Universität Wien FIND
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210147 SE BAK15: Osteuropastudien (2019W)

Religion, State and Society in post-Soviet States (engl.)

6.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 21 - Politikwissenschaft
Prüfungsimmanente Lehrveranstaltung

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max. 50 Teilnehmer*innen
Sprache: Englisch


Termine (iCal) - nächster Termin ist mit N markiert

Donnerstag 03.10. 09:45 - 13:00 Hörsaal 2 (H2), NIG 2.Stock
Freitag 18.10. 09:45 - 14:40 Hörsaal 2 (H2), NIG 2.Stock
Freitag 08.11. 09:45 - 14:45 Hörsaal 2 (H2), NIG 2.Stock
Freitag 22.11. 09:45 - 14:45 Hörsaal 2 (H2), NIG 2.Stock
Freitag 13.12. 09:45 - 16:30 Hörsaal 2 (H2), NIG 2.Stock


Ziele, Inhalte und Methode der Lehrveranstaltung

Soviet contempt for religion and the communist government’s attempts to repress it had great consequences for the religious situation in the post-Soviet sphere. Seventy years of anti-religious policies and propaganda left many citizens uninterested in religion and uninformed about its procedures and values. Nonetheless, processes of religious revival and religion’s increased presence in public life have since made the leaders of the now independent states having to practically and ideologically determine the relationship between state and religion.

The course will focus on the role of religion in society and contemporary domestic and foreign politics in the states of the former Soviet Union, with occasional comparative outlooks to other East European countries. It explores the different functions religion plays for various religious and secular actors and how these roles, either real or envisioned, sometimes can be conflicting. The seminar aims to develop the students’ knowledge of the relationship between religion, state and society in the region and to provide them with tools to independently analyze and evaluate ongoing developments in the area. Through discussing matters such as ‘religion as soft power,’ ‘securitization of religion’ and ‘religion in conflict’, students learn to analyze and problematize this complex development using various social science concepts and theories. This will give an understanding of state-religion relations as well as deepen the students’ knowledge about the regional and domestic political situation in these contexts.

The seminar will mainly consist of discussions and exercises in small working groups and sometimes in the class with the purpose of supporting the students to reflect and elaborate on the content of the literature. Prior to each session the students are provided a number of mandatory texts and different tasks in order to prepare for class.

Art der Leistungskontrolle und erlaubte Hilfsmittel

The seminar builds on the students’ active partaking and they are required to have completed the readings before class and come prepared to engage in the activities of each session. The final grade includes three written assignments over the course of the semester á 1000-2000 words (each 30% of the grade) in different ways demonstrating the student’s understanding of the course’s major topics. Finally, students are expected to briefly review (200 words) one written assignment submitted by one of their colleagues (10%).

Mindestanforderungen und Beurteilungsmaßstab

To pass the course all the written assignments should be successfully completed. Active participation in the seminar is required. According to faculty policy all sessions must be attended.


Readings and seminar discussions.


Selected readings (full list will be announced on Moodle):
Bedford, S. Islamic Activism in Azerbaijan: Repression and Mobilization in a post-Soviet Context. Stockholm University, 2009.
Huntington, S. "The Clash of Civilizations?." Foreign Affairs (1993): 22-49.
Haynes, J. (ed.) Routledge Handbook of Religion and Politics. Routledge, 2008.
Jödicke, A. (ed). Religion and Soft Power in the South Caucasus. Routledge, 2017.
Khalid, A. "A Secular Islam: Nation, State, and Religion in Uzbekistan." International Journal of Middle East Studies 35.4 (2003): 573-598.
Laine, V. and I. Saarelainen. "Spirituality as a Political Instrument: The Church, the Kremlin, and the creation of the" Russian World" FIIA Working Papers 98, September 2017. Lemon, E.J. "Building Resilient Secular Citizens: Tajikistan’s Response to the Islamic State." Caucasus Survey 4.3 (2016): 261-281.
Metreveli, T. "An Undisclosed Story of Roses: Church, State, and Nation in Contemporary Georgia." Nationalities Papers 44.5 (2016): 694-712.
Wæver, O. Securitization and Desecuritization. Centre for Peace and Conflict Research, 1993.
Wilhelmsen, J. "Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The Islamisation of the Chechen Separatist Movement." Europe-Asia Studies 57.1 (2005): 35-59.

Zuordnung im Vorlesungsverzeichnis

Letzte Änderung: Do 19.12.2019 15:29