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Anno accademico 2023/2024

Codice attività didattica
Luca Ozzano (Titolare dell'insegnamento)
Corso di studio
Master's Degree Course in Area and global studies for international cooperation
2° anno
Primo semestre
SSD attività didattica
SPS/04 - scienza politica
Tipologia esame
Students attending the course should be familiar with the main political science literature and theses, at least in relation to democracy/democratization and authoritarianism (definitions, typologies, paths towards democracy, etc.), and political parties (types, organizational models, cleavages thesis, party systems).

Sommario insegnamento


Obiettivi formativi

The course on Politics and Religion contributes to the fulfilment of the aims of the Master degree on Area and Global Studies for International Cooperation, by providing the students with keys to the understanding of the influence at the global level of the religious factor on social and political systems. A particular attention will be devoted to the areas on which the Master degree focuses: both towards an analytical use, in terms of area studies; and in relation to the field of international cooperation for development (wherein religious actors often perform a key role, both as cooperation NGOs and as stakeholders).


Risultati dell'apprendimento attesi

The course aims at:
- Enabling the students to analyze the influence of both the religious factor and religiously oriented actors on specific political and social contexts, at the institutional and cultural levels.
- Enabling them to analyze the power relations which develop between political institutions and actors, and religiously oriented actors, and those between religiously oriented actors and other stakeholders.
- Enabling them to understand the role played by religious values and actors in engendering dynamics of conflict or cooperation, at the domestic and international levels.
- Enabling them to understand the implications that the above mentioned points entail for people active in an area, particularly in the field of development cooperation.



The first half of the course (18 hours) will analyze the relations between politics and religion in the contemporary world at the theoretical level, with a focus on the main perspectives on the subject and their implications. First, the course will take into account the different possible arrangements between political institutions and religious organizations in different areas of the world, and it will try to understand how the influence of religion takes shape at the domestic level in both democratic and non democratic regimes. Particularly, the role of religious actors will be considered, with a focus on religiously oriented political parties, their different orientations, and their influence. The role of religion in international and global politics will also be taken into account, particularly in relation to the role of the religious factor in conflicts and phenomena of political violence.
The second part of the course (18 hours) will instead be focused on specific case studies belonging to the three regional areas which are the focus of the course of studies (Africa, Asia and the Americas), which will illustrate how the theoretical perspectives analyzed in the first part of the course apply to specific contexts.


Modalità di insegnamento

Lectures, projection of multimedia contents, and classroom exercises. The course will take place in presence in the first semester.


Modalità di verifica dell'apprendimento

Students will be evaluated through a written exam including only open ended questions, that will focus both on the students' knowledge of the theories, and on their capacity to apply them to specific contexts. Those attending the course will have the opportunity to replace the examination on the last 12 hours of course with a group presentation (1/3 of the total mark).


Attività di supporto

Office hour


Testi consigliati e bibliografia

Syllabus of the Course on Politics and Religion
Titolo rivista:  
See below the complete list
Anno pubblicazione:  
Luca Ozzano

All the materials are either open access or can be downloaded for free from the PCs of the Bobbio library (or from home using the Unito proxy).

On the Moodle page of the course will also be made available a folder with all the materials.


Week 1: Religion, Secularization and Politics:

- Russell Sandberg and Norman Doe. 2007. “Church-;State Relations in Europe”. Religion Compass 1/5: 561-;578

- Jeffrey Haynes. 1997. “Religion, secularisation and politics: A postmodern conspectus”. Third World Quarterly 18 (4): 709-;28.

- Ahmet T. Kuru. 2007. “Passive and Assertive Secularism: Historical Conditions, Ideological struggles, and State Policies toward Religion”. World Politics 59 (4): 568-;94.

- Samuel P. Huntington. 1993. “The Clash of Civilizations?” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 72, No. 3 (Summer, 1993), pp. 22-49


Week 2: Religion, Democracy and Democratization:

- Luca Ozzano. 2013. “Introduction: Religion, Democracy and Civil Liberties”. European Political Science 12 (2), pp. 147-153.

- Alfred C. Stepan. 2000. “Religion, Democracy, and the ‘Twin Tolerations’”. Journal of Democracy 11 (4): 37-;57.

- Steve Bruce. 2004. “Did Protestantism Create Democracy?” Democratization 11(4): 3-;20.

- Mirjam Künkler and Julia Leininger. 2009. “The Multi-Faceted Role of Religious Actors in
Democratization Processes: Empirical Evidence from Five Young Democracies”.
Democratization, 16(6): 1058-;1092.


 Week 3: Religion, Groups, and Political Parties:

- Luca Ozzano and Francesco Cavatorta. 2013. “Introduction: religiously oriented parties and democratization”. Democratization 20 (5): 799-;806.

- Luca Ozzano. 2013. “The many faces of the political god: a typology of religiously oriented parties”. Democratization 20 (5): 807-;30.

- Manfred Brocker and Mirjam Kunkler. 2013. “Religious Parties: Revisiting the Inclusion Moderation Hypothesis”. Party Politics, 13(2): 171-;186.


Week 4: Case studies (1):

 - Sultan Tepe and Ajar Chekirova. 2022. “Faith in Nations: The Populist Discourse of Erdogan, Modi, and Putin”, Religions Vol. 13, No. 5.

- Jeffrey Haynes. 2020. “Right-Wing Populism and Religion in Europe and the USA”, Religions 11

- Guy Ben-Porat, Dani Filc, Ahmet Erdi Ozturk and Luca Ozzano. "Populism, Religion, and Family Values Policies in Israel, Italy and Turkey", Mediterranean Politics

- Ahmet Erdi Öztürk. 2019. “An alternative reading of religion and authoritarianism: the new logic between religion and state in the AKP’s New Turkey”. Southeast European and Black Sea Studies 19 (1): 79-;98.


Week 5: Case Studies (2):

- Lyman A. Kellstedt and James L. Guth. 2021. “Religious Voting in the 2020 Presidential Election: Testing Alternative Theories. Politics and Religion Journal 15 (2): 257-281.

- Claudia Zilla. 2018. “Evangelicals and politics in Latin America: religious switching and its growing political relevance” (SWP Comment, 46/2018). Berlin: Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik.

- Paul Antonopoulos, Daniel França Ribeiro and Drew Cottle. 2020. “Liberation Theology to Evangelicalism: The Rise of Bolsonaro and the Conservative Evangelical Advance in Post-Colonial Brazil”. Postcolonial Interventions 5(2): 240-281.

- Giorgio Shani. 2021. “Towards a Hindu Rashtra: Hindutva, religion, and nationalism in India”, Religion, State & Society, 49:3, 264-280


Week 6: Case Studies (3):

- Francesco Cavatorta and Fabio Merone. 2013. “Moderation through exclusion? The journey of the Tunisian Ennahda from fundamentalist to conservative party”. Democratization 20(5): 857-;875.

- Daniel Egiegba Agbiboa. 2013. “No retreat, no surrender: Understanding the religious terrorism of Boko Haram in Nigeria”, African Study Monographs, 34 (2): 65-;84.

- Gaziza Shakhanova and Petr Kratochvil. 2022. The Patriotic Turn in Russia: Political Convergence of the Russian Orthodox Church and the State?, Politics and Religion 15, 114-141



The course takes place from 18th September 2023 on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 10 and 12 am in room F4 of Campus Einaudi.

Please enrol online, both on the course page on the unito website (this page), and on the Moodle page for the course (, even if you don't mean to attend the lessons in classroom. This will facilitate communication between teacher and students.

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