Elshimi, “De-Radicalisation in the UK Prevent Strategy”

In March, Routledge will release “De-Radicalisation in the UK Prevent Strategy: Security, Identity and Religion,” by M.S. Elshimi (Royal United Services Institute).  The publisher’s description follows:

This book examines de-radicalisation policy in the UK and addresses the contradictions evident in the conceptualisation and practice of de-radicalisation.

It explores three main themes that touch upon some of the most pressing issues of our 9781138281042day: security, identity and religion. Situated within the Prevent strand of the UK Counter-Terrorism policy and administered by the police through the ‘Channel Programme’, policymakers have promoted de-radicalisation as a vital instrument in the fight against terrorism. Despite the political and legal importance of de-radicalisation as an instrument of counter-terrorism, we continue to know very little about the programme and the profile of individuals who have been de-radicalised, as well as having little or no access to data on the programme. There is also a glaring lacuna in the wider literature regarding the concept, theory, and evidence base for de-radicalisation policies. This book addresses this lacuna and, with the use of data collected from interviews conducted with 27 practitioners, this work reveals the existence of multiple conceptions of de-radicalisation and a number of conceptual features unique to the UK context. Subsequently, the book proposes that de-radicalisation in the UK would be best conceptualised as ‘technologies of the self’. Seen in this way, de-radicalisation is less about tackling terrorism and radicalisation and more about the re-configuring of citizenship, the construction of a mainstream British identity, and the promotion of certain subjectivities in an era of uncertainty about British political identity.

This book will be of much interest to students of critical terrorism studies, de-radicalisation, counter-terrorism, UK politics and security studies in general.

Joly & Wadia, “Muslim Women and Power”

In March, Palgrave Macmillan will release “Muslim Women and Power: Political and Civic Engagement in West European Societies,” by Danièle Joly (University of Warwick) and Khursheed Wadia (University of Warwick).  The publisher’s description follows:

This book provides an account of Muslim women’s political and civic engagement in Britain and France. It examines their interaction with civil society and state 9781137480613institutions to provide an understanding of their development as political actors. The authors argue that Muslim women’s participation is expressed at the intersections of the groups and society to which they belong. In Britain and France, their political attitudes and behaviour are influenced by their national/ethnic origins, religion and specific features of British and French societies. Thus three main spheres of action are identified: the ethnic group, religious group and majority society. Unequal, gendered power relations characterise the interconnection(s) between these spheres of action. Muslim women are positioned within these complex relations and find obstacles and/or facilitators governing their capacity to act politically. The authors suggest that Muslim women’s interest in politics, knowledge of it and participation in both institutional and informal politics is higher than expected. This book will appeal to students and scholars of politics, sociology, gender studies and social anthropology, and will also be of use to policy makers and practitioners in the field of gender and ethno-religious/ethno-cultural policy.

Boersma on Religious Law Schools

pictureCongratulations to our former Law and Religion Fellow, John Boersma (left), for placing his article, The Accreditation of Religious Law Schools in Canada and the United States, in the current issue of the BYU Law Review. John, who’s now pursuing a PhD at LSU, wrote the paper in my comparative law and religion seminar a couple years ago.

Here’s the abstract:

Ongoing litigation in Canada suggests that the legal status of religiously affiliated law schools could be in jeopardy. In Canada, regulatory authorities have sought to deny accreditation status to a religiously affiliated law school (Trinity Western University) due to its commitment to a traditional Christian understanding of marriage. According to Canadian provincial authorities, this commitment has a discriminatory effect on LGBT students. Similar events could potentially occur in the United States. It is possible that American regulatory bodies could seek either to rescind or withhold accreditation from a religiously affiliated law school because of the discriminatory effects of its policies.

This comparative Article argues that as a matter both of public policy and law, the regulatory bodies concerned with the accreditation of law schools in both Canada and the United States have ample reason to accredit religiously affiliated law schools. First, as a matter of public policy, diversity in the type of law schools is beneficial due to the pluralism it engenders. Pluralism has long been recognized as a force for social stability in liberal democracies and is continually cited as beneficial by both Canadian and American courts. Furthermore, as a matter of law, both Canada and the United States provide for a robust protection of religious freedom that encompasses religiously affiliated law schools. This Article concludes that, as a result, regulatory authorities in Canada and the United States ought to encourage the proliferation of religiously affiliated law schools.

