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Valentine Zuber

The comparative history of secularization in France and in Geneva can shed fresh light on the separation of church and state in France in 1905 and in Geneva in 1907. Similarities in the timing of events and in the laws of separation in these two settings mask sharp differences in how laïcité was understood and how it was interpreted politically. The establishment of laïcité had neither the same causes nor the same political effects in France and Geneva. Nevertheless, as two examples of "total" laïcisation, the French and Genevan separations of church and state raised the same question about religious liberty and its safeguard by the state. Should a state that is "separate from religion" play an active role protecting the liberty of the different denominations in its territory, or should it uphold a prudent and distanced neutrality?

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Contribution to a Debate

'On the Separation of the Churches and the State'

Émile Durkheim

This is the first English translation of Durkheim's contribution to an important debate on the separation of church and state (1905) - in the course of which he remarked, to an outburst from those present, that 'From a sociological point of view, the Church is a monstrosity'. The translation comes with an introduction and editorial notes by W. S. F. Pickering, explaining the background to the debate, identifying the participants, and recommending some of the many books and articles on the issue.

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Fabienne Randaxhe

From a French perspective, the relationship between the state and religion in the United States may seem paradoxical. On the one hand, the American nation was the first one to have established, by constitutional means, a separation between religious bodies and the political realm. On the other hand, religious and political spheres in the US still seem to overlap to some extent. While French approaches tend to regard US laïcité as uncertain and incomplete, this article discusses whether laïcité is in the US incomplete or aware of tensions to be lessened among religious, political and social forces. I focus on legal regulation and consider the notion of accommodation as a particular form of legal laïcité.

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The sanctioning state

Official permissiveness and prohibition in India

Ajay Gandhi

In a monograph on the India-Bangladeshi borderland, Delwar Hussain (2013) examines the traffic of labor and commodities across state lines. Recent decades have seen the formidable retrenchment of this border, with personnel, wire, and

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Werner Reutter

Why should we be interested in how justices of German state constitutional courts are selected and elected? For three reasons: first, perceptions can be deceiving. Many believe that in Germany the Federal Constitutional Court ( fcc ) says what

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Making the State Blush

Humanizing Relations in an Australian NGO Campaign for People Seeking Asylum

Tess Altman

political representative from monster to mom at a time of crucial political significance provides an entry point into questions about the role of affective and moral registers in relations between citizens and the state. What affective and moral work was

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State of Uncertainty

Educating the First Railroaders in Central Sakha (Yakutiya)

Sigrid Irene Wentzel

opened. The delays generated a state of uncertainty in the community of Nizhniy Bestyakh, as individuals and institutions—such as the transportation college this article focuses on—were oriented toward the opening of that passenger connection in 2014

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God's Delivery State

Taxes, Tithes, and a Rightful Return in Urban Ghana

Anna-Riikka Kauppinen

‘returns’ of paying tithes as the starting point to make an argument toward a new anthropology of taxes and taxation. I explore taxes paid to the government and tithes paid to the church as mutually constitutive monetary transfers, which state authorities

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Bringing the state back in

Corporate social responsibility and the paradoxes of Norwegian state capitalism in the international energy sector

Ståle Knudsen, Dinah Rajak, Siri Lange, and Isabelle Hugøy

Focusing on the practices and politics of corporate social responsibility (CSR), this theme section examines comparatively how transnational companies (TNCs), the state, and the world economic order are linked in complex ways in energy industries

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The Many Faces of the State

Living in Peace and Conflict in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh

Nasir Uddin and Eva Gerharz

“Peace is perhaps implied by the peace accord, but there is not much peace in our lives. Who will bring peace to us? The state? In our lives we seldom find the Bangladeshi state to be sympathetic. Instead, we experience it in the form of military