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Handbook on Religion and International Relations [1 ed.]
 1839100230, 9781839100239

Table of contents :
List of contributors
Introduction: Religion and international relations in the twenty-first century • Jeffrey Haynes
1. Religion in international relations: Theory and practice • Jeffrey Haynes
2. The rise and fall of secularism in international relations • Daniel Philpott
3. Religion and foreign policy • John A. Rees
4. Religion and transnational relations: Bridges, barriers and breakthroughs • Jonathan D. James
5. A feminist perspective on religion in international relations • Anne Jenichen
6. Political Islam and international relations theory • Jocelyne Cesari
7. Religion and international security: From confessionalization to securitization • Delphine Allès
8. International religious terrorism • Gus Martin
9. The clash of civilizations, then and now • Jonathan Fox
10. Religion and the international politics of climate change • Katharina Glaab
11. Religion and international migration • Ayhan Kaya
12. Religion and international armed conflict: Why and how religion precipitates and intensifies it • Davis Brown
13. Engaging religion through diplomacy: The case of the United States • Peter Mandaville
14. Religion and international development • Katherine Marshall
15 .The international promotion of freedom of religion or belief: Key debates and divides • Marie Juul Petersen
16. Religiously affiliated organizations • Karsten Lehmann
17. Religion and the United Nations • Claudia Baumgart-Ochse
18. Religion in the European Union • Lucian N. Leustean and Jeffrey Haynes
19. Struggling with jihad over Jerusalem: The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s approach to war and peace • Turan Kayaoglu
20. International relations and the pope • Mariano P. Barbato
21. Religion and America’s international relations • Lee Marsden
22. Religion and Iran’s international relations • Nikolay Kozhanov
23. Religion and Turkey’s international relations • İştar Gözaydın
24. Religion and India’s international relations • Catarina Kinnvall
25. Religious diplomacy and US–Israeli relations • Daniel G. Hummel

Citation preview


ELGAR HANDBOOKS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE Elgar Handbooks in Political Science provide an overview of recent research in all areas relating to the study of political science including comparative politics, international relations, political economy, political theory and research methods, ensuring a comprehensive and overarching guide to the field. The constituent volumes, edited by leading international scholars within the field, are high quality works of lasting significance, often interdisciplinary in approach. The Handbooks discuss both established and new research areas, expanding current debates within the field, as well as signposting how research may advance in the future. The series will form an essential reference point for all academics, researchers and students of political science. Titles in the series include: Handbook of Political Anthropology Edited by Harald Wydra and Bjørn Thomassen Handbook of Organised Crime and Politics Edited by Felia Allum and Stan Gilmour Research Handbook on Political Representation Edited by Maurizio Cotta and Federico Russo Handbook on Religion and International Relations Edited by Jeffrey Haynes

Handbook on Religion and International Relations Edited by

Jeffrey Haynes Emeritus Professor of Politics, London Metropolitan University, UK


Cheltenham, UK • Northampton, MA, USA

© The Editor and Contributors Severally 2021

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical or photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the prior permission of the publisher. Published by Edward Elgar Publishing Limited The Lypiatts 15 Lansdown Road Cheltenham Glos GL50 2JA UK Edward Elgar Publishing, Inc. William Pratt House 9 Dewey Court Northampton Massachusetts 01060 USA A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Control Number: 2021938678 This book is available electronically in the Political Science and Public Policy subject collection http://dx.doi.org/10.4337/9781839100246


ISBN 978 1 83910 023 9 (cased) ISBN 978 1 83910 024 6 (eBook)


List of contributorsvii Introduction: Religion and international relations in the twenty-first century Jeffrey Haynes PART I




Religion in international relations: Theory and practice Jeffrey Haynes



The rise and fall of secularism in international relations Daniel Philpott



Religion and foreign policy John A. Rees



Religion and transnational relations: Bridges, barriers and breakthroughs Jonathan D. James



A feminist perspective on religion in international relations Anne Jenichen



Political Islam and international relations theory Jocelyne Cesari



Religion and international security: From confessionalization to securitization 100 Delphine Allès


International religious terrorism Gus Martin





The clash of civilizations, then and now Jonathan Fox



Religion and the international politics of climate change Katharina Glaab



Religion and international migration Ayhan Kaya



vi  Handbook on religion and international relations 12

Religion and international armed conflict: Why and how religion precipitates and intensifies it Davis Brown


Engaging religion through diplomacy: The case of the United States Peter Mandaville



Religion and international development Katherine Marshall



The international promotion of freedom of religion or belief: Key debates and divides Marie Juul Petersen


