FoRB Podcast: Business and Religious Rights

In episode 2 of The FoRB Podcast, Dmytro Vovk and Merilin Kiviorg invite Matteo Corsalini (University of Siena) to discuss religious freedom in the workplace and, more broadly, the business approach to FoRB protection. Matteo explains the economic aspect of FoRB, elaborates on the trend in EU Court of Justice (EUCJ) jurisprudence to expand the discretion of public and private employers in FoRB matters, and traces the EUCJ’s approach to the Court’s nature and history. He also guides Dmytro and Merilin through legal reasoning developed by the EUCJ, the European Court of Human Rights, and the U.S. Supreme Court in similar cases.

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The European “Cycle” of Neutrality

Matteo Corsalini is postdoctoral researcher at the University of Siena, Department of Social, Political and Cognitive Sciences.

Concepts of Neutrality in European Law

In liberal Western democracies, one possible reading of the principle of “neutrality” vis-à-vis religions is that states should encourage the flourishing of all co-existing faith- and belief-based systems that inhabit the public sphere. While this paradigm embodies an “ideal type of inclusive secularism,”[1] managing religious diversity under an egalitarian conception of neutrality does not mean that civic authorities must treat all groups seeking a place and a voice within the state with absolute impartiality.

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Ukraine’s Church-State Relationship May Be Changed Significantly: Interview with Dmytro Vovk

This interview was initially published by the Forum for Ukrainian Studies, an analytical online platform of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies. Dmytro Vovk was interviewed by Heather Coleman (University of Alberta).

Heather Coleman: Even before the 2022 full-scale invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, you argued that the war with Russia since 2014 had changed church-state relations in Ukraine. Can you describe that evolution?

Dmytro Vovk: There are two main trends here, which overlap. The first trend is securitization, and the second one is a drift to a more cooperationist model of church-state relations with respect to securitization. Since 2014, religion, and especially inter-Orthodox competition, has become a matter of security concern for Ukraine. Before the war, there were several academics, experts, and some politicians promoting this sort of “spiritual security” approach, but it was never a matter of urgent high political priority or comprehensive state policies.

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