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Inclusivity and Equality: Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion within Republican Society

[journal article]

Coffee, Alan

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Abstract Balancing citizens’ freedom thought, conscience and religion with the authority of the law which applies to all citizens alike presents an especial challenge for the governments of European nations with socially diverse and pluralistic populations. I address this problem from within the republican tradition represented by Machiavelli, Harrington and Madison. Republicans have historically focused on public debate as the means to identify a set of shared interests which the law should uphold in the interests of all. Within pluralistic societies, however, a greater attention must be paid to the background social conditions that may disrupt the deliberative process and lead to factionalism and instability. This includes certain changes in perspectives by both religious and secular citizens.
Keywords religion
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Free Keywords freedom; conscience; republicanism; diversity; pluralism
Document language English
Publication Year 2008
Page/Pages p. 26-40
Journal Politics in Central Europe, 4 (2008) 2
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications