Secularism: Conventional or Contextual? Theory and Practice of Religious Politics in Iran and Turkey

Date of Award

May 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science


Glyn Morgan

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


This dissertation functions within the framework of two normative judgments. First, secularism as a modern ideology behind the process of secularization is suffering from a real conceptual and normative crisis. Second, a new understanding of secular standpoint is not only possible but also necessary in order to control and prevent institutionalized religious domination in some sociopolitical contexts. My dissertation is an attempt to provide an argument for such a new understanding of the secular standpoint through a normative comparative study of conventional secularism and contextual secularism in Iran and Turkey. It tries to function both as a diagnostic and synthetic approach, and it captures a position in between normative theorizing and comparative interpretation. This is a normative comparative study of Western secularism, on the one hand, and the nuanced dialectic of imposing the dominant conventional understanding of secularism on two Muslim-majority contexts (Iran and Turkey), on the other.


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