Theoretical Framework

The first several months of the programme were devoted to further developing the theoretical framework underpinning the research. Specifically, this entailed exploring in greater depth the relationship between directions in religious pluralism in Europe, on the one hand, and the European Court of Human Rights religious freedom jurisprudence, on the other.

A first task in this process was to examine the ‘matrix’ formed within the workings of the Court by the principle of subsidiarity, the margin of appreciation, consensus doctrine, and the concept of a commitment to pluralism. Specifically, we considered how this matrix has influenced the ECtHR religious freedoms jurisprudence, and how this matrix has generated grasstops and grassroots mobilisations. All of the above was fleshed out in a concept paper which serves as a road map for the programme and includes key objectives, principal research questions and the research methodology. A version of the above was also published as a journal article in the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion by Effie Fokas entitled ‘Directions in Religious Pluralism in Europe: Mobilizations in the Shadow of European Court of Human Rights Religious Freedom Jurisprudence’ (see ‘Output’, ‘Publications’).

A second task in this process was to develop in greater detail our conceptual and analytical understanding of various forms of mobilisations at the local, national, transnational and supranational levels. ‘Defining mobilisation’ for the purposes of this research programme entailed setting out the whole repertoire of social actions (petitions, demonstrations, etc.), legal activism, and sites of discourse to be included in the study. It also required an exploration of the ‘geography of judicialisation of religion’ and, specifically, an examination of domestic in relation to transnational dimensions. The results of the latter process are published as a Grassrootsmobilise Working Paper by Dia Anagnostou and Effie Fokas on ‘The “radiating effects” of the European Court of Human Rights on social mobilisations around religion in Europe – an analytical frame’ (see ‘Output’, ‘Publications’).