Readers can download the article here. Keep up the good work, John!

Bardakci et al., “Religious Minorities in Turkey”

In February, Palgrave Macmillan will release Religious Minorities in Turkey: Alevi, Armenians, and Syriacs and the Struggle to Desecuritize Religious Freedom by Mehmet Bardakci (Yeni Yüzyıl University), Annette Freyberg-Inan (University of Amsterdam), Christoph Giesel (University of Jena), and Olaf Leisse (Friedrich Schiller University Jena). The publisher’s description follows:

minorities-in-turkeyThis book considers the key issue of Turkey’s treatment of minorities in relation to its complex paths of both European integration and domestic and international reorientation. The expectations of Turkey’s EU and other international counterparts, as well as important domestic demands, have pushed Turkey to broaden the rights of religious and other minorities. More recently a turn towards autocratic government is rolling back some earlier achievements. This book shows how these broader processes affect the lives of three important religious groups in Turkey: the Alevi as a large Muslim community and the Christian communities of Armenians and Syriacs. Drawing on a wealth of original data and extensive fieldwork, the authors compare and explain improvements, set-backs, and lingering concerns for Turkey’s religious minorities and identify important challenges for Turkey’s future democratic development and European path. The book will appeal to students and scholars in the fields of minority politics, contemporary Turkish politics, and religion and politics.

“Religion, Migration, and Mobility” (de Castro & Dawson, eds.)

In February, Routledge will release Religion, Migration, and Mobility: The Brazilian Experience edited by Cristina Maria de Castro (Federal University of Minas Gerais) and Andrew Dawson (Lancaster University). The publisher’s description follows:

Religion, Migration, and Mobility.jpgFocusing on migration and mobility, this edited collection examines the religious landscape of Brazil as populated and shaped by transnational flows and domestic migratory movements. Bringing together interdisciplinary perspectives on migration and religion, this book argues that Brazil’s diverse religious landscape must be understood within a dynamic global context. From southern to northern Europe, through Africa, Japan and the Middle East, to a host of Latin American countries, Brazilian society has been influenced by immigrant communities accompanied by a range of beliefs and rituals drawn from established ‘world’ religions as well as alternative religio-spiritual movements. Consequently, the formation and profile of ‘homegrown’ religious communities such as Santo Daime, the Dawn Valley and Umbanda can only be fully understood against the broader backdrop of migration.

Contributors draw on the case of Brazil to develop frameworks for understanding the interface of religion and migration, asking questions that include: How do the processes and forces of re-territorialization play out among post-migratory communities? In what ways are the post-transitional dynamics of migration enacted and reframed by different generations of migrants? How are the religious symbols and ritual practices of particular worldviews and traditions appropriated and re-interpreted by migrant communities? What role does religion play in facilitating or impeding post-migratory settlement? Religion, Migration and Mobility engages these questions by drawing on a range of different traditions and research methods. As such, this book will be of keen interest to scholars working across the fields of religious studies, anthropology, cultural studies and sociology.

Bandyopadhyay & Sen, “Religion and Modernity in India”

In February, Oxford University Press will release Religion and Modernity in India by Sekhar Bandyopadhyay (Victoria University of Wellington) and Aloka Parasher Sen (University of Hyderabad). The publisher’s description follows:

india-modernityModernity, which emphasizes the relegation of religion firmly to an individual’s private life, is a challenging idea for any culture. In India it faces a particularly unusual problem: the persistence of numerous traditional and religious practices means that religion and modernity co-habit here in a complex, plural, transient, and historically evolving relationship.

Religion and Modernity in India explores this complex relationship through a series of case studies on the quotidian experiences of people practicing a variety of religions. It presents the dynamically interacting textures of society engaging with modernity in divergent ways, both historically and in contemporary times.

The essays in this collection consciously bring in the idea of inclusivity by factoring in the small and local contexts. They raise important questions about marginality and sexuality, and discuss the oral and cultural traditions of both mainstream and marginal communities such as tribal communities and women. In doing so, they put forward the perspectives of groups that represent difference but at the same time are linked to a larger whole.

