role of religion in the public sphere? How religious rights and female rights are discussed in the political debate? What is the impact of the transformations of religion upon the individual religious experiences?

Available here [in Italian]: http://mimesisedizioni.it/libri/d-come-donne-d-come-dio.html

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Religion and local politics in Southern Europe: a research agenda

Alberta Giorgi and Xabier Itçaina

Religion, State and Society, 2016, Vol. 44, No. 3, 276-295

This article brings to a conclusion the series of three special sections published in 2015 and 2016 by Religion, State and Society on ‘Religion and local politics in southern Europe’. We set up a research agenda on the interactions between religion and local politics in Southern Europe. In doing so, we focus on the localisation of religion, including religious debates, and on the impact of the recent economic crisis. More specifically, we address the local as a contested concept, the multilevel governance of religion as a scalar opportunity structure – in relation to the transnational dimension of religious actors – the effects of such changes in the welfare landscape and the impact of the economic crisis on the activities and strategies of religious actors in Southern Europe. Our research agenda focuses on the interactions between two main dimensions: the territorial impact of political and economic changes, and the multiscalar schemes of territorial governance.

Available here: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09637494.2016.1212588

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International Workshop on ‘International Legal Mechanisms Ensuring European Unity and Sustainability’

carlos-iii-29-11-2016

28-30 November 2016

Carlos III University of Madrid, Spain

Margarita Markoviti, Grassrootsmobilise Researcher for the Greek case study, recently presented her research on ‘Grassroots Perceptions of Religious Freedoms in Education: The Margin of Appreciation in the ECtHR Decisions on Religious Freedom’ at the international workshop organised by the Carlos III University of Madrid on ‘International Legal Mechanisms Ensuring European Unity and Sustainability’, that took place from November 28th to 30th.

The conference programme is available here.

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