Church, State and Sex: How Africa's transnational churches shape human rights (Dissertation) Why have East African mainline churches adopted select transnational rights agendas while opposing others, and what are the consequences of these politics for women and sexual minorities? This research examines mainlines' responses to three transnational agendas: eradicating gender-based violence, elevating female leaders, and advancing LGBTQ inclusion. It argues that mainlines face multilayered pressures that shape and limit church receptivity to rights agendas. Transnational influences coalesce with domestic religion-state relations to commission religious leaders to govern gender relations and sexual behavior. From here, mainline leaders' positional power, relative to state actors and other religious institutions, intervene to reinforce or disrupt church commitments to transnational rights. Specifically, mainline responses to an issue are shaped by that issue's level of global consensus, the challenges it poses to existing patriarchal institutions, and whether church adversaries can use the issue to undermine mainlines' domestic credibility. This analysis locates mainlines at the center of transnational efforts to diffuse international human-rights norms into grassroots practices. In doing so, it exposes the limited effects that transnational rights agendas have in challenging patriarchal domestic institutions and demonstrates that contemporary transnational religious politics variously advance and threaten to undermine movements to advance rights for East African women and sexual minorities.
Sarah K. Dreier and Milli Lake. 2019. "Institutional Legitimacy in Sub-Saharan Africa." Democratization (forthcoming) [replication files].
Emily K. Gade, Sarah K. Dreier, John Wilkerson, and Ann Washington. "Congressional Religiosity: A Web Archive Approach to Measuring Legislator Attributes." (Invited to revise and resubmit, British Journal of Political Science).
Sarah K. Dreier, James Long, and Stephen Winkler.* "African, Religious, and Tolerant? How Religious Diversity Shapes Attitudes Towards Sexual Minorities in Africa." (Invited to revise and resubmit, Politics & Religion).
Emily K. Gade, Dallas Card, Sarah K. Dreier, and Noah Smith. "What Counts as Terrorism? Racial heuristics and Media Portrayals of Mass Shooters." (under review).
Sarah K. Dreier, Emily K. Gade, and John Wilkerson. "Dangers, Toils, and Snares: U.S. Senators' Rhetoric of Public Anxiety and Religiosity." (under review).
"Religiosity and Public Policy in Congress: An NLP text analysis of U.S. federal legislators' religious rhetoric and policy attitudes." with Lucy H. Lin, Sofia Serrano, Emily Gade, and Noah A. Smith.
"Gender, Power, and Governance: Emerging Issues and Perennial Obstacles." with Chloe Lewis.
“Social Protection and the Social Contract.” with Milli Lake and Arthur Alik Lagrange (accepted for publication, Annual Review of Political ScienceVol 24).
Book and long-term projects
Church, State and Sex: How Africa's transnational churches shape human rights.
"When States Target Their Own: British Justifications for Catholic Internment and Torture in Northern Ireland." with Emily Gade, Michael McCann, and Noah Smith.
Sarah K. Dreier. 2010. "It's Not About Free Expression: An Examination of the Danish Cartoon Controversy." In Reza Banakar, ed. Rights In Context: Law and Justice in Late Modern Society. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company.
Sarah K. Dreier. 2014. "Disagreements over Homosexuality Divide African Churches and the ELCA." Word and World: Theology for Christian Ministry34 (2).