REMINDER: Call for Nominations for Religion and Politics Section Executive Committee

APSA Religion and Politics Section is pleased to announce a Call for Nominations for candidates to stand in an upcoming online election to serve a two-year term on the Executive Committee of the section. There are three vacancies on the Committee to be filled in this election.

All nominees should be current members of the Religion and Politics Section. Section members may choose to self-nominate. If you are nominating a colleague, please make sure that you have their consent before nomination, and cc them on the nomination email.

Please forward the candidate’s short biography (no more than 150 words), including the candidate’s institutional affiliation, to the Section Chair, Nukhet A. Sandal (sandal@ohio.edu), by June 15, 2020.

An online election will be held after nominations close and results will be announced before the APSA 2020 Annual Meeting.

We look forward to receiving your nominations.

Religion and Politics Section Executive Committee

Call for Nominations for Religion and Politics Section Executive Committee

APSA Religion and Politics Section is pleased to announce a Call for Nominations for candidates to stand in an upcoming online election to serve a two-year term on the Executive Committee of the section. There are three vacancies on the Committee to be filled in this election.

All nominees should be current members of the Religion and Politics Section. Section members may choose to self-nominate. If you are nominating a colleague, please make sure that you have their consent before nomination, and cc them on the nomination email.

Please forward the candidate’s short biography (no more than 150 words), including the candidate’s institutional affiliation, to the Section Chair, Nukhet A. Sandal:

(sandal@ohio.edu), by June 15, 2020.

An online election will be held after nominations close and results will be announced before the APSA 2020 Annual Meeting.

We look forward to receiving your nominations.

Religion and Politics Section Executive Committee

2020 APSA Annual Meeting – Theme: Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization

Program Chairs: Efrén Pérez, UCLA and Andra Gillespie, Emory University

In the United States, democratic institutions are generally thought of as bulwarks against manifold threats, both inside and outside of the American polity. Indeed, the assumption has been that our nation’s constitution is solid and prescient enough to thwart—or at the least contain—the more authoritarian impulses of citizens and elected officials alike. Donald J. Trump’s election to the presidency of the United States in 2016 has dramatically called into question this working assumption. Yet President Trump’s ascendance to executive power is more epilogue than prologue to the inclusivity of American democracy. In the decades leading to Trump’s momentous election, there were already countless signs of democracy displaying illiberal tendencies in the United States.

Indeed, although constitutional amendments extended the franchise to women and African Americans, the right to vote for these groups—and many others—has not been unfettered. The Supreme Court’s abandonment of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act has made it possible for states to suppress the ability of citizens of color to register and vote. The practice of gerrymandering continues to enable one political party to maintain control of state legislatures and congressional delegations, regardless of the intensity of their electoral support. Doubts have been raised anew about birthright citizenship, which was first established through the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to formally incorporate Black Americans into the body politic. These misgivings are finding fresh expression in new questions about constitutionally guaranteed rights for noncitizens in the United States, including those who are undocumented.

The antidemocratic tendencies intended to limit the rights of marginalized groups serve as an overall barometer of our health. In addition to the limits of racial and gender equality in the United States, institutional and behavioral practices can serve to limit democracy’s efficacy. By many accounts, America is as polarized now as it was on the cusp of the Civil War because of forces which polarize Americans into ideological, hyper-partisan camps. This phenomenon affects individual behavior and the norms and functioning of our most cherished political institutions. The tribalism that emerges from such sorting predicts policy preferences and could serve to tear the fabric of social and political cohesion. As a result, norms that once seemed sacrosanct—like Freedom of the Press—now are routinely doubted, denigrated, and downplayed. This list goes on, but the general concern is the same: How inclusive and representative of our country’s diversity are democracy’s institutions and practices?

The United States is not alone in peering down this deep dark well. Brazilians have ushered in President Jair Bolsonaro, who openly disdains democratic principles. Poland’s citizens have been witness to their conservative party attempting a dismantling of the judiciary and separation of powers. In Egypt, repression and authoritarian control has tightened substantially under the political control of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Hong Kong’s emerging democracy has stalled, though signs of democratic resistance emerged in summer 2019.

