Governing Islam and religious pluralism in new democracies
Title: Governing Islam and religious pluralism in new democracies
Citation: Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern studies, 2017, Vol. 19, No. 1, pp. 1-3
ISSN: 1944-8961; 1944-8953
Experiences of democratization, especially those outside core western democracies, have seen the explosion of different forms of religious expression in public and political life. After all, democratization is about opening up the socio-political sphere, and creating an equal playing field for the participation of various contenders and alternatives of a ‘good life’. At the same time, religious movements are usually among the best-organized contenders to articulate and pursue powerful visions of a good life. That inherited legacies of nation-state formation, and the resulting ‘traditions’ of each specific country, are often at odds with the egalitarian-universal principles underlying democratic inclusion of different contenders, however, complicates the application of values of religious freedom and equality. That religious alternatives themselves consist of ‘comprehensive’ and often exclusionary narratives, moreover, makes them a difficult, even if unavoidable, companion of democratic openings. Hence, democratizing polities have to walk a very fine line between accommodation and restriction of religion in order for citizens from different walks of life to perceive the state as a shared home for everyone. Such dilemmas of inclusion and exclusion hinge on broader institutional choices, which concern fundamental questions about who is to be included and excluded, under what arrangements, and with what results.
Published online: 03 Jan 2017
Grant number: FP7/269860/EU
Type of Access: openAccess
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