Religion in International Relations Theory: Interactions and Possibilities (Routledge Studies in Religion and Politics)
Nukhet A. Sandal, Jonathan Fox
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
There is a growing realization among international relations scholars and practitioners that religion is a critical factor in global politics. The Iranian Revolution, the September 11 attacks, the ethno-religious conflicts such as the ones in the former Yugoslavia and Sri Lanka are among the many reasons for this increased focus on religion in international affairs. The rise of religious political parties across the world ranging from the Christian Democrats in Europe to Bharatiya Janata Party in India similarly illustrated religion's heightened international profile.
Despite all this attention, it is challenging to situate religion within a discipline which has been dominantly secular from its inception. Only a few existent works have ventured to integrate religion into core international relations theories such as Classical Realism, Neorealism, Neoliberalism, Constructivism and the English school. This work is the first systematic attempt to comparatively assess the place of religion in the aforementioned theoretical strands of international relations with contemporary examples from around the world.
Written in an accessible and systematic fashion, this book will be an important addition to the fields of both religion and international relations.
Nukhet A. Sandal is Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department at Ohio University.
Jonathan Fox is Professor in the Department of Political Studies at Bar Ilan University, Israel.
abortion to religious dressing in public space to the international arena. With its focus on international law and society, the English School is arguably one of the most convenient theoretical frameworks when it comes to issues of human rights in the international sphere. Similarly, the transformation of the definition of human rights and the communities of interest to policy-makers are issues that spark the constructivists’ interest. Among other transnational issues within the constructivist
two categories: Philosophical Beliefs (beliefs regarding the fundamental nature of politics, the nature of political conflict, and the role of the individual in history) and Instrumental Beliefs (beliefs about ends–means relationships in the context of political action). Both of these types of beliefs can be influenced by religion. Malici and Buckner (2008) use George’s framework to explore the cognitive diagnostic beliefs of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Bashar al-Asad. Their results show that there
conflicts. Lobbies, religious interest groups, and Neorealism A second matter of interest at the intersection of religious non-state actors and Neorealism is the agency of the lobbies. The case that has been discussed most fervently in public is the Israel lobby and its influence in shaping the American policies. Two prominent Neorealists, Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, published numerous manuscripts on the issue, one of which is a book entitled The Israel Lobby and the U.S. Policy (2007).
legitimacy and moral authority) (Nye, 2004: 11). Soft power, when systematically employed as a tool, can help to explain why certain religious groups (including paramilitary groups in any religion) have so much influence on their adherents. By facilitating the investigation of how groups interact with institutions and what the effects are on foreign policy behavior, such a framework can also help us explain the influence of religion in ethnic conflicts. The soft power framework informs “popular
carry strong religious overtones; through education, upbringing, and other social interactions, prevalent narratives and discourses shape worldviews. Religious legitimacy and Constructivism Very much relevant to the relationship between worldviews and religion, religious legitimacy within the Constructivist framework defines which decisions or policies may be validated in which communities and through what means. In this vein, we look at different types of communities that are constructed