Religiously affiliated organizations Karsten Lehmann


215 231


Religion and the United Nations Claudia Baumgart-Ochse



Religion in the European Union Lucian N. Leustean and Jeffrey Haynes



Struggling with jihad over Jerusalem: The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s approach to war and peace Turan Kayaoglu


International relations and the pope Mariano P. Barbato



Religion and America’s international relations Lee Marsden



Religion and Iran’s international relations Nikolay Kozhanov



Religion and Turkey’s international relations İştar Gözaydın



Religion and India’s international relations Catarina Kinnvall



Religious diplomacy and US–Israeli relations Daniel G. Hummel





Delphine Allès, Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales, France Mariano P. Barbato, University of Passau, Germany Claudia Baumgart-Ochse, Peace Research Institute, Frankfurt, Germany Davis Brown, Religious Characteristics of States Data Project, USA Jocelyne Cesari, University of Birmingham, UK/Georgetown University, USA Jonathan Fox, Bar-Ilan University, Israel Katharina Glaab, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway İştar Gözaydın, independent scholar, Istanbul, Turkey Jeffrey Haynes, London Metropolitan University, UK Daniel G. Hummel, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA Jonathan D. James, Edith Cowan University/Sheridan College, Australia Anne Jenichen, Aston University, UK Ayhan Kaya, Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey Turan Kayaoglu, University of Washington, USA Catarina Kinnvall, Lund University, Sweden Nikolay Kozhanov, Qatar University, Qatar Karsten Lehmann, KPH Vienna/Krems, Austria Lucian N. Leustean, Aston University, UK Peter Mandaville, George Mason University, USA Lee Marsden, University of East Anglia, UK Katherine Marshall, Georgetown University, USA Gus Martin, California State University, Dominguez Hills, USA Marie Juul Petersen, Danish Institute of Human Rights, Denmark Daniel Philpott, Notre Dame University, USA John A. Rees, The University of Notre Dame Australia, Australia


Introduction: Religion and international relations in the twenty-first century Jeffrey Haynes

Why do we need a handbook to examine the study of religion and international relations? Still in its relative infancy, the relationship between religion and international relations is an understudied subfield of research, with its origins in political science. At the same time, many scholars, policy makers and practitioners would agree that today the topic has global significance. When the topic of religion and international relations emerged as an interesting focus in the late 1970s, concerns focused rather narrowly on the relationship between various ‘religious fundamentalisms’ and states. The 1979 revolution in Iran was the key catalyst for the topic to emerge. Forty years on, we can see that links between religion and international relations had already been around for a while in 1979. Links had emerged due to decolonisation, the Cold War and globalisation; and the subject area expanded in terms of geographic extensiveness – to have a global focus – and in relation to the number of faiths with an input into international relations. The various relationships between religion and international relations help shape people’s attitudes about how social, cultural and political systems are organised and operate, both domestically and internationally. Until the late 1970s, relationships between religion and international relations seemed of relatively little importance for scholars, politicians, policy makers and most ‘ordinary’ people. Iran’s revolution had a seismic international impact: ‘radical political Islam’ promptly became a key aspect of international relations, affecting Iran’s relationship with the West, notably the United States, and with the rest of the Muslim world. Today, at the start of the third decade of the twenty-first century, the links between religion and international relations are myriad, both more pronounced and more varied. To understand these relationships, we need to recognise various topical and controversial issues, including the international importance of radical political Islam, transnational Hindu nationalism and Christian ‘civilisationism’. While the first two are longstanding areas of focus, Christian ‘civilisationism’ has emerged relatively recently. It is topical and controversial in many European countries, as well as in the United States, Australia and Canada. Christian ‘civilisationism’ reflects the widespread political impact of Christian-orientated, right-wing populisms. In addition, there are important non-state international actors, such as the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Vatican (and more widely the Roman Catholic Church), the United Nations and the European Union, which institutionally are concerned with religion and international relations. Each has established related formal and informal mechanisms systematically to engage with religious actors in international relations. Many former colonies of the West gained their independence in the 15 years prior to Iran’s 1979 revolution. Western colonisation was premised on the spreading of Western political ideas and ideologies which over time strongly influenced not only the political development of much of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, but also greatly affected the ‘structures’ of international relations. After World War II the creation 1

