The Impossibility of International Religious Freedom

In cooperation with the Faculty of Humanities and the Amsterdam Center for Globalisation Studies

11sep2017 20.00 - 21.30


There is a growing emphasis in both the U.S. and in Europe on expertise on religion, countering violent extremism, and the promotion of religious freedom. How should we understand the intersection between religion and global governance in the context of today's war on extremism? With Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, Luiza Bialasiewicz and Yolande Jansen.

The American foreign policy establishment has a long history of collaboration with scholars and experts across disciplines. In the context of the war on extremism, however, which is assuming new levels of intensity and violence on both sides, these partnerships are taking new forms. How is the word “religion” used in the context of a flourishing global CVE/religious freedom agenda? What are we talking about when we talk about “religion” in these contexts? Drawing on her recent book Beyond Religious Freedom, in this talk Professor Hurd will address these questions and offer her perspective on the new global politics of religion.

About the speaker

Elizabeth Shakman Hurd is Professor of Politics at Northwestern University, where she studies the politics of religion in international relations, religion and state in comparative and global perspective, and the history and politics of relations between the US and the Middle East. Her books include The Politics of Secularism in International Relations (2008) and Beyond Religious Freedom: The New Global Politics of Religion (2015), both published by Princeton. She is co-editor of Politics of Religious Freedom (Chicago, 2015) and Comparative Secularisms in a Global Age (Palgrave, 2010), and co-organized the Luce-supported project Politics of Religious Freedom: Contested Norms and Local Practices. She currently co-directs, with Winnifred Fallers Sullivan, a 3-year research project “Politics of Religion at Home and Abroad,” also supported by Luce, and in 2018-19 will co-direct, with Brannon Ingram, “Talking Religion: Publics, Politics, and the Media,” supported by the Luce/ACLS Program in Religion, Journalism & International Affairs. At Northwestern Hurd received a “Big Ideas” grant to create and co-direct the Buffett Faculty Research Group on Global Politics & Religion. She also oversees a graduate certificate program in Religion & Global Politics and is a core faculty member of the MENA Program. Hurd teaches courses on America and the world, religion, race and global politics, the Middle East in international relations, and religion, law and politics in cross-cultural perspective. She is a regular contributor to public discussions on US foreign policy and the politics of religious diversity, and has written for Boston Review, Public Culture, The Atlantic, Chicago Tribune, Foreign Policy, Al Jazeera America, Globe and Mail, and The Monkey Cage. Hurd holds a 3-year Faculty Fellowship at the Buffett Institute, and in spring 2018 will be a Visiting Scholar at the American Bar Foundation in Chicago.

Luiza Bialasiewicz is a political geographer and Jean Monnet Professor of EU External Relations in the Department of European Studies at the University of Amsterdam. She has been a Visiting Professor at the College of Europe, Natolin since 2013, where she teaches a course on European geopolitics. Her work focuses on the political geographies of European foreign policy and EU geopolitics, with a particular focus on the EU's external borders and the out-sourcing of migration management. Her most recent research is focussed on the changing spatialities of European humanitarian assistance and migrant reception within urban spaces. Bialasiewicz will give her comments, following the lecture by Professor Hurd.

Yolande Jansen is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam and Special Professor of Humanism in Relation to Religion and Secularity for the Socrates Foundation at the VU University Amsterdam. She is the author of Secularism, Assimilation and the Crisis of Multiculturalism; French modernist legacies (2014) and edited The Irregularization of Migration in Europe; Detention, Deportation, Drowning (2015), together with Joost de Bloois and Robin Celikates. Together with Thijl Sunier, she is the project-leader of an NWO-project about 'Critique of Religion; Framing Jews and Muslims in public debate and political theory'. She recently contributed to the Oxford Handbook of Secularism with an article analysing the rise of the secularism/religion dyad in international public affairs and philosophy.

This program is made possible by the Amsterdam Center for Globalisation Studies.


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Gepubliceerd door  Spui25