Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL3234: Religion, Politics and Policy in Europe

This module descriptor refers to the 2019/0 academic year.


NQF Level 6
Credits 30 ECTS Value 15
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 1 (11 weeks) and term 2 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Professor Isabelle Engeli (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


This module will provide you with insights into contemporary issues related to the interaction between religion, politics and policy in Europe in a comparative perspective. We explore whether, why, how and when religion matters in politics and policy making in liberal democracies. We will examine major explanatory approaches related to the impact of secularisation and Europeanisation, church-state relations, social and political veto players, and the dynamics of party competition and populism. We will apply and challenge these approaches to the interaction between institutions and actors in influencing politics and policy through agenda setting, lobbying, advocacy and policy making in liberal democracies.

Drawing on research on morality politics and the governance of religion, we assess and challenge these theoretical foundations through the comparative examination of a range of contemporary issues related to religion, politics and policy - such as sexual/reproductive rights and self-determination (such as abortion, same sex marriage, and prostitution), the expression of religion in the public sphere and the protection of minorities (such as head-covering, place of worship, anti-sexual+ equality) and the boundaries of science (such as reproductive technology, embryo research and euthanasia). Experiential learning is enhanced by sessions dedicated to policy scenarios where students will be able to apply their knowledge to real cases.

Module created


Last revised