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Two-Day International Conference: Religious Ideas and Institutions and Transitions to Democracy in Africa

Various Speakers Fri 18th May 2007 (Fri & Sat) Covel Commons, Northridge Room Globalization Research Center--Africa

Friday, May 18, 2007
1:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Los Angeles, CA 90095

The UCLA Globalization Research Center-Africa is hosting an international conference, “Religious Ideas and Institutions and Transitions to Democracy in Africa”. The central questions to be addressed in this conference have to do mainly with the emerging role of religious ideas and institutions in the processes of Africa’s political liberalization and democratization. Religious beliefs and both institutionalized and non-institutionalized religious organizations permeate the lives of African people and the social structures of every African state. They can have the potential to shape new or old institutions to better respond to social crises. Religious organizations can encourage conflict management and the process of democratic transition, or they can contribute to violence and political breakdown. How and where this occurs is a matter of fundamental importance for the future of African states and societies. In much of Africa, the relationship between legitimate and democratic governmental institutions and religious belief systems has not been adequately explored. The participants in this conference will pay particular attention to this issue.


....May 18, 2007....


2:15-3:15 ----Opening Presentation---- Religion, Institutions and the Transition to Democracy in Africa


Edmond Keller (University of California, Los Angeles)


3:30-5:30 ----Panel I---- (Theoretical and Policy Perspectives on Religion and Politics)


The New Cold War? Religious Nationalism Confront the Secular State


Mark Jurgensmeyer (University of California, Santa Barbara)


Towards a Theory of the Politics of Religion in Modern Africa


Jeff Haynes (London Guildhall University)


....May 19, 2007....


9:00-10:45 ----Panel II---- (Religious Vision and Action)


Robert Dowd (Notre Dame University)


Varieties of Religious Visions, Institutions, Identities and Practices in Africa and their Impact on Public and Political Life


Sheldon Gellar (Indiana University)


Political Islam and the State in Africa


Hussein Solomon (University of Pretoria)


11:00-12:45 ----Panel III---- (Religious Nationalism and Conflict in Africa)


Consequences of Religious Nationalism on Conflict in Africa


Marc Scarcelli (University of California, Davis)


Al-Qaeda in Africa


Yazini Funeka April (Africa Institute of South Africa)


Somalia’s Union of Islamic Courts,Peace and Security


Ruth Iyob (University of Missouri, St. Louis)


1:30-3:15 ----Panel IV---- (Religious Organizations as Civil Society)


Religious Organizations, Ethnicity and the Limits of Civil Society in Transitions to Democracy


Julius Nyng’oro (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)


Religion and Gender Equity in Nigeria


Hussaina Adbullah (Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria)


3:30-5:45 ----Panel V---- (Islam Christianity and Democracy in Africa)


Islam and the State of Algeria and Morocco: A Dialectical Model


Mary Jane Deeb (The American University)


Muslim-Christian Conflicts in Nigeria within the Context of Political Transitions


Rotimi Suberu (Ibadan University/US Institute of Peace)


The Politics of Islam and African Christianity Compared


Ricardo Laremont (Binghamton University)

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