Regulating the Relationship between State and Religion: An Economic Approach

15 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2012  

Ann-Sophie Vandenberghe

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: November 15, 2012

Abstract

In defining its relationship towards religion, the Dutch government is committed to the values of freedom of religion and neutrality. This article uses the economic approach to freedom of religion and state neutrality as a tool for looking at the existing Dutch policy of state aid to religion and at the Dutch freedom of religion cases. This investigation shows that the Dutch outcomes in religious cases follow a pattern of economic neutrality to a large extent, but that there are also deviations. This is especially the case for the policy of the Dutch (local) government to grant benefits to religious organisations based on a belief that the promotion of religion will provide positive results for society. Can religion contribute much to the enforcement of moral and social norms under conditions of modernity? This article seeks to contribute to this discussion by adding the insights of the economic literature on the enforcement of moral and social norms.

Keywords: social norms, religious freedom, neutrality

Suggested Citation

Vandenberghe, Ann-Sophie, Regulating the Relationship between State and Religion: An Economic Approach (November 15, 2012). Erasmus Law Review, Vol. 5, No. 1, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2176111

Ann-Sophie Vandenberghe (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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