Public policies and the production of religious difference

Convener: Julia Martínez-Ariño (RUG)


This panel will explore how religious difference is produced, reproduced, challenged and/or ignored by public policies as well as how, inversely, notions of religious difference inform policymaking. The panel welcomes papers examining the production of religious difference, and religious-secular and religious-spiritual distinctions by public policies in fields such as urban planning and public space, education, security, immigrant integration, etc. Attention will also be given to how policy-driven categories of religious difference are received by the stakeholders and impact on individuals and groups. Papers analysing policy definitions of acceptable and non-acceptable religiosity in various social contexts and policy fields and papers interested in the reception and consequences of those definitions are also welcomed.


Some of the questions that the panel will address are the following: What are the social imaginaries and policy ideas underlying public policies in relation to religion and what are the resulting categories of difference? How do different actors, religious or not, receive and react to those categories and processes of differentiation? What are the (differential) implications of these processes and categories for different religious and non-religious groups and individuals? We are interested in covering a wide range of geographical locations, theoretical perspectives and empirical approaches.