Measuring Legitimacy at the Grassroots: Mobilizations in the Shadow of the ECtHR

31 August – 3 September, 2017

American Political Science Association (APSA) Annual Meeting, San Francisco

The Grassrootsmobilise research team recently participated in the American Political Science Association’s (APSA) Annual Meeting that took place in San Francisco, with a full panel on ‘Measuring Legitimacy at the Grassroots: Mobilizations in the Shadow of the ECtHR’.

The panel was chaired by Effie Fokas, with Dia Anagnostou and Liviu Andreescu as discussants.

Margarita Markoviti discussed the ‘Legal recognition of religious minorities in Greece “in the shadow” of the ECtHR’, examining the emerging role of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) case law in influencing the legal status of religious minorities in Greece and offering new insight on the legitimacy of the ECtHR by analyzing the extent to which its religion-related jurisprudence has provided the political, legal and discursive opportunity structures in Greece, which religious minority communities use in order to raise their awareness, to articulate and claim their rights.

Pasquale Annicchino and Alberta Giorgi explored, with their presentation ”​The Constitutional Court as an agent of change in Italy?​’,​ whether and the extent to which in a given number of selected cases the Italian Constitutional Court (also indirectly by referencing to the ECtHR) has contributed to legal change and how actors, whether religious minorities or any other kind of claimant, have decided to employ tactics and arguments used also before the Strasbourg Court.

Mihai Popa’s presentation ‘Seeking Justice in Strasbourg? Religious actors’ uses of the ECtHR in Romania’ explored the uses that representatives of religious communities make of the ECtHR and sought to understand the relationship between ECtHR awareness, litigation at the Strasbourg Court, and religious freedom dynamics. By drawing on data gathered through interviews with top-level representatives of religious organizations operating at the national level in Romania, the presentation compared how individual actors engage with the ECtHR in order to highlight the main factors that correlate with a heightened awareness of the Strasbourg Court and its judgments.

Ceren Ozgul examined the ‘Legitimacy of the ECtHR among the grassroots actors in Turkey regarding FoRB’, focusing on legal mobilization in the Turkish courts regarding freedom of religion, in order to examine the legitimacy of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) among the grassroots actors in Turkey and discussing the legal mobilization around freedom of belief, religion and conscience among grassroots actors in the wake of high profile ECtHR decisions such as Hasan and Eylem Zengin v. Turkey and Ercep v. Turkey and in the light of their non-implementation.


The conference programme is available here and you can listen to the panel here: