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Ahmet Kuru

Religions and Secular States: Diverse Models in the West and the Muslim World

What is the best constitutional regime in terms of effectively governing religiously diverse societies? This question is important for both Western countries, which experience the rise of right-wing populism in reaction to immigration and deepening religious diversity, and Muslim-majority countries, which face sectarian violence and persecution of religious minorities. If alternative constitutional regimes were only the binary opposites of secular and religious options, it could be possible to answer the question by simply referring to the secular option. But there exist various types of secular regimes and religion-based regimes. All these constitutional regimes are now facing multiple challenges and crises.
This paper has three purposes. First, it will explore whether “Western culture” and “Muslim culture” are so inherently distinctive that they produce categorically different and even incomparable constitutional regimes. Second, the paper will evaluate various constitutional regimes regarding their abilities to govern religiously diverse societies in both the West and the Muslim world. Third and finally, it will provide policy recommendations about how to address the problems of the rise of right-wing populism in the West, and sectarianism and religious persecution in the Muslim world. 

Univ.-Prof.i.R. Dr.iur.

Josef Marko

Institut für Öffentliches Recht und Politikwissenschaft

Telefon:+43 316 380 - 3374
Fax:+43 (0)316 380 -9452

Organisational Contact

Dr.phil. MA

Lukas Waltl

Institut für Öffentliches Recht und Politikwissenschaft


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