par Mondo, Emilie
Référence ECPR Joint Sessions of Workshops (25-30/04/2017: Nottingham, United Kingdom)
Publication Non publié, 2017-04-27
Communication à un colloque
Résumé : This paper suggests using the conceptual and theoretical contributions of the American literature on religion and politics in order to study the polarisation sustained by EU morality politics. The growing politicisation of values in the European Union sheds light on the increasing salience of morality issues at EU level. Although member states remain sovereign to legislate on such topics, diverse social, religious, and political actors now consider the Union as another kind of venue to defend specific worldviews. Abortion, for example, is regularly debated through soft law instruments such as parliamentary reports on SRHR. The EU-level debates between pro-choicers and pro-lifers illustrate how religion (re)gains power as a conflict-driving force within a secular environment. The interplay between religion and politics, values and conflict, has been widely investigated by the American religious restructuring theory. Popularised under the ‘culture wars’ label, it explains how ideological differences between conservatives and liberals crosscut denominational lines and create new religious alignments with political parties. This paper considers the possibility of transposing the American theory to the European Union; how and to what extent do American culture wars provide a useful theoretical framework for studying EU abortion politics? Taking into account the cultural and institutional limits of such a transposition, I develop how to operationalise the study of European culture wars. For this purpose, the concept is given two different – not necessarily antagonistic, rather possibly complementary – meanings: 1/ a political style emphasising group differences in order to substantiate policy positions and to attract public attention; 2/ a polarising force creating new and sustainable cleavages between and within religious, social and political groups. This paper argues that EU abortion politics correspond more to a sensationalizing and absolutizing political style than to new ideological cleavages with lasting and structural effect.