2  Handbook on religion and international relations of the United Nations symbolised the prominence of secularism both in ‘modern’ Western countries and in their international relations. Motivated by the pursuit of economic gain, the desire to spread civilisation, and an urge to Christianise the rest of the world, Europe’s imperial powers spread the West’s officially secular ideologies across international boundaries. This process continued until after World War II, when a rapid and conclusive process of decolonisation began. Prior to that, for 100 years from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century, the vast European empires – mainly run by the French and the British – had huge social, economic, political and religious impacts. Secular ideologies, such as, conservatism, liberalism, communism and nationalism, found numerous new adherents around the globe. Religion, on the other hand, was typically associated with ‘traditional’ behaviour and ‘anti-modern’ backwardness, and the new discipline of international relations, founded after World War I, chose to ignore it. As Europe’s erstwhile colonial possessions gained their independence after World War II, their new nationalist governments were uniformly shaped and guided by Western political ideals. They also informed their foreign policies and international relations more generally, leaving no room for religion to influence outcomes. Earlier, many independence movements in Asia, Africa and elsewhere found socialist and nationalist ideologies especially attractive. For four decades from the late 1940s, the Cold War conflict was over which Western ideology would prevail: liberal secularism or communist secularism. Religion was not in the frame. The end of the Cold War in the late 1980s encouraged many countries, including the erstwhile colonies of the Soviet Union, to look for their ‘authentic’ political values, mechanisms and structures; often, they turned to identity politics, with religion as a central component. Internationally, the early 1990s were contoured by the unexpected and deadly civil wars in former Yugoslavia, with combatants inspired not by communism but by mixtures of nationalism, ethnicity, culture and religion. And then came 9/11 … from which the world has not yet recovered. 9/11 made radical political Islam a key issue for international relations, which has continued over the last 20 years. For many in the West, as well as for their secular nationalist and monarchical allies in the Middle East, radical political Islam had to be defeated at all costs: this was a new cold war. The West and their Middle East allies faced concerted attempts by al Qaeda, Islamic State and their allies to destabilise international relations. So far, the twenty-first century has been contoured by this relationship and, especially in this context, religion is impossible to ignore. Francis Fukuyama had proclaimed in his book The End of History (1991) that the end of the Cold War marked the world’s turning away from ideology. With the exception of Maoist beliefs that continued to guide rebel groups in a few ‘developing’ countries, such as Peru and Nepal, the age of ideology did, briefly, seem to be at an end. However, at the same time that ideology appeared to be in decline, various expressions of religious faith began reasserting themselves politically and socially in the form of revivalism or resurgence; many of these sought to spread their ideas across state boundaries and thus became an issue of international relations. Having been diminished in the West by the rise of secular politics and ideology and undercut globally by Western imperialism, religion began to restate itself both publicly and politically. Political and social movements in many former colonies, notably in Asia, Africa and the Middle East and North Africa, looked to religion to rediscover their political as well as their cultural identities both within countries and across state boundaries. Reflecting these developments, a new scholarly, policy and popular focus on the relationship between religion and international relations ensued. The consequence was an expanded

Introduction  3 focus and purview – in terms of the depth in scope of inquiry – to look beyond the subject of within-territory political cleavages in order to analyse the complexity and multiplicity of forms by which religion and international relations interact. For example, the recent (albeit temporary) victories of Islamist political parties, consequential to the events of the Arab Uprisings, as evidenced with the Freedom and Justice Party in Egypt, Ennahda in Tunisia and the Party of Justice and Development in Morocco, highlighted increased significance of the interaction of religion, ideology and international relations in the Middle East and North Africa. In turn, this development was seen by many Western countries, including the United States and member states of the European Union, as a potentially serious challenge to international security; and as a result, their foreign policies turned away from a search for democracy to an acceptance of non-democratic rulers who would seek to repress Islamist politicians and political movements. However, despite their proclaimed adherence to the same religion, Islam, the rise to power of these differing, yet ideologically focused, parties highlighted their various religious dimensions and underlined how differently ‘Islam’ could be manifested ideologically and politically, both at home and in international relations. This divergence drove the need for an up-to-date and comprehensive handbook on questions of interaction of religion and international relations, with regard to, inter alia: international security, international conflict, international cooperation, foreign policy, secularisation, democratisation, the transnational spread of ideas and the nature of the international community. The result is the book that you are now reading – although various aspects of political Islam are by no means the only religion with which the book is concerned. To ensure full treatment of religion and international relations, the chapters of the book also bring into the picture Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism and secularism, among others. The Handbook is divided into three parts: ‘Core issues and topics’, ‘Debates and controversies’, and ‘Case studies’. Note that this is one person’s take on the issue; others would no doubt have done it differently. I am delighted by the quality of the chapters comprising the Handbook. As editor, I was delighted to get the ready consent of some of the world’s top scholars to write a chapter for the Handbook. There are too many to describe individually in this brief introduction. Actually, there is no need to do so: collectively, the chapters exhibit a dazzling array of knowledge, opinions, facts and ideas. I am confident that no one could read it without emerging with an advanced understanding of how religion and international relations interact, overlap and coalesce. To my fantastic colleagues who made this book possible: my deep and sincere thanks.


