European Political Science

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 273–288

Unequally Yoked: The Antinomies of Church–State Separation in Europe and the USA

  • John TS Madeley

DOI: 10.1057/eps.2009.16

Cite this article as:
Madeley, J. Eur Polit Sci (2009) 8: 273. doi:10.1057/eps.2009.16


The ongoing secularisation debate(s) rarely focus on state secularisation, seemingly because of the assumption that the state is definitionally secular and so logically not subject to secularisation. From a less compromised perspective, the secular state appears as an American late-eighteenth century invention while the present day states of Europe retain significant features inherited from the formative period of the modern state when it took a distinctively confessional form – that is, they remain still in part religious.


secularismChurch and stateAmerican exceptionalismregulation of religion

Copyright information

© European Consortium for Political Research 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • John TS Madeley
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GovernmentLondon School of Economics and Political ScienceLondonUK