Tag Archives: state

Co-editor, Regulating Morality. A Comparison of the Role of the State in Mastering the Mores in the Netherlands and the United States (2000)


About the book:
‘The purpose of this volume is to compare the experiences of state efforts to control moral behavior in two countries (The Netherlands and the United States of America) by exploring the historical developments in regulating morality and the contemporary efforts to implement moral policies. The volume opens with an overview of the theoretical and historical setting of the debate about moral developments in the Netherlands and the United States. Various hypotheses are then tested by comparing the histories of prostitution and abortion policies in both countries in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the jurisprudence and legislation with respect to euthanasia, and the course and contents of family law (divorce, adoption, homo marriage). Apart from the comparative aspect, these case studies are highly informative and fascinating to read in and by themselves.’

Table of contents:
‘Preface (Paul Cliteur) On Common Patterns and Compelling Differences: Introduction to Regulating Morality (Hans Krabbendam and Hans-Martien ten Napel) Part I Historical and Theoretical Framework The Moral State: How Much Do the Americans and the Dutch Differ? (James Kennedy) Legal Moralism, Liberal Legalism, and the Tangled Web of Law and Morality (Paul C.M. van Seters) Dutch Democracy: The Burden of the Sixties (Paul Cliteur and René van Wissen) The Ancients, the Moderns, and Morality (Andreas Kinneging) Part II Prostitution A Short History of American Prostitution and Prostitution Policy (David J. Langum) The History of Policing Prostitution in Amsterdam (Lotte van de Pol) Part III Abortion Cultural Individualism, Marginalized Policy, and Abortion in the United States (Raymond Tatalovich) Abortion in the Netherlands: The Successful Pacification of a Controversial Issue (Joyce Outshoorn) Part IV Euthanasia The Euthanasia Debate in the United States: Conflicting Claims about the Netherlands (Margaret P. Battin) Self-Regulation by the Dutch Medical Profession of Medical Behavior that Potentially Shortens Life (John Griffiths) Part V Family Law A Rendez-Vous in the Marketplace?: Transformations in Family Law in the United States (Janet L. Dolgin) The Influence of the 1960s on Developments in Family Law in the United States and the Netherlands (Gerda A. Kleijkamp) Notes on Contributors.’

Order information:



NWO to finance research project ‘Religion Renegotiated: Faith-Based Organizations and the State in the Netherlands since the 1960s’

Pleased to have received a major grant recently from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) for the above research proposal, submitted by Prof.dr. J.C. (James) Kennedy as principal applicant, and myself as co-applicant. James Kennedy is an American historian who since 2007 has worked as professor of Dutch history since the Middle Ages at the Universiteit van Amsterdam (http://www.uva.nl/over-de-uva/organisatie/medewerkers/content/k/e/j.c.kennedy1/j.c.kennedy.html).

Recent controversies in the Netherlands strongly suggest that the relationship between ‘faith-based organizations’ and the state is being redefined and renegotiated. The important relationship between ‘church’ (defined here as all faith-based organizations, including houses of worship) and ‘state’ (including not only national developments but also those at the municipal level, as well as the influence of Dutch and European courts) invites systematic investigation. In so doing the project hopes to shed light on developments not only of the Dutch case, which has generated much comment, but also transnational ones.

The proposed research offers an empirical, legal and historical examination of the grounding for Dutch government policy toward faith-based organizations. Although the focus of the project is clearly historical, and institutionally embedded in the humanities, it is at the same time more widely interdisciplinary. Thus, it intends to profit from the legal expertise of the co-applicant and several of the societal partners, including two researchers who, on behalf of two of these partners, will assist the co-applicant in his analysis of longer term developments in Dutch and European case law on the topic of the relationship between faith-based organizations and the state.

The users’ group includes both users in the proper sense of the word, and legal advisors of such organizations, as representatives of government and actors involved in the legislative and policymaking process. Apart from a continued involvement in the contents and planning of the proposed research, the partners will either be facilitating the proposed research by providing the research team (including two new positions of doctoral student and postdoctoral fellow) with expertise in terms of access to their (international) networks or archives during the first two years of the project, or assist in the dissemination of the main results of project during its final two years through the organizing of closed and public conferences and meetings and the partners’ own media.

For more information on the NWO research programme ‘Religion in Modern Society’, see http://www.nwo.nl/en/research-and-results/programmes/gw/religion-in-modern-society/index.html.

Blogpost on ‘Freedom of associations’

A blogpost by Professor C. Scott Pryor of Regent University School of Law on the above topic generously makes mention of my recent, co-authored article on ‘The State, Civil Society and Religious Freedom’.

From the blogpost:

‘Rights of associations–churches, families, organizations, etc.– are an increasingly important concept as the depth of legal penetration by modern States grows ever greater. The “contraceptive mandate” of the recent health care law is an example of this problem in America: Will associations, outside a narrow understanding of “religious” ones, be required to provide health insurance coverage inconsistent with their formative understandings?’

Read the full blogpost, with several links to Pryor’s own work in the field, at http://pryorthoughts.blogspot.nl/2013/01/freedom-of-associations.html.