PhD Ethics & Methodology
As academics and researchers will know, the necessary precursor to conducting primary research is securing the ethics approval. Developing my approach to ethics for Cometan's impending interviews late 2021 and 2022 has been a key part of his doctoral journey thus far. Also part of this work has been the development of a succinct methodology that should in turn be used to conduct the intended primary research. The full name of Cometan and his primary name in the field of freedom of religion or belief advocacy is Brandon Reece Taylorian.
This research aims to identify the collection of tactics employed by governments of all kinds in using the recognition of religions as a way to restrict religious activity. The study intends to explore how legal and commercial restrictions imposed on religious organisations negatively impact the religious freedom situation. A discussion will ensue as to whether a free-market economy is the most efficient counterforce to the governmental abuse and misuse of the apparatus of religious recognition. This research will analyse the knowledge of existing literature and will produce knowledge from participant interviews to test whether this approach to religious freedom advocacy could contribute to the improvement of freedom of religion conditions in countries around the world. This will include recommendations for how recognition systems could be established and used for the betterment of religious freedom rather than to its detriment.
This research presents the hypothesis that the systems established by some governments to recognise belief systems, as well as the absence of recognition systems at all, are abused as a means of controlling citizens’ identities and to maintain a hegemony on belief. Fundamentally, that it is recognition or lack thereof that stands as the central, persisting obstacle to the protection of freedom of religion or belief and that with a greater understanding of how recognition systems can be abused, experts active in the field at national and international levels will be more equipped to identify when recognition, non-recognition, or misrecognition are the cause of other issues impacting religious freedom conditions like terrorism, the disenfranchisement of minorities etc. By exploring the extent of the issue of recognition system abuse, this research hopes to enable advocates, commissioners, and scholars to understand the centrality of recognition to broader human rights concerns regarding religion and belief.
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Key words: counterforces, freedom of religion or belief, human rights, international human rights law, recognition, recognitionism, recognitionist, recognition of religion or belief, recognition theory, regulation, religious recognition, restriction tools. state recognition.