Rethinking Institutional Secularization as an (Im)possible “Policy”




religion, education, citizenship


The paper analyzes through a genealogical discourse analysis how religion as a cultural practice escapes into the borders of state institutions. While most studies about secularization focus on institutional aspects, such approaches tend to link state secularist policies with cultural secularization. This essay argues that state promotion of religious institutional secularist policies needs to be rethought. The institutionalization of republicanism in Argentina exemplifies this problem. In order to shape a secular Argentinean citizen the government promoted an array of secularist policies (1860–1910). The article aims to problematize such linear historical account by showing how Catholic religious principles became part of the “secular” Argentinean citizen. In fact, religious connotations such as salvific narratives or dogmatic qualities were reenacted in seemingly secular state discursive spaces. Nowadays, several states are enacting secularist state policies to ban nonwestern religious manifestations from public spaces such as schools. In unraveling the Argentinean processes, the article aspires to highlight the impossibilities of banning religion from the narratives that shape the republican citizen.


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Author Biography

Ezequiel Gomez Caride, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Argentina-Universidad de San Andrés

Ezequiel Gomez Caride earned his Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction in the School of Education at UW Madison. He already published several articles from a comparative perspective and presented his research in a variety of international conferences. He was a Fulbright Scholar (2008-2010) and a Weinstein Distinguished Graduate Fellowship (2012-2013) of the UW Madison. In 2014, he received a post-doctoral fellowship from CONICET, Argentina. He has a double affiliation as a researcher at the Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina and at the University of San Andrés. His research is concerned with issues of national identity, religion, educational policy, and cultural studies.




How to Cite

Gomez Caride, E. (2015). Rethinking Institutional Secularization as an (Im)possible “Policy”. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 23, 5.




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