Skip to main content

Morality Policy as a Party Issue in a Secular Age

  • 233 Accesses

Part of the Comparative Studies of Political Agendas book series (CSPA)

Abstract

It is widely argued that religion has lost its importance across Europe. Despite this observation, many researchers note that religion and issues relating to religious values are attracting more attention in politics, not less. This chapter explores, illustrates empirically, and critically reflects on this paradox with regard to so-called morality policies. The chapter begins with an empirical overview of secularization trends and the emergence of morality issues in Europe. It then turns to a review of the basic research on secularization and morality policies, discusses the paradoxical rise of religion in politics today, and identifies key remaining questions, specifically those related to European countries having a strong religious cleavage in their party system (the so-called religious world).

Keywords

  • Secularization
  • Religion and politics
  • Morality policies
  • Europe

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-10537-2_2
  • Chapter length: 32 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   69.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-10537-2
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book
USD   89.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Fig. 2.1

(Source MORAPOL 2016 based on WVS 2015. For Italy, longitudinal data of religiosity are missing)

Fig. 2.2

(Source MORAPOL 2016; WVS 2015; Austria: ÖVP, CSA; Belgium: CDH, CVP, CSP, PSC; Denmark: K (KrF); Finland: KD (SKL); France: CD (CDS, CDP); Germany: CDU, CSU; Greece: -; Ireland: FG (CG, NCP, RI); Italy: CD (DC, CCD, DE, CS, Rete); Netherlands: CdA (ARP, CHU, RPF), CU, KVP; Norway: KRF; Poland: AWS (KOS, BBWR, PO, ROP); Portugal: CDS; Spain: -; Sweden: KD (KDS, Ks, Kd); Switzerland: CVP; Turkey: ANAP (AKP); UK: -)

Fig. 2.3

(Source Author’s own compilation based on Volkens et al. 2016a)

Fig. 2.4

(Source Author’s own compilation based on Volkens et al. 2016a)

References

  • Arsneault, Shelly. 2001. “Values and Virtue.” The American Review of Public Administration 31 (4): 436–54.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Baumgartner, Frank R., and Arco Timmermans. 2012. “Analyzing Patterns of Government Attention and What Drives Them: The Comparative Agendas Project.” In Perspectives on Europe: Comparing Policy Agendas in Europe and North America 42 (2), edited by Peter Scholten, 7–13. Comparing Policy Agendas in Europe and North America Autumn 2012. Columbia University: Council for European Studies.

    Google Scholar 

  • Baumgartner, Frank R., and Bryan D. Jones. 1991. “Agenda Dynamics and Policy Subsystems.” Journal of Politics 53 (4): 1044–74.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • ———. 2009. Agendas and Instability in American Politics, 2nd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Berger, Peter L. 1967. Sacred Canopy: Elements of a Sociological Theory of Religion. New York: Doubleday.

    Google Scholar 

  • ——— (ed.). 1999a. The Desecularization of the World: Resurgent Religion and World Politics. Washington, DC: W.B. Eerdmans.

    Google Scholar 

  • ———. 1999b. “The Desecularization of the World: A Global Overview.” In The Desecularization of the World: Resurgent Religion and World Politics, edited by Peter L. Berger, 1–18. Washington, DC: W.B. Eerdmans.

    Google Scholar 

  • Breunig, Christian. 2011. “Reduction, Stasis, and Expansion of Budgets in Advanced Democracies.” Comparative Political Studies 44 (8): 1060–88.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Breunig, Christian, Chris Koski, and Peter B. Mortensen. 2010. “Stability and Punctuations in Public Spending: A Comparative Study of Budget Functions.” Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 20 (3): 703–22.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Bruce, Steve. 2003. Politics and Religion. Cambridge: Polity.

    Google Scholar 

  • Budde, Emma, Christoph Knill, Xavier Fernández-i-Marín, and Caroline Preidel. 2017. “A Matter of Timing: The Religious Factor and Morality Policies.” Governance 46 (3): 320. https://doi.org/10.1111/gove.12296.