1. Religion in international relations: Theory and practice Jeffrey Haynes

Attempts to salvage the secularisation model have interpreted evidence of burgeoning religiosity in many contemporary political events to mean that we are witnessing merely a fundamentalist, antimodernist backlash against science, industrialization, and liberal Western values … Religious fervour is often dismissed as ethnic hostility … typically explained away as an isolated exception to unremitting trends of secularization and seldom recognized as part of a larger global phenomenon. (Sahliyeh 1990: 19)

The quote from Sahliyeh emphasises that when the impact of religion on international relations (IR) is considered, it is often seen in relation to various normatively ‘anti-modern’ conceptions, such as ‘religious fundamentalism’ and ‘ethnic hostility’. Yet to restrict an understanding of religious actors in IR to such a view means that we miss others whose concerns might be quite different. Thinking about the most significant current issues in IR, it is impossible to ignore various manifestations of religious involvement. For example, over the last four decades, the Israel– Palestine conflict has increasingly been couched in polarised religious terms. Four decades ago, the Iranian revolution (1978–79) explosively focused world attention on revolutionary religious actors. During the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, the Roman Catholic Church played a leading role in encouraging democratic transitions in various parts of the world, including Southern Europe, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia. Most recently, 11 September 2001 (‘9/11’ New York and Pentagon attacks), 11 March 2003 (‘3/11’ Madrid bombings) and 7 July 2005 (‘7/7’ London bombings) were a connected series of outrage carried out by Islamist terrorists against governments and populations in the United States (USA), Spain and Britain. In addition, various religious actors for decades have taken the view that involvement in politics is essential as a part of their ethics. For example, there were religious groups involved in the Abolitionist anti-slavery movement in the nineteenth century, the civil rights struggle in the USA in the 1960s and 1970s, and the anti-apartheid movement in relation to South Africa. There were also prominent individuals – including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Pope John Paul II and Archbishop Oscar Romero – who were of seminal importance for political outcomes in various countries in the recent past. We can note two general categories of religious actors active today in IR: ●● state actors (that is, governments); and ●● non-state actors. State actors are the governments of the world’s nearly 200 states. While the great majority are secular in orientation, a few – including the governments of India, Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the USA – have foreign policies influenced by religious concerns. The perception in all cases is that domestic religious actors have an input into foreign policy, reflecting more gen5

6  Handbook on religion and international relations erally an interest in the association between material concerns – ‘national security’ – and the realm of ideas (norms and values). As Hay (2002: 194) notes: ideas often hold the key to unlock political dynamics – as change in policy is often preceded by changes in the ideas informing policy and as the ability to orchestrate shifts in societal preferences may play a crucial role in quickening the pace, altering the trajectory or raising the stakes of institutional reform.1

There are in addition three main kinds of religious non-state actors – individuals, movements and institutions. Among religious individuals we can note various figures, including those already mentioned (Desmond Tutu, Pope John Paul II, Oscar Romero), as well as Osama bin Laden and the Dalai Lama. There are also numerous transnational religious movements, including al Qaeda, the Islamic State, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Evangelical Alliance. Finally, there are transnational religious institutions, including the Holy See/Vatican and, more generally, the Roman Catholic Church. While the concerns and goals of such actors undoubtedly differ, what they have in common are the ability and inclination to act in IR in order to pursue their goals. For example, ‘moderate’ and ‘extremist’ Islamic groups, the Roman Catholic Church, Protestant churches, Hindu nationalists and Jewish fundamentalists all influence IR outcomes in a number of ways. Collectively they are influential because they inaugurate, embed and develop interactions with like-minded groups, often across state borders. Typically, such groups engage in transmission and receipt of inter-personal and inter-group exchanges of information, ideas, money and/or personnel. This is made possible by the fact that such religious actors inhabit a ‘globalising social reality’, characteristic of globalisation. This is an environment where previously significant barriers to communication have considerably diminished or even disappeared altogether. These circumstances serve to facilitate national, regional, continental and, in some cases, global networks of like-minded entities. These networks are likely to be important in the potential of religious actors to achieve their goals. In sum, what religious state and non-state actors have in common is that they share objectives that, informed by religion, bring a renewed significance of faith issues to IR. This is all taking place in what has been called a near universal religious resurgence which has emerged since the 1980s. As Casanova (1994: 6) notes, ‘What was new and became “news” in the 1980s was the widespread and simultaneous’ refusal of religious actors no longer to be restricted to the private sphere. Many religious actors are concerned, not only with narrowly religious or spiritual concerns but also with political, social and/or economic issues which, singly or collectively, challenge both the legitimacy and autonomy of the primary secular spheres: the state, political society and the market economy, in both domestic and international contexts. In doing so, they raise important questions about inter-connections of private and public morality and the claims of both states and markets to be exempt from normative considerations. In general, such concerns were particularly focused by the political, economic, social and cultural impacts of globalisation (Haynes 2005, 2013). In short, many non-state religious actors have appeared in recent years with common aims: seeking to acquire both domestic and international influence, through focus on moral, ethical, economic, social and/or political concerns, and employing various means to achieve their goals. Within many domestic contexts, religious actors have acquired increased prominence since the 1980s and 1990s. But it took most IR analysts a little longer to accept their significance.

