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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Springtime For Freedom Of Religion Or Belief: Will Newly Democratic Arab States Guarantee International Human Rights Norms Or Perpetuate Their Violation?, Robert Blitt Dec 2011

Springtime For Freedom Of Religion Or Belief: Will Newly Democratic Arab States Guarantee International Human Rights Norms Or Perpetuate Their Violation?, Robert Blitt

Robert C. Blitt

The Arab Spring has generated unprecedented and seismic political and social upheaval across the Arab world. The reasons for the outbreak of widespread and vociferous public protest are myriad, but generally understood as including long-simmering resentment of government corruption and repression, underwhelming economic development, chronic unemployment and poor respect for human rights, including the treatment of individuals and groups affiliated with political manifestations of Islam. Despite the initial drama surrounding the street rallies, two years on, the pace of change has grown fitful and uncertain. The purpose of this chapter is to consider one narrow aspect of the Arab Spring ...


Russia’S 'Orthodox' Foreign Policy: The Growing Influence Of The Russian Orthodox Church In Shaping Russia’S Policies Abroad, Robert Blitt Dec 2010

Russia’S 'Orthodox' Foreign Policy: The Growing Influence Of The Russian Orthodox Church In Shaping Russia’S Policies Abroad, Robert Blitt

Robert C. Blitt

The government of Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) - the country’s predominant religious group - recently underwent back-to-back changes in each institution’s respective leadership. This coincidence of timing has afforded a unique opportunity to reexamine the status of constitutional secularism and church-state relations in the Russian Federation. In the short space of two years, the partnership of President Dmitri Medvedev and Patriarch Kirill has further entrenched a discriminatory three-tiered status system for religious groups and - perhaps more significantly - has generated multiple new channels of influence for the ROC in Russian social and political life, including handing the Church ...


Should New Bills Of Rights Address Emerging International Human Rights Norms? The Challenge Of “Defamation Of Religion”, Robert C. Blitt Dec 2009

Should New Bills Of Rights Address Emerging International Human Rights Norms? The Challenge Of “Defamation Of Religion”, Robert C. Blitt

Robert C. Blitt

The emerging international human rights norm of “defamation of religion,” an ongoing flashpoint in debates at the United Nations (UN) and elsewhere, merits the attention of all parties playing a role in the drafting of new bills of rights. This article uses the case study of defamation of religion, as an emerging norm and the current debate over a possible Australian bill of rights, to argue that a well-rounded drafting process. This drafting process should contemplate the relevancy and impact of emerging norms as a means of enhancing the process, deepening domestic understanding of rights, and ensuring an outcome instrument ...


Analysis Of The Republic Of Tajikistan's Draft Law 'About Freedom Of Conscience And Religious Unions', Robert Blitt, W. Durham Dec 2007

Analysis Of The Republic Of Tajikistan's Draft Law 'About Freedom Of Conscience And Religious Unions', Robert Blitt, W. Durham

Robert C. Blitt

This article, prepared at the request of the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), provides an article-by-article detailed legal analysis of key shortcomings in Tajikistan's draft law About Freedom of Conscience and Religious Unions. Based on their analysis, the authors provide recommendations for amendments directed at ensuring that the final draft law complies with Tajikistan's international and domestic human rights obligations.


How To Entrench A De Facto State Church In Russia: A Guide In Progress, Robert Blitt Dec 2007

How To Entrench A De Facto State Church In Russia: A Guide In Progress, Robert Blitt

Robert C. Blitt

The Russian Orthodox Church's (ROC) assertion of a constitutionally inappropriate role in affairs of state has severely compromised Russia's secular constitutional framework. This gradual but steady erosion of the barrier between church and state is evidenced by a series of contemporary developments that are inexorably linked to the Church's vision of its traditional place in Russian history. Disturbingly, each successive post-communist regime has further enabled this behavior, and there is no indication that the political transition from President Vladimir Putin to his hand-picked successor, Dmitry Medvedev, will change anything. This paper argues that the emerging pattern of ...


The Religion-State Relationship And The Right To Freedom Of Religion Or Belief: A Comparative Textual Analysis Of The Constitutions Of Predominantly Muslim Countries, Tad Stahnke, Robert Blitt Dec 2004

The Religion-State Relationship And The Right To Freedom Of Religion Or Belief: A Comparative Textual Analysis Of The Constitutions Of Predominantly Muslim Countries, Tad Stahnke, Robert Blitt

Robert C. Blitt

This study analyzes the constitutional provisions in 44 predominantly Muslim countries addressing the relationship between religion and the state, freedom of religion or belief, and other related human rights as measured against recognized international human rights standards. The geographic diversity of the Muslim world mirrors a central finding of the study, that predominantly Muslim countries encompass a variety of constitutional arrangements - ranging from Islamic republics with Islam as the official state religion, to secular states with strict separation of religion and state. Key findings of the survey include: More than half of the world's Muslim population (estimated at over ...