For the 2020 annual meeting, scholars in all areas of the discipline are invited to investigate questions related to the threats and stresses experienced by democracies worldwide, the importance of diversity as a strength of democratic performance, the limits of achieving equity and inclusivity in heterogeneous publics throughout the globe, and their implications for the resilience of democratic institutions. Many questions are raised by the growing pressures faced by democracies, including, but certainly not limited to:

  • How do citizens react to democratic threats?
  • Who, within democratic publics, endorses illiberal tactics and practices?
  • Who, within mass publics, staffs the barricades against democratic threats?
  • When do democratic nations turn away from core principles?
  • When do individuals perceive a threat to their position within a democracy and how do they respond politically?
  • Where, across the globe, do mass publics best reconcile capitalism with support for democratic institutions?
  • Where, in the world, do we see people agitating to gain or maintain rights?

Why do some individuals interpret demographic changes as threats to their rights, rather than a plus for democratic governance?

The year 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote, yet women of color were excluded from coverage of the amendment. Panels celebrating the amendment and exploring exclusionary aspects of the amendment are encouraged.

More information here.

APSA Educate

Dear Religion and Politics Section Members,

We received the following communication from Bennett L. Grubbs (Editor, APSA Educate) and wanted to draw your attention to this worthwhile initiative:

I hope this message finds you and your families well. As you know, many faculty have been required to move their courses online in the face of campus closures. In light of the urgent need for space to share teaching materials, we are launching a beta version of APSA’s new teaching resource library, “Educate,” ahead of schedule.

We are currently soliciting submissions of resources to form the foundation of our library and want to ensure that teaching materials focused on​ Religion and Politics are well represented. With that in mind, we hope that you will consider submitting materials to Educate and sharing this invitation with your fellow section members.

You are welcome to submit a favorite course syllabus, group activity, writing assignment, lecture materials, simulation, etc. – any materials that you have created for use in your classroom. These materials do not have to be designed for online courses, though online class materials are certainly welcome in the current environment.

You can submit course materials to Educate by visiting educate.apsanet.org and clicking the green “submit a resource” button in the top right corner of the page. Submission should only take 10-15 minutes.

We recognize that you are likely busy supporting your family, students, and colleagues through the current public health crisis, and that you may not be able to participate at this time. Our hope is to create a space where faculty can share resources and support one another at a time and in a way that best works for them.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or suggestions. You can reach the Educate team anytime at educate@apsanet.org.

All the best,

Bennett

Deadline Extended to May 15 – Susanne Hoeber Rudolph Outstanding Scholar in Religion and Politics Award

Section Members:

Deadline Extended to May 15, 2020

Susanne Hoeber Rudolph
Outstanding Scholar in Religion and Politics Award

The Susanne Hoeber Rudolph Outstanding Scholar Award recognizes a scholar who has made outstanding contributions to the field of religion and politics. These contributions should be through a combination of excellent and widely influential scholarship, policy input/impact, public engagement, service, teaching, and mentorship. Although the committee highly encourages nominations of APSA members and takes service to APSA seriously, nominees do not have to be current APSA members. The nominees are expected to attend the following year’s APSA Annual Meeting and participate in the roundtable organized in to celebrate their work.

The award is presented annually, following a review of applications by the committee. The winner will be honored with a plaque, a monetary award of $500, and a roundtable symposium honoring their work at the APSA Annual Meeting of the next calendar year. (The 2020 Susanne Hoeber Rudolph Awardee will be honored at the 2021 APSA Annual Meeting both during the business meeting and the roundtable).

The award is intended as an addition to, not replacement for, the practice of awarding special ‘lifetime achievement awards’ for scholars who have made substantial contributions to the Section on the event of their retirement. Instead, this is meant to reward political scientists (including those who are mid-career) who have made a substantial contribution to the field of religion and politics.

Nomination letters and the CVs of the nominees are due to the Committee Chair, Ben Gaskins, (bgaskins@lclark.edu) by May 15, 2020. The nomination letter should clearly describe how the nominee fulfills the criteria described above. Since this award is meant to reflect peer recognition, self-nominations will not be considered.

Award Committee:

Ben Gaskins (bgaskins@lclark.edu)
Lewis and Clark College

Tanya Schwarz (tschwarz@apsanet.org)
APSA

Andrea Hatcher (ahatcher@sewanee.edu)
The University of the South