Religion in international relations  7 Reus-Smit notes that in IR religion and culture2 were ‘largely neglected’ until the al Qaeda attacks on the Pentagon and New York’s Twin Towers on 9 September 2001 (‘9/11’). A consequence of 9/11 and its aftermath was increased focus on ideas in IR including those connected to religion, such as concepts of ‘The West’ and of ‘Islam’ as radically different transnational communities. These have been constituted and related to the constitution, or the erosion of state power, and ‘can be mobilized to sustain system-transforming political projects, either on the part of liberal democracies, seeking to redefine the norms of sovereignty and global governance, or terrorist organisations seeking an end to the liberal capitalist world order’ (Rues-Smit 2005: 211). The concerns that Reus-Smit points to suggest that when it comes to analysing the impact of religious actors on IR, then it is appropriate to focus upon their ability to wield what Joseph Nye (2004a, 2004b) has called ‘soft power’. Before turning to this issue, first I want to focus upon how religion was largely neglected in IR theory until the recent emergence of the ‘English School’. Thomas (2005) argues that religion, in the form of ‘religious traditions or movements’, can affect IR in three main ways: it can promote or help resolve international conflicts; affect international society’s norms, values and institutions; and influence a country’s foreign policy. On the first point, the nature of international conflict appears to have changed since the end of the Cold War, with a relative scarcity of interstate wars and growth in numbers of intrastate wars. During the 1990s there were more than 100 major conflicts involving more than 1,000 fatalities each; but only a handful were interstate wars. Most were intrastate conflicts, with over 7 per cent classified as ‘communal’ wars, characterised by religious and/or ethnic conflict. This suggests that communal issues – that is, those involving religious and/or ethnic concerns – have replaced secular ideologies – such as communism and socialism – as key sources of identity, competition and conflict in IR. The recent eruption of communal conflicts casts serious doubt on the potential to move from the Cold War order – rooted in bipolarity, nuclear deterrence and ideological division – to a post-Cold War configuration characterised by (the pursuit of) peace, prosperity and cooperation. Religion is often noted as having a key role in both engendering and influencing individual and group values, factors that potentially can affect the formulation and execution of state foreign policies. This is because religion is an important source of basic value orientation both for individuals and for groups of people in developed and developing countries; and this can have social and political connotations. Religion can be ‘a mobiliser of masses, a controller of mass action … an excuse for repression [or] an ideological basis for dissent’ (Calvert and Calvert 2001: 140). In sum, consequential to various empirical developments over the last three or four decades, religion has become a focus of analytical attention in both political science and IR, with attention paid to both state and non-state actors. Second, the relationship between ‘international society’ – that is, the association of sovereign states based on their common interests, values and norms – and internationally significant non-state religious actors is also a significant issue in this context. Despite being two decades old, Samuel Huntington’s (1993, 1996) influential analysis still commands attention. Huntington contends that the key post-Cold War threat to international society stems from the threat to the (post-Christian, democratic) ‘West’ from various forms of ‘Islamic extremism’. Huntington’s critics, such as Esposito (2002), disagree, arguing that his claims are both overgeneral and lacking strong empirical foundations. This is partly because Islamic extremism

8  Handbook on religion and international relations primarily threatens incumbent domestic rulers and partly because the extremists’ interests, values and norms are abhorred by the great majority of ‘moderate’ Muslims. Several conclusions follow from these initial statements. First, in recent years, both state and non-state religious actors have become important for understanding international outcomes in many parts of the world. Fundamental norms of IR were enshrined in the Treaty of Westphalia (1648) – particularly the notion of state restraint in religious matters. This encouraged belief that IR discourse is predominantly secular. Second, religion has influenced international outcomes involving international society. Finally, all religious actors’ influence in IR is linked to their ability to exercise ‘soft power’.

