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Changes in Governance, Law, Security and Welfare

8 December 2011

Auditorium Stina, Axelia, Biskopsgatan 8, 20500 Ã…bo, Finland

The conference looks at the impact of changes in global political economy and the associated ideology of neoliberalism on religion since the 1980s. We have witnessed the expansion of the twin processes of commodification and marketization that penetrate life beyond the “economic”. Beyond the market, neoliberalism is embedded in transformed power relations, whereby law and new forms of governance are changing existing state-church relations and regulations. Administrative strategies based on new public management replace a Weberian bureaucracy with contracts, networks and markets accompanied with devolution of historical structures and the emergence of new, transnational fields of power, such as the European Union. Politics of identity are embedded in politics of the secular and divine, and the resurgence of public religion as a sign of these changes. The symposium is based on book project by Tuomas Martikainen and François Gauthier entitled “Religion in the Neoliberal Age: Political Economy and Governance” to be published in 2012. The symposium is part the five-year research project Post-Secular Culture and a Changing Religious Landscape in Finland at the Department of Comparative Religion, Åbo Akademi University, and co-hosted by the Donner Institute and the Governance of Transnational Islam Project (Academy of Finland).

Registration required by 2 December 2011 (no participation fee): Linda Mattsson, More information: Tuomas Martikainen,


10.00-10.15, Welcome and Introduction: Religion in the Age of Neoliberalism Dr. Tuomas Martikainen, University of Helsinki Prof. Francois Gauthier, UQAM, Canada

10.15-10.45, The Privatization of Welfare and Religious Organisations in the US Prof. David Ashley, University of Wyoming, USA

10.45-11.15, The Complicated Role of Faith-based Welfare at the American Right Dr. Jason Hackworth, University of Toronto, Canada

11.15-11.30, Comment by Prof. Risto Heiskala, University of Tampere

11.30-11.45, Discussion

11.45-12.45, Lunch

12.45-13.15, Customer Orientation and Religious Change: Low Threshold Offers in German Protestant Churches Jens Schlamelcher, Ruhr-Universität-Bochum, Germany

13.15-13.45, Alms Or Arms?: Counter-Terrorism Financing Laws And The Consequences For Australian Muslim Organizations Agnes Chong, Stanford University, USA

13.45-14.00, Comment by Dr. Teemu Taira, University of Turku

14.00-14.15, Discussion

14.15-14.40, Coffee

14.40-15.05, Regulating Religion in a Neoliberal Context: The Transformation of Estonia Ringo Ringvee

15.05-15.30, From Implicitly Christian to Explicitly Neoliberal: The Moral Foundations of Canadian Law Exposed by the Case of Prostitution Rachel Chagnon

15.30-15.45, Comment by Prof. Tuula Sakaranaho, University of Helsinki

15.45-16.00, Discussion and closing of the symposium


Post-Secular Culture and a Changing Religious Landscape in Finland, Ã…bo Akademi University The Donner Institute, Ã…bo The Academy of Finland research project The Governance of Transnational Islam. The Case of Finland, Ireland and Canada