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Newsletter of the ECPR Standing Group on International Relations.


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The politics of secularism, the politics of religion



Convenors: Luca Mavelli, PhD Candidate University of Wales,
Aberystwyth(; Ed Frettingham, PhD Candidate
University of Wales, Aberystwyth (

Much recent work on religion in IR has concentrated on investigating
the nature and implications of the 'global resurgence of religion',
the extent to which this resurgence challenges assumptions about the
secular character of international politics, and the role played by
religion in modern politics. What has received less attention,
however, is the political impact and role of secularism as a set of
doctrines and practices, and the possible connections between the
politics of secularism and the resurgence of religion. Discussion of
religion in IR would be arguably enriched through research into not
only the identity and politics of religion(s) and the behaviour of
religious actors, but also the nature of secularisms and their role in
political life.

This panel seeks to explore the assumptions implicit in different
conceptions of secularism (laïcité, common ground secularism, civic
religion etc), the political effects they produce, and their
relationship with religion(s).

Questions addressed might include:

- What is secularism, what forms does it take and what role does
secularism play in modern politics?

- Where, and on what basis, is the boundary between the secular and
the religious drawn?

- How do varieties of secularism influence the nature of political
interventions by religious actors? How do they define what constitutes
acceptable forms of religion?

- How do perceptions and interpretations of religion(s) affect the
politics of secularism?

- To what extent has secularism contributed to the resurgence of
religion, or vice versa?

This panel aims to contribute to the debate on religion in
international politics through exploring its relationship with
secularism. We welcome both theoretical and empirical explorations of
these issues.

Please contact us if you would like more information; if you would be
interested in presenting a paper please send an abstract by Friday
25th May. We also invite offers to contribute to the panel as chair or

Many thanks,

Ed Frettingham
Luca Mavelli

Permalink17/05/07, 04:17:05 pm, by Christopher Jones Email , 47 views, Announcements, Conferences Send feedback

Summer School on Europe in the International Security Order

The International Institute for Politics and Economics (HAUS RISSEN HAMBURG) and the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at Hamburg University are organizing a summer school on

Europe in the International Security Order:
Concepts, Issues, and Trends
20 – 24 August 2007

The underlying concern of the summer school is to analyse various models for the EU’s international role. The EU has already achieved the status of a great economic power which is able to challenge the economic hegemony of the USA. However, in military terms, it has to be considered as relatively weak lacking any common political will. Should Europe concentrate its energies to develop strong defence and strategic capabilities independent from the USA and NATO? Or is the strength of Europe rather to be found in the cultural sector, namely to shape international moral and legal standards?

Please find the call for applications and the schedule on our website:

For further information, please contact:

Dr. Eckard Bolsinger
(stellv. Institutsdirektor)
Tel. (040) 81 907 12

Permalink15/05/07, 04:48:17 pm, by Christopher Jones Email , 33 views, Announcements Send feedback

Revamping the SGIR Newsletter

As the term of my Editorship draws to a close, I felt the need to update the Newsletter in form and function. Frankly I got tired of having to write the web page code each time. A 'blog' makes so much more sense - all the information to you without considerable work on my part!

Furthermore, a blog allows for more frequent updates to the information. So instead of just twice a year, the SGIR Newsletter/blog is updated whenever items of interest arise.

By way of introduction, you may notice that on the right-hand side of the page there is a list of categories. These help to order the information according to type. Postings will be categorised for easier access.

In addition, postings are archived each month, and remain available.

One rather neat feature about blogs is that you can add comments to postings - just click the 'Send feedback' link at the bottom of any posting. This might be useful if you seek clarification about a posting, or you want to report on a conference you attended, or offer your thoughts on a publication listed.

Other than the 'cosmetic' change, the SGIR Newsletter remains the same. Items of interest can still be mailed to the Editor at Using a blog means that they will be posted much quicker.

You can still subscribe to the Newsletter e-mailing list (see the relevant message in this blog). For the more technically-savvy of you an RMS feed is available for subscription.

You can expect much more information to come your way via the SGIR Newsletter. First up, see the announcement of a position at the University of Tartu.

Christopher Jones,
SGIR Newsletter Editor & Webmaster.

Permalink15/05/07, 03:57:06 am, by Christopher Jones Email , 47 views, Announcements, SGIR News Send feedback

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