Alessandro Ferrari headshot

Alessandro Ferrari Visiting Fellow, Spring 2019

University of Paris XI-Institut Catholique of Paris, and an LLB from the University of Modena. He is a member of the Islam Commission of the Italian Home Ministry and of the Islam Group of the Office for Ecumenism and Dialogue of the Italian (Roman Catholic) Bishop Conference.

During his fellowship with ILSP: LSC, Ferrari plans to finalize his research about a common, interconnected Mediterranean history of what has been called, since the nineteenth century, the “right to religious freedom.” The research is divided in four main parts:

I. Muslims in Europe. The “religious lens” towards “Muslims” employed by European state legal systems. The legal status of Islam in Europe: the role of the Muslims and Muslim communities in changing and re-shaping the European model of freedom to religion. The main legal, judicial, and administrative tools that have been developed in response to the Muslim presence in the Old Continent. The effects of the “double transnationalism” of European Muslims (religious/community and state-based). The relationship between EU/ECHRs and single “state-nations.”

II. Diversities on the Southern Shore. The implications of globalization for the definition of a right to freedom of religion in Southern Mediterranean countries: constitutional, legislative and practical reforms. The current debates and the influence of the Northern shore.

III. The Redefinition of Citizenship on Northern and Southern Shores. Declarations and charters of values on the two shores, from the Marrakech Declaration to Cairo and Beirut Declarations, the Bahrain statement, as compared with the Italian, French, and German values charters.

IV. General Conclusions: the role of a refashioned right to freedom of religion in a post-modern and post-secular global order. A redefinition of this right in a period of porosity between religious and secular borders. The role of this right within the construction of a Mediterranean geopolitical space.

Ferrari’s areas of interest are law and religion in Italy and Europe, the dynamics of secularism, laïcité, and the rights to religious freedom especially in relation to the Muslim presence in Europe. Ferrari has been Directeur d’études at the École Pratique des Hautes Études (Paris) and Roberta Buffet Visiting Professor at Northwestern University, and will be in residence at HLS during Spring Semester 2019.