RELIGION AND THEORY IN POST-WESTPHALIAN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS IR theory is based on the premise that historically religion was of central importance to many political outcomes – both within countries and between them – in many parts of the world, including Western Europe. Before the nineteenth century and the development of the ‘modern’ – that is, increasingly secular – international state system, religion was a key source of political competition and conflict in many parts of the world. Rival religious faiths (notably, intra-Christian, including Protestant/Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox/Roman Catholic, as well as Christian/Muslim) stimulated, moulded and exacerbated numerous group conflicts in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. But following the Peace of Westphalia (1648) and the subsequent development of centralised, secular states – initially in Western Europe and then via colonialism to the rest of the world – the significance of religion for IR declined. Religion’s declining importance for IR was reflected in two international processes – modernisation and secularisation. Both carried a key assumption: sovereign states are the key actors in IR, guided by the secular Westphalian international system, and characterised by a key concept – state sovereignty – and a fundamental principle – non-intervention. These notions gradually became embedded in international thinking in the centuries via institutionalisation of the so-called ‘four pillars’ of the Westphalian system that reflected the following concerns: ●● states are the sole legitimate actor in the international system; ●● governments do not seek to change relations between religion and politics in foreign countries; ●● religious authorities legitimately exercise few – if any – domestic temporal functions, and even fewer transnationally; and ●● there is a separation between church and state, implying that governments do not vigorously promote the welfare of religion(s). In sum, the Treaty of Westphalia was ‘a structure of political authority that was forged centuries ago by a sharply secularizing set of events and that has endured in its secular guise ever since’ (Philpott 2002: 79). The importance of the four pillars is in the fact that a key concern of the Treaty of Westphalia was to remove religion as a justification for war. By the seventeenth century, religious competition and discord had long been at the heart of much European conflict, discord and instability. As the salience of religion for IR declined, it was believed that secular modernisation and the

Religion in international relations  9 rise of science and rationality would combine to put inexorable pressure on religious faith, resulting in its steady decay. This was a shared belief of: the seminal thinkers of the nineteenth century – Auguste Comte, Herbert Spencer, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Karl Marx, and Sigmund Freud – all believed that religion would gradually fade in importance and cease to be significant with the advent of industrial society … The belief that religion was dying became the conventional wisdom in the social sciences during most of the twentieth century. (Norris and Inglehart 2004: 3)

On the other hand, during the last 20 years, the secularisation thesis has experienced the most sustained challenge in its long history. At the same time it is noted that only a few governments are significantly motivated by religious considerations in their foreign policy and more generally their IR (Haynes 2013). States have foreign policies that are overtly directed towards achieving a set of national interest goals, interests and aspirations. A state’s foreign policy must be flexible enough to follow the changing contours and dynamics of international politics, while simultaneously preserving and promoting national interests. It is widely agreed that any country’s domestic environment has a major role in shaping its foreign policy. Foreign policy is to a large extent a reflection of a country’s domestic milieu, its needs, priorities, strengths and weaknesses. This suggests that a state’s foreign policy is influenced by certain ‘objective’ conditions – such as history, geography, socio-economic conditions and culture – that interact in complex ways with the changing dynamics of international politics. For a country to enjoy a successful foreign policy it is necessary to achieve a balance between domestic and external dimensions. In sum, foreign policies of all countries are, to some degree, a product of and interaction between (1) a country’s overall power indices (including geo-strategic location, economic wealth and health, military strength and domestic political stability) and (2) the prevailing international environment. How and under what circumstances might religious actors within a country influence its foreign policy, that is, its formulation and execution? It is useful to start from the proposition that as ‘religion plays an important role in politics in certain parts of the world’ then there will be ‘greater prominence of religious organizations in society and politics’ in some countries compared to others (Telhami 2004: 71). Table 1.1 posits that the ability of religious actors to translate potential ability into actual influence on foreign policy outcomes will depend crucially on whether such actors can access and thus potentially influence foreign policy decision-making processes and outcomes. Religious actors’ ability to influence foreign policy will depend not only on the nature of a political system’s institutional characteristics and the formal opportunities to influence government thinking but also on their ability to wield soft power. For example, the USA has a democratic system that exhibits relatively accessible decision-making structures and processes, potentially offering actors – both individuals and groups – opportunities to influence policy making, both domestic and foreign (Hudson 2005: 295–7). Note, however, that the ability to access decision-making structures and processes does not guarantee religious actors’ ability significantly to influence either policy formation or execution. To have a profound policy impact would require them to make often elaborate efforts not only to build coalitions with key political players but also, more generally, to foster good relations with significant players in the political system. These circumstances are likely to be facilitated when, as in the USA after 9/11, there is pronounced ideological empathy between key religious and secular actors. Regarding the former, figures in the religious right can be noted while President George

