POLARE School in Rome

This week, I participated in the Ecole Thématique Politique, Laicité, Religion (POLARE), organized by the University of Bordeaux (Sciences Po and Centre Emile Durkheim), the CNRS, ans the French School in Rome. This institutions also hosted the event, in the outstanding framework of Piazza Navona, just in front of the Tritone fountain.

The Ecole Française in Rome, where the POLARE event took place

The programme of the school was not less interesting, with a 360 degrees reflection on the relation between religion, politics and secularism in the Mediterranean, and the participation of some of the most significant names of the francophone social sciences: Valerie Amiraux, Olivier Roy, Xabier Itçaina, Philippe Portier, Yves Deloye. All assembled together by a perfect organization led by Magali Della Sudda, researcher in Bordeaux.

It was a very interesting but challenging experience (not only for the mental effort to translate from Italian to English to French and reverse!) considering the approach to social sciences of most French scholars, who privilege historical-sociological reflection where the Anglo-Saxon academic community (to which I’m more acquainted) mainly prefers an empirical approach. It is a pity that these two worlds don’t communicate more deeply and frequently, because in their complementarity we could find very interesting resources. Surely, to me the experience was very rewarding.

Religion and Politics in Oslo

ecprlogo150x55The next general conference of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) will take place in Oslo, on 6-9 September 2017. A huge event, for the main organization of political scientists in Europe. At the conference, I will have the honour to convene with Anja Hennig the section on “Religion, Politics, and the Public Sphere: Contesting Liberalism?”  By the way, Anja and I in 2017 will also become co-convenors of the ECPR standing group on ‘Religion and Politics’, after the retirement of Jeff Haynes.


Both the section and the convenorship are a great honour and pleasure as well as a burden: it will not be easy to carry on the standing group after the convenorship of Jeff Haynes, who has created this group from scratch and grown it to its actual size (more than 200 scholars). Of course we look forward to a lot of new programs and ideas to implement. Surely, everything will be a little different. Well, anyway, I hope to see you all in Oslo…