Ropi, “Religion and Regulation in Indonesia”

This month, Palgrave Macmillan will release “Religion and Regulation in Indonesia,” by Ismatu Ropi (Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University).  The publisher’s description follows:

This book analyses the relation between state and religion in Indonesia, considering both the philosophical underpinning of government intervention on religious life but 41ifhrgw0al-_sx351_bo1204203200_also cases and regulations related to religious affairs in Indonesia. Examining state regulation of religious affairs, it focuses on understanding its origin, history and consequences on citizens’ religious life in modern Indonesia, arguing that while Indonesian constitutions have preserved religious freedom, they have also tended to construct wide-ranging discretionary powers in the government to control religious life and oversee religious freedom. Over more than four decades, Indonesian governments have constructed a variety of policies on religion based on constitutional legacies interpreted in the light of the norms and values of the existing religious majority group. A cutting edge examination of the tension between religious order and harmony on one hand, and protecting religious freedom for all on the other, this book offers a cutting edge study of how the history of regulating religion has been about the constant negotiation for the boundaries of authority between the state and the religious majority group.

“Institutionalizing Rights and Religion” (Batnitzky & Dagan, eds.)

In March, the Cambridge University Press will release “Institutionalizing Rights and Religion: Competing Supremacies,” edited by Leora Batnitzky (Princeton University) and Hanoch Dagan (Tel-Aviv University).  The publisher’s description follows:

Modern statesmen and political theorists have long struggled to design institutions that will simultaneously respect individual freedom of religion, nurture religion’s 9781107153714capacity to be a force for civic good and human rights, and tame religion’s illiberal tendencies. Moving past the usual focus on personal free expression of religion, this illuminating book – written by renowned scholars of law and religion from the United States, England, and Israel – considers how the institutional design of both religions and political regimes influences the relationship between religious practice and activity and human rights. The authors examine how the organization of religious communities affects human rights, and investigate the scope of a just state’s authority with respect to organized religion in the name of human rights. They explore the institutional challenges posed by, and possible responses to, the fraught relationship between religion and rights in the world today.

Zubrzycki, “Beheading the Saint”

In December, the University of Chicago Press released “Beheading the Saint: Nationalism, Religion, and Secularism in Quebec,” by Geneviève Zubrzycki (University of Michigan). The publisher’s description follows:

Through much of its existence, Québec’s neighbors called it the “priest-ridden province.” Today, however, Québec society is staunchly secular, with a modern welfare 9780226391687state built on lay provision of social services—a transformation rooted in the “Quiet Revolution” of the 1960s.

In Beheading the Saint, Geneviève Zubrzycki studies that transformation through a close investigation of the annual Feast of St. John the Baptist of June 24. The celebrations of that national holiday, she shows, provided a venue for a public contesting of the dominant ethno-Catholic conception of French Canadian identity and, via the violent rejection of Catholic symbols, the articulation of a new, secular Québécois identity. From there, Zubrzycki extends her analysis to the present, looking at the role of Québécois identity in recent debates over immigration, the place of religious symbols in the public sphere, and the politics of cultural heritage—issues that also offer insight on similar debates elsewhere in the world.

Schonthal, “Buddhism, Politics and the Limits of Law”

In November, Cambridge University Press released “Buddhism, Politics and the Limits of Law: The Pyrrhic Constitutionalism of Sri Lanka,” by Benjamin Schonthal (University of Otago).   The publisher’s description follows: 

It is widely assumed that a well-designed and well-implemented constitution can help ensure religious harmony in modern states. Yet how correct is this assumption? 9781107152236Drawing on groundbreaking research from Sri Lanka, this book argues persuasively for another possibility: when it comes to religion, relying on constitutional law may not be helpful, but harmful; constitutional practice may give way to pyrrhic constitutionalism. Written in a lucid and direct style, and aimed at both specialists and non-specialists, Buddhism, Politics and the Limits of Law explains why constitutional law has deepened, rather than diminished, conflicts over religion in Sri Lanka. Examining the roles of Buddhist monks, civil society groups, political coalitions and more, the book provides the first extended study of the legal regulation of religion in Sri Lanka as well as the first book-length analysis of the intersections of Buddhism and contemporary constitutional law.

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