Morality Politics in Western Europe: Parties, Agendas and by Isabelle Engeli, Christoffer Green-Pedersen, Lars Thorup

By Isabelle Engeli, Christoffer Green-Pedersen, Lars Thorup Larsen, L. Thorup Larsen

Why perform a little nations have 'Culture Wars' over morality concerns akin to abortion and same-sex marriage whereas different nations infrequently event any clash? This e-book argues that morality matters simply generate significant conflicts in political structures with an important clash among spiritual and secular events.

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Extra info for Morality Politics in Western Europe: Parties, Agendas and Policy Choices

Sample text

These parties profile mainly on morality issues by promoting permissive or restrictive policies, while the Christian Democratic center party avoided politicization and refrained from being a first mover in agenda setting. We analyze attention within different political institutions: political parties presenting their manifestos in the run up to new parliamentary elections, and written questions in the House of Representatives, the Tweede Kamer, which are a weapon of control used to direct attention between members of parliament and the government.

Similarly, interest groups like gay rights organizations or women’s movements will obviously take a stand on the specific morality issues of interest, but they are unlikely to put significant emphasis on having a secular position on morality issues because there are no significant opponents to formulate this position against. Second, because of the disinterest of political parties, the politicization of morality issues in the secular world is often very limited. None of the major partisan actors has a particular interest in drawing attention to these issues during, for instance, election campaigns or in the public debate since they are not really considered to be part of politics as such, or at least not of party political competition.

This leads us to the paradoxical conclusion that in a rapidly secularizing polity, the relevance of the religious world in the party system increases. Abortion was the first and the most broadly considered issue, followed by the other issues. Assisted reproduction, embryo and stem-cell research and same-sex marriage on average received very little consideration. In particular same-sex marriage did not appear to be a matter of concern in the pledges presented by political parties when they campaigned for parliamentary elections.

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