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Comparative Politics of Exclusion in Europe and the Americas: Religious, Sectarian, and Racial Boundary Making since the Reformation

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Based on a critical reading of three recent books, I argue that the exclusion of Jews and Muslims, the two major non-Christian religious groups in Europe and the Americas, has continued on the basis of ethnic, racial, ideological, and quasi-rational justifications, instead of or in addition to religious justifications, since the Reformation. Furthermore, I argue that the institutionally orchestrated collective stigmatization and persecution of Jews and Muslims predated the Reformation, going back to the Fourth Lateran Council under Pope Innocent III in 1215. The notion of Corpus Christianum and Observant movements in the late Middle Ages, the elective affinity of liberalism and racism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and the divergence in religious norms at present are critically evaluated as potential causes of ethnoreligious exclusion.


Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: July 1, 2020

This article was made available online on January 24, 2020 as a Fast Track article with title: "Comparative Politics of Exclusion in Europe and the Americas: Religious, Sectarian, and Racial Boundary Making since the Reformation".

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  • Comparative Politics is an international journal that publishes scholarly articles devoted to the comparative analysis of political institutions and behavior. It was founded in 1968 to further the development of comparative political theory and the application of comparative theoretical analysis to the empirical investigation of political issues. Comparative Politics communicates new ideas and research findings to social scientists, scholars, and students, and is valued by experts in research organizations, foundations, and consulates throughout the world.
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