    Google Scholar 

  • Campbell, David E., John Green, and Monson J. Quin. 2014. Seeking the Promised Land. New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Caramani, Daniele. 2015. The Europeanization of Politics: The Formation of a European Electorate and Party System in Historical Perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Casanova, José. 1994. Public Religions in the Modern World. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • ———. 2006. “Rethinking Secularization: A Global Comparative Perspective.” The Hedgehog Review 8 (1–2): 7–22.

    Google Scholar 

  • ———. 2008. “Public Religions Revisited.” In Religion: Beyond a Concept, edited by Hent de Vries, 101–19. The Future of the Religious Past. New York: Fordham University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chaqués Bonafont, Laura, and Anna M. Palau. 2012. “From Prohibition to Permissiveness: A Two-Wave Change on Morality Issues in Spain.” In Morality Politics in Western Europe: Parties, Agendas and Policy Choices, edited by Isabelle Engeli, Christoffer Green-Pedersen, and Lars T. Larsen, 62–88. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chaqués Bonafont, Laura, Anna M. Palau, and Frank R. Baumgartner. 2015. Agenda Dynamics in Spain. Comparative Studies of Political Agendas. Houndmills and Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chaves, Mark. 1994. “Secularization as Declining Religious Authority.” Social Forces 72 (3): 749.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Davie, Grace. 1993. “Believing Without Belonging: A Liverpool Case Study.” Archives de sciences sociales des religions 38 (81): 79–89.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • ———. 2000. Religion in Modern Europe: A Memory Mutates. European Societies. Oxford: Oxford University Press. http://www.loc.gov/catdir/enhancements/fy0610/00029350-d.html.

  • ———. 2006. “Religion in Europe in the 21st Century: The Factors to Take into Account.” European Journal of Sociology 47 (2): 271.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • ———. 2007. “Vicarious Religion: A Methodological Challenge.” In Everyday Religion: Observing Modern Religious Lives, edited by Nancy T. Ammerman, 21–36. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Djupe, Paul A., and Christopher P. Gilbert. 2009. The Political Influence of Churches. Cambridge Studies in Social Theory, Religion, and Politics. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Engeli, Isabelle, Christoffer Green-Pedersen, and Lars T. Larsen. 2012a. “Introduction.” In Morality Politics in Western Europe: Parties, Agendas and Policy Choices, edited by Isabelle Engeli, Christoffer Green-Pedersen, and Lars T. Larsen, 1–28. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Google Scholar 

  • ——— (eds.). 2012b. Morality Politics in Western Europe: Parties, Agendas and Policy Choices. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Google Scholar 

  • Engeli, Isabelle, Christoffer Green-Pedersen, and Lars T. Larsen. 2013. “The Puzzle of Permissiveness: Understanding Policy Processes Concerning Morality Issues.” Journal of European Public Policy 20 (3): 335–52.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Euchner, Eva-Maria, Stephan Heichel, Kerstin Nebel, and Andreas Raschzok. 2013. “From ‘Morality’ Policy to ‘Normal’ Policy: Framing of Drug Consumption and Gambling in Germany and the Netherlands and Their Regulatory Consequences.” Journal of European Public Policy 20 (3): 372–89.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Euchner, Eva-Maria (forthcoming): Morality policy. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fink, Simon. 2009. “Churches as Societal Veto Players: Religious Influence in Actor-Centred Theories of Policy-Making.” West European Politics 32 (1): 77–96. https://doi.org/10.1080/01402380802509826.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Foret, François. 2015. Religion and Politics in the European Union: The Secular Canopy. Cambridge Studies in Social Theory, Religion, and Politics. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Foret, François, and Xabier Itcaina (eds.). 2011. Politics of Religion in Western Europe: Modernities in Conflict. Oxon, New York: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fox, Jonathan. 2015. Political Secularism, Religion, and the State: A Time Series Analysis of Worldwide Data. Cambridge Studies in Social Theory, Religion, and Politics. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Green-Pedersen, Christoffer, and Peter Mortensen. 2015. “Avoidance and Engagement: Issue Competition in Multiparty Systems.” Political Studies 63 (4): 747–64.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Green-Pedersen, Christoffer, and Stefaan Walgrave (eds.). 2014a. Agenda Setting, Policies, and Political Systems: A Comparative Approach. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • ———. 2014b. “Conclusion: What It Takes to Turn Agenda Setting from an Approach into a Theory.” In Agenda Setting, Policies, and Political Systems: A Comparative Approach, edited by Christoffer Green-Pedersen and Stefaan Walgrave, 220–31. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Green-Pedersen, Christoffer, and Wolfe Michelle. 2009. “The Institutionalization of Environmental Attention in the United States and Denmark: Multiple- Versus Single-Venue Systems.” Governance 22 (4): 625–46.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Grzymala-Busse, Anna M. 2015. Nations Under God: How Churches Use Moral Authority to Influence Policy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • ———. 2016. “Weapons of the Meek.” World Politics 68 (1): 1–36. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0043887115000301.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Habermas, Jürgen. 2008. “Notes on Post-secular Society.” New Perspectives Quarterly 25 (4): 17–29.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Haynes, Jeffrey. 1998. Religion in Global Politics. London: Longman.