10  Handbook on religion and international relations Table 1.1 Country

Religious actors and state foreign policies Type of political

Majority religion

system India


Religious actors’ access

Potential impact in case of access

to foreign policy making Hinduism


Easy – if welcomed

Potentially profound – if alliance

or accepted by policy

forged with state power holders


sympathetic to religious actors’ goals



Shia Islam

Difficult – unless

Potentially profound – if alliance

welcomed by policy

forged with state power holders


sympathetic to religious actors’ goals





Easy – if welcomed

Potentially profound – if alliance

or accepted by policy

forged with state power holders


sympathetic to religious actors’ goals

Saudi Arabia


Sunni Islam

Very difficult – unless

Potentially profound – if alliance

welcomed by policy

forged with state power holders


sympathetic to religious actors’ goals

United States

Liberal democracy


Easy – if welcomed

Potentially profound – if alliance

or accepted by policy

forged with state power holders


sympathetic to religious actors’ goals

W. Bush and his closest (secular) advisors were key figures in relation to US foreign policy in the Middle East. Turning to India, another established democracy with similar levels of access to governmental decision makers, we can also note a religious dimension to foreign policy, especially in relation to (Hindu) India’s long-running conflict with (Muslim) Pakistan over Kashmir. From the mid-1990s until mid-2004, and then again from 2014, the dominant governing party was the ‘Hindu fundamentalist’ Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). To what extent were ‘Hindu fundamentalist’ characteristics inherent in India’s foreign policy during periods of BJP government, especially in relation to its arch enemy, ‘Muslim’ Pakistan? Ram-Prasad (2000: 188) notes that there was ‘very little even in a “hard” Hindu nationalism which could translate into an ideology of expansion’. In fact, in India during the period of BJP governments, ‘religious ideology in itself has played virtually no direct role in major political and economic decisions’, including those related to foreign policy (Ram-Prasad 2000: 153). We can also note the influence of religious actors in relation to the foreign policies of Saudi Arabia and Iran. First, for decades Saudi foreign policy has been based on ostensibly religious considerations. The Muslim country’s government was fervently and consistently opposed both to Jewish Israel and the atheist Soviet Union, while also promoting Islam in various ways around the world. We can see the hand of hard power in operation here: following the onset of oil prosperity in the 1970s, the government donated large sums of money – millions of US dollars annually – to support the spread of Islam in various ways, including the building of mosques and the printing and distribution of numerous copies of the Quran. In addition, Saudi Arabia serves as the chief patron of the Muslim duty to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, expanding arrangements to house and transport the millions of pilgrims who visit Mecca from

Religion in international relations  11 all over the world. Saudi contributions also played a major role in the World Muslim League, a religious propagation agency founded in 1962 with its headquarters in Mecca. Finally, Saudi Arabia is highly influential in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, a multinational grouping of Muslim countries that periodically organises summit conferences of government leaders. We can see the influence of religious soft power in Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy, especially a ‘purist’ strand of Islamism, Wahhabiya. Its influence is reflected in the fact that the country is run as a theocracy, under the aegis of the king, where shariah (Muslim) law is the law of the land and where Islamists have access to the levers of power. At the same time, Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy has not only reflected Islam’s socio-political dominance. Like every other state, Saudi Arabia has important security goals unconnected to religious objectives. As evidenced by the fear of invasion by Iraq at the time of the first Persian Gulf War in 1990–91 when Iraq invaded Kuwait and seemingly threatened Saudi Arabia, the kingdom’s leaders recognise that the country’s security is best protected by its alliance with the USA. As a result, Saudi Arabia seeks to balance both religious and secular security goals in its foreign policy. To avoid what might have been unacceptable levels of conflict with the USA, the ruler of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah, sought to block the support of his rival, Prince Nayef, for al Qaeda and other radical Islamist organisations. Fear of offending Washington also prevented a Saudi/Organisation of Islamic Cooperation stand against US sanctions on Iran and Pakistan for their development of the sole nuclear capacity in the Muslim world. In addition, once Washington began to question Saudi Arabia’s strategic loyalty on the basis of its response to 9/11, US attacks on the regime’s anti-democratic practices and policies and cultural differences between the two countries suddenly became both apparent and relevant to their relationship. Iran is a theocracy characterised by the influence of Shia Islam (unlike Saudi Arabia which is a follower of the rival Sunni articulation). Few nations today have so clearly articulated, as has post-revolution Iran, an official religion-based ideology and view of the state as an instrument of that ideology. Iran’s foreign policies and activities are not always characterised by a clearly religious dimension, but by a discrepancy between the country’s theocratic ideology and policies dictated by its secular security interests. Often propagation of (Shia) Islam and advancing the cause of other Muslim peoples are only minor aspects of Tehran’s foreign policy activity. Whenever the material interests of the state have conflicted with commitments to ‘Islamic solidarity’, Tehran has almost always given preference to security and economic considerations. Indeed, Iran often uses religion to pursue material state interests – as a way of contending with neighbouring regimes or trying to force changes in their policies. For example, it promotes Islamic radicals and anti-regime movements when official relations with a Muslim country are poor, such as with Uzbekistan or Azerbaijan, but does not work to undermine secular Muslim regimes such as Turkmenistan if that regime’s relations with Tehran are good. The Iranian case illustrates the importance of separating a state’s rhetoric about its policy decisions from the policies themselves. Turning to Israel, Chazan (1991: 83) claims that the country’s IR and foreign policy are primarily moulded by three domestic factors: ‘(1) the structure and composition of political institutions; (2) social differentiation and the concern of specific groups; and (3) the substance of political debates and their relations to fundamental ideological concerns’. She adds that ‘Israeli responses to external stimuli are filtered through a domestic political lens which operates according to its own distinctive rules’ (Chazan 1991: 83; quoted in Ehteshami 2002: 278–9).

