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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Whither Secular Bear: The Russian Orthodox Church’S Strengthening Influence On Russia's Domestic And Foreign Policy, Robert Blitt Dec 2010

Whither Secular Bear: The Russian Orthodox Church’S Strengthening Influence On Russia's Domestic And Foreign Policy, Robert Blitt

Robert C. Blitt

As 2012 presidential elections in Russia draw near, evidence points to a collapse in that country’s constitutional obligation of secularism and state-church separation. Although early signs of this phenomenon can be traced back to the Yeltsin era, the Putin and Medvedev presidencies have dealt a fatal blow to secular state policy manifested both at home and abroad, as well as to Russia’s constitutional human rights principles including nondiscrimination and equality of religious beliefs. The first part of this article argues that leadership changes in the Russian government and the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) have triggered an unprecedented deepening ...


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 ...


Defamation Of Religion: Rumors Of Its Death Are Greatly Exaggerated, Robert Blitt Dec 2010

Defamation Of Religion: Rumors Of Its Death Are Greatly Exaggerated, Robert Blitt

Robert C. Blitt

This Article explores the recent decisions by the United Nations (“UN”) Human Rights Council and General Assembly to adopt consensus resolutions aimed at “combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against, persons based on religion or belief.” These resolutions represent an effort to move past a decade’s worth of contentious roll call votes in favor of prohibiting defamation of religion within the international human rights framework. Although labeled “historic” resolutions, this Article argues that the UN’s new compromise approach endorsed in 2011 — motivated in part by the desire to end years ...


The Bottom Up Journey Of 'Defamation Of Religion' From Muslim States To The United Nations: A Case Study Of The Migration Of Anti-Constitutional Ideas, Robert Blitt Dec 2010

The Bottom Up Journey Of 'Defamation Of Religion' From Muslim States To The United Nations: A Case Study Of The Migration Of Anti-Constitutional Ideas, Robert Blitt

Robert C. Blitt

This chapter is intended to elaborate on the existing academic literature addressing the migration of constitutional ideas. Through an examination of ongoing efforts to enshrine “defamation of religion” as a violation of international human rights, the author confirms that the phenomenon of migration is not restricted to positive constitutional norms, but rather also encompasses negative ideas that ultimately may serve to undermine international and domestic constitutionalism. More specifically, the case study demonstrates that the movement of anti-constitutional ideas is not restricted to the domain of “international security” law, and further, that the vertical axis linking international and domestic law is ...