    Google Scholar 

  • ———. (ed.). 2010. Religion and Politics in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa: Secularisation, Democracy and Citizenship. Oxon, New York: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Heichel, Stephan, Christoph Knill, and Sophie Schmitt. 2013. “Public Policy Meets Morality: Conceptual and Theoretical Challenges in the Analysis of Morality Policy Change.” Journal of European Public Policy 20 (3): 318–34.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Hennig, Anja. 2012. Moralpolitik und Religion. Bedingungen politisch-religiöser Kooperation in Polen, Italien und Spanien. Religion in der Gesellschaft 31. Würzburg: Ergon.

    Google Scholar 

  • Herrmann, Denise von. 2002. The Big Gamble: The Politics of Lottery and Casino Expansion. Non-Series. Westport, CT: Praeger. http://site.ebrary.com/lib/alltitles/docDetail.action?docID=10362934.

  • Hildebrandt, Achim. 2015. “Christianity, Islam and Modernity: Explaining Prohibitions on Homosexuality in UN Member States.” Political Studies 63 (4): 852–69. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9248.12137.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Hörster, Norbert. 2008. Was ist Moral? Eine philosophische Einführung. Stuttgart: Reclam.

    Google Scholar 

  • Inglehart, Ronald, and Wayne E. Baker. 2000. “Modernization, Cultural Change, and the Persistence of Traditional Values.” American Sociological Review 65: 19–51.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • John, Peter, Anthony Bertelli, Will Jennings, and Shaun Bevan. 2013. Policy Agendas in British Politics. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. http://gbv.eblib.com/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=1330915.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Jones, Bryan D., Heather Larsen-Price, and John Wilkerson. 2009. “Representation and American Governing Institutions.” The Journal of Politics 71 (1): 277–90.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Jones, Bryan D., Tracy Sulkin, and Heather A. Larsen. 2003. “Policy Punctuations in American Political Institutions.” American Political Science Review 97 (1): 151–69.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Joppke, Christian. 2012. Veil: Mirror of Identity. Cambridge: Polity.

    Google Scholar 

  • ———. 2014. “Islam and the Legal Enforcement of Morality.” Theory and Society 43 (6): 589–615.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • ———. 2015. The Secular State Under Siege: Religion and Politics in Europe and America. Cambridge, UK and Malden, MA: Polity.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kalyvas, Stathis N., and Kees van Kersbergen. 2010. “Christian Democracy.” Annual Review of Political Science 13 (1): 183–209.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Kilic, S., Saharso, S., and Sauer, B. 2008. “Introduction: The Veil: Debating Citizenship, Gender and Religious Diversity.” Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society 15 (4): 397–410. https://doi.org/10.1093/sp/jxn022.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Knill, Christoph. 2013. “The Study of Morality Policy: Analytical Implications from a Public Policy Perspective.” Journal of European Public Policy 20 (3): 309–17.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Knill, Christoph, and Caroline Preidel. 2014. “Institutional Opportunity Structures and the Catholic Church: Explaining Variation in the Regulation of Same-Sex Partnerships in Ireland and Italy.” Journal of European Public Policy 22 (3): 374–90. https://doi.org/10.1080/13501763.2014.951066.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Knill, Christoph, Christian Adam, and Steffen Hurka (eds.). 2015. On the Road to Permissiveness? Change and Convergence of Moral Regulation in Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Knill, Christoph, Xavier Fernández-i-Marín, Emma Budde, and Stephan Heichel. 2018. “Religious Tides: The Time-Variant Effect of Religion on Morality Policies.” Regulation & Governance 46 (4): 320.

