Religion in Nordic Party Platforms 1988-2008
2013 (English)In: Nordic Journal of Religion and Society, ISSN 0809-7291, Vol. 26, no 2, 121-139 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In this article, I will analyse how Nordic political parties refer to religion in party platforms from the late 1980s until 2008 in light of increased religious diversity and changed relations between church and state in the Nordic countries. Four questions are asked: (1) Does the number of issue-areas related to religion increase or decrease over time in the party platforms? (2) Does the connection between religion and other political issues, such as national identity, foreign policy, and human rights, change during this period? (3) How do the political parties view the positions of the majority churches and do they change over time? (4) What differences can be observed between the political parties in their approach to religion? The data consist of 136 party platforms from all the five Nordic countries in 1988, 1998, and 2008. The analysis shows that issues-areas related to religion increase in Denmark, Iceland, Finland and Sweden, but decrease slightly in Norway. Religion is often mentioned in connection to religious diversity and globalization. The position of the majority churches in party platforms is fairly strong over time, although to decreasing degree, particularly in Sweden and Norway. Finally, the traditional religious cleavage (Lipset and Rokkan 1967) is still evident in Nordic politics, although the right-wing populist parties complicates this picture as they tend to use religion to defend national values against consequences of religious diversity.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 26, no 2, 121-139 p.
Religion, political parties, Nordic countries, Scandinavia, party platforms
Research subject Sociology of Religion
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-211200OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-211200DiVA: diva2:665833
ProjectsImpact of ReligionNOREL