Democratic representation and religion : differences and convergences between the European parliament and the US house of representatives
Title: Democratic representation and religion : differences and convergences between the European parliament and the US house of representatives
Author: FORET, François
Series/Number: EUI RSCAS; 2014/58; RELIGIOWEST
It is common to oppose a secular Europe to a religious America. As representatives of cultural diversity and popular sovereignty, Parliaments are the best illustrations of mutual arrangements between politics and religion. Little data is available on religion at the EP, in contrast to the rich scholarship on the Congress. Relying on the first survey of its kind on members of the European Parliament (MEPs), the article analyses what they believe and what they do with these beliefs. The purpose is to understand how religion interacts with representation and political socialization of MEPs within and outside the assembly. The American House of Representatives is used as a reference case study. Overall, there are significant differences between European and American legislators, mainly due to their distinct social, cultural, political and institutional environments. However, several common logics may also be seen at work, suggesting that the EU is not as exceptional as is often thought.
Subject: Religion; European Union; US; Parliamentary politics; European parliament
Grant number: FP7/269860
Type of Access: openAccess; openAccess