    Google Scholar 

  • Krouwel, André. 2012. Party Transformations in European Democracies. Albany: State University of New York Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kuru, Ahmet T. 2009. Secularism and State Policies Toward Religion: The United States, France, and Turkey. Cambridge Studies in Social Theory, Religion, and Politics. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Leege, David C., Kenneth D. Wald, Brian S. Krueger, and Paul D. Mueller. 2002. The Politics of Cultural Differences: Social Change and Voter Mobilization Strategies in the Post-new Deal Period. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Liedhegener, Antonius, and Gert Pickel (eds.). 2016. Religionspolitik und Politik der Religionen in Deutschland: Fallstudien und Vergleiche. Politik und Religion. Wiesbaden: Springer VS.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lowi, Theodore J. 1964. “American Business, Public Policy, Case Studies, and Political Theory.” World Politics 16: 677–715.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Mayrl, Damon. 2016. Secular Conversions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Meier, Kenneth J. 1994. The Politics of Sin: Drugs, Alcohol, and Public Policy. Armonk: M.E. Sharpe.

    Google Scholar 

  • Minkenberg, Michael. 2002. “Religion and Public Policy: Institutional, Cultural, and Political Impact on the Shaping of Abortion Policies in Western Democracies.” Comparative Political Studies 35 (2): 221–47. https://doi.org/10.1177/0010414002035002004.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • ———. 2003. “The Policy Impact of Church–State Relations: Family Policy and Abortion in Britain, France and Germany.” West European Politics 16 (1): 195–217.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mooney, Christopher Z. (ed.). 2001a. Public Clash of Private Values: The Politics of Morality Policy. New York: Chatham House.

    Google Scholar 

  • ———. 2001b. “The Public Clash of Private Values.” In Public Clash of Private Values: The Politics of Morality Policy, edited by Christopher Z. Mooney, 3–18. New York: Chatham House.

    Google Scholar 

  • MORAPOL. 2016. “Dataset: Regulating Moral Policy Change in 26 Countries and 10 Policies.”

    Google Scholar 

  • Mortensen, Peter. 2010. “Political Attention and Public Policy: A Study of How Agenda Setting Matters.” Scandinavian Political Studies 33 (4): 356–80.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Mourão Permoser, Julia. 2018. Migration as Morality Politics? Nicosia, ECPR Joint Sessions Workshop.

    Google Scholar 

  • ———, Julia. 2019. “What are Morality Policies? The Politics of Values in a Post-Secular World.” Political Studies Review 6 (3): 147892991881653. https://doi.org/10.1177/1478929918816538.

