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Education and the Europeanization of religious freedoms: France and Greece in comparative perspective

Markoviti, Margarita (2013) Education and the Europeanization of religious freedoms: France and Greece in comparative perspective. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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A European consensus on the centrality of education for the guarantee and promotion of religious freedoms has emerged over the last two decades. Initially articulated in the human rights discourse of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and subsequently elaborated through the Council of Europe’s Recommendations, Declarations, Research Projects and Reference Books, this frame of reference forms a normative and legislative basis for states in Europe. Long national traditions of particular approaches to the ‘protected spaces’ of religion and education, however, render the development of common policies and practices amongst states problematic. This thesis examines the impact of the European framework of freedoms of religion and education on states’ education systems. An important contribution to the scholarship of social constructivism and interpretivist studies, the thesis contextualizes the research question within the conceptual framework of Europeanization. The nature and extent of the Europeanization process are approached through the structured comparative study of two cases: France and Greece. The respective educational provisions towards religion classify these countries as two of the hardest critical cases in this area of Europeanization in seemingly opposing ways. The thesis utilizes discourse analysis of the key documents of national education, including an analysis of the crucial findings of field research that investigates the social reality of religious freedoms in the educational settings of the selected cases. The conclusions denote a discrepancy between a degree of ideational convergence in the national discourse and the discernible divergence that characterizes the practical approaches to religious freedoms in the education systems of France and Greece. The limited and differential impact of the European norms reveals the particular national factors that prove resilient to external forces of normative and policy change in the fields of religion and education. By challenging the views on the transformative impact of the European recommendations, the thesis critically raises the question on the reconsideration of the origins, the objectives and the limitations of the complex of religious rights norms in Europe.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2013 Margarita Markoviti
Library of Congress subject classification: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
L Education > LF Individual institutions (Europe)
Sets: Departments > European Institute
Supervisor: Fraser, Maurice and Jackson‐Preece, Jennifer

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