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About us

In the past decades, the concepts of secularism, laicism, secularization and laicité have raised to prominence in public and political debates on various issues such as: civil rights, individual freedoms, minorities and religious pluralism, migration and integration. A vast scholarship has emphasized this renewed presence and visibility of religion in the public space and its effects on the political realm.

Established in 2009, the Standing Group SISP ‘Politics and Religion’ gathers scholars interested in analysing the influence of the religious factor on the public debate, on political systems and international relations in the contemporary world. The research activities include the following axes:

  • the role of the ‘sacred’ in democratic and non-democratic regimes
  • the study of how religious values and religious actors affect democracies and democratisation process as it pertains both theoretical frameworks and empirical multilevel analysis (local, national and supranational)
  • the study of the impact of religion on public debates and policy making
  • the role and the specific features characterising religiously oriented movements and parties
  • how religion affects international relations and the role played by religious actors in contexts of conflict and political violence
  • the role of religious and interreligious dialogue in peacekeeping and peacebuilding as well as in integration process


The aim of the Standing Group (SG) is to organise seminars, workshops and conferences to strengthen the network of scholars working on the subject. It also promotes the inclusion of these topics in the Italian Political Science Society via the creation of working groups, the elaboration of research projects, the collaboration with academic journals, and the strengthening of international cooperation with similar organizations within the IPSA and the ECPR. Moreover, the SG aims to improve the circulation of scholars working on similar topics and to enhance interdisciplinarity on theoretical and methodological approaches.


The SG elaborates research objectives and new research project proposals during the annual General SISP Conference. The SG is structured to encourage a proactive and horizontal participation which values pluralism of opinions and aims to reach a wide consensus on the decisions.

The current activities are coordinated by two members: Chiara Maritato and Susanna Pagiotti