  • Mucciaroni, Gary. 2011. “Are Debates About ‘Morality Policy’ Really About Morality? Framing Opposition to Gay and Lesbian Rights.” Policy Studies Journal 39 (2): 187–216.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Münkler, Herfired. 2000. “Das Ethos der Demokratie. Über Ehre, Ehrlichkeit, Lügen und Karrieren in der Politik.” Politische Vierteljahresschrift 41 (2): 302–15.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Norris, Pippa, and Ronald Inglehart. 2012. Sacred and Secular: Religion and Politics Worldwide, 2nd ed. Cambridge Studies in Social Theory, Religion and Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ozzano, Luca. 2016. “Two Forms of Catholicism in Twenty-First-Century Italian Public Debate: An Analysis of Positions on Same-Sex Marriage and Muslim Dress Codes.” Journal of Modern Italian Studies 21 (3): 464–84.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Ozzano, Luca, and Alberta Giorgi. 2016. European Culture Wars and the Italian Case: Which Side Are You On? Routledge Studies in Religion and Politics. Abingdon, Oxon, and New York, NY: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Petrocik, John R. 1996. “Issue Ownership in Presidential Elections, with a 1980 Case Study.” American Journal of Political Science 40 (3): 825–50.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Roh, J., and F.S. Berry. 2008. “Modeling the Outcomes of State Abortion Funding Referenda: Morality or Redistributive Policy, or Both?” State Politics & Policy Quarterly 8 (1): 66–87.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Schmitt, Sophie, Eva-Maria Euchner, and Caroline Preidel. 2013. “Regulating Prostitution and Same-Sex Marriage in Italy and Spain: The Interplay of Political and Societal Veto Players in Two Catholic Societies.” Journal of European Public Policy 20 (3): 425–41. https://doi.org/10.1080/13501763.2013.761512.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Schwartz, Mildred A., and Raymond Tatalovich. 2018. The Rise and Fall of Moral Conflicts in the United States and Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Seeberg, Henrik B. 2013a. “The Opposition’s Policy Influence Through Issue Politicisation.” Journal of Public Policy 33 (1): 89–107.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • ———. 2013b. “The Power of the Loser: Opposition Policy Influence Through Agenda-Setting.” University of Aarhus.

    Google Scholar 

  • Smith, T.A., and Raymond Tatalovich. 2003. Cultures at War: Moral Conflicts in Western Democracies. Peterborough: Broadview Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Stoeckl, Kristina. 2011. “Defining the Postsecular.” Working paper in Document Collection of the Italian-Russian Workshop. Politics, Religion and Culture in Postsecular Society (Faenza, 13–14 May 2011). PECOB—Portal of East Central and Balkan Europe. www.pecob.eu.

  • Studlar, Donley T. 2001. “What Constitutes Morality Policy? A Cross-National Analysis.” In Public Clash of Private Values: The Politics of Morality Policy, edited by Christopher Mooney, 37–55. New York: Chatham House.

    Google Scholar 

  • Studlar, Donley T., Alessandro Cagossi, and Robert D. Duval. 2013. “Is Morality Policy Different? Institutional Explanations for Post-War Western Europe.” Journal of European Public Policy 20 (3): 353–71. https://doi.org/10.1080/13501763.2013.761503.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Tatalovich, Raymond. 2017. “The Life Cycle of Moral Conflicts: Why Some Die, But Others Persist.” Journal of Policy Hist 29 (04): 676–701. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0898030617000318.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Tatalovich, Raymond, and Byron W. Daynes (eds.). 2011. Moral Controversies in American Politics, 4th ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

    Google Scholar 

  • van Kersbergen, Kees. 2008. “The Christian Democratic Phoenix and Modern Unsecular Politics.” Party Politics 14 (3): 259–79.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Vergari, Sandra. 2001. “Morality Politics and the Implementation of Abstinence-Only Sex Education: A Case of Policy Compromise.” In Public Clash of Private Values: The Politics of Morality Policy, edited by Christopher Z. Mooney, 201–13. New York: Chatham House.

    Google Scholar 

  • Volkens, Andrea, Pola Lehmann, Theres Matthieß, Nicolas Merz, Seven Regel, and Annika Werner. Version 2016a. “The Manifesto Data Collection. Manifesto Project.” Berlin: Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung (WZB). https://manifesto-project.wzb.eu/datasets.

  • ———. 2016b. The Manifesto Project Dataset—Codebook: Version 2016a. Berlin: Wissenschaftszentraum Berlin für Sozialforschung (WZB).

    Google Scholar 

  • Wald, Kenneth D., James W. Button, and Barbara A. Rienzo. 2001. “Morality Politics vs. Political Economy: The Case of School-Based Health Centers.” Social Science Quarterly 82 (2): 221–34.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • WVS. 2015. “World Value Survey 1981–2014 Longitudinal Aggregate.” Accessed March 26, 2017. http://www.worldvaluessurvey.org/WVSContents.jsp.

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Eva-Maria Euchner .

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2019 The Author(s)

About this chapter

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Euchner, EM. (2019). Morality Policy as a Party Issue in a Secular Age. In: Morality Politics in a Secular Age. Comparative Studies of Political Agendas. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-10537-2_2

Download citation