Dr Andrew Shorten (Department of Politics and Public Administration) attended the European Consortium of Political Research’s Joint Sessions of Workshops in May 2017. Held at the University of Nottingham, the Joint Sessions are recognised as one of the major highlights of the world’s political science calendar. Along with Jonathan Seglow (Royal Holloway, University of London), he co-convened a Workshop on the theme of ‘Religion and Public Life: Theory, Law and Policy’, which addressed topics such as the role of religion in public spaces, religion and education, secularism and its meaning, religious accommodations in liberal democracies, and the relationship between religion and democratic citizenship. Over the course of four days, 20 philosophers and political theorists from Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Israel and the UK participated in intensive discussions about these issues, and an overview of the workshop is available here.
Shorten’s own paper addressed conceptual and normative issues related to the practice of religiously selective school admissions, and asked whether religious selection is discriminatory, and if it is wrongfully so. In addition to discussing recent work in political theory, the workshop members also participated in a larger ‘roundtable’ discussion with a group of political scientists, sociologists and international relations scholars with interests in the relationship between religion and politics.