12  Handbook on religion and international relations We noted earlier in this chapter that such an arrangement is a common one: foreign policies of all states are affected by domestic political arrangements, including, in some cases, the influence – that is, soft power – of religious actors. In Israel, religious Jews’ political significance comes from three main factors: (1) the nature of the country’s political system: proportional representation, giving an influential voice to an array of minor parties, including religious ones; (2) society’s fragmented nature; and (3) its highly divisive political party system. When we add to this already volatile mix the fact that Israel’s public life also reflects the consistently influential voice of public opinion, then it facilitates the conclusion that Israel’s foreign policy is heavily affected, but not as we shall see dominated, by the views of religious Jews. Evidence for this conclusion comes from the Sharon government’s momentous decision – effected in August 2005 – to remove all 8,000 Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip, giving some control of it to the Palestinians. The Gaza Strip was home to 400,000 Palestinians at the time of Israeli occupation in 1967. This presented a great demographic and security problem for the Israelis. Israel’s original intention was to annex Gaza and to resettle the Palestinians living there. In 1973 Prime Minister Rabin called for the population to be dispatched to Jordan. While this was not attempted, Jewish settlements grew in number, with the Jewish population growing to about 8,000 people by 2005. Despite the fact that Gaza’s Arab population in the early 1990s exceeded half a million people – crammed into 140 square miles giving the area a greater population density than Hong Kong – by 1992 the Israelis had confiscated more than a third of the total area and awarded it to Jewish settlers who made up half of 1 per cent of the population. Settlers on average had around 2.6 acres of land each in Gaza, while Palestinians had 0.006 acres each, over 430 times less. But in an effort to increase Israel’s security, the government decreed and put into effect a total Israeli pull-out from the Gaza Strip in August 2005. This broke the Israeli state’s long-term covenant with the settlers, and made it clear that secular security concerns in Gaza were now more important than the religious goals of the mostly orthodox Jewish settlers. The bond was forged following the 1967 war between secular political leaders and religious Jews, meshing security concerns of the former ‘with the visions of a messianic minority to claim the spoils of war as a God-given right’ (McGreal 2005). Establishment of Jewish settlements in both the West Bank of the River Jordan and the Gaza Strip served the security interests of successive governments – both Likud and Labor – who saw them as the first line of defence against neighbouring hostile Arab countries. This chimed with the views of religious Jews who believed that the settlements were an important stage on the road to reclamation of all of Eretz Yisrael for the modern Jewish state. From 2005 the connection between the two was emphatically broken; thousands of Jewish settlers were expelled from their homes in the Gaza Strip, following orders from Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, once their main patron and defender. In removing the settlers from Gaza Sharon it was recognised that the vision of ‘greater Israel’ was no longer tenable – because the country’s (secular) security interests no longer aligned with the religious goals of the settlers whose desires had once dominated government decisions. How do we understand and account for the influence of religious actors on foreign policy in relation to the USA, Israel, India, Saudi Arabia and Iran? These examples underline the fact that in each case it is religious actors’ soft power that is most important. It is obviously important for religious actors to get the ear of government through various available mechanisms in order to have a chance of their preferred policies being put into effect.

Religion in international relations  13

THE ENGLISH SCHOOL AND THE CONSEQUENCES OF RELIGION’S INVOLVEMENT IN INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY Emerging as an academic discipline after World War I ended in 1918, the discipline of IR initially carried within it a widespread belief that religion was of little or no analytical importance. It was afforded little attention or emphasis, especially in the USA, where the main secular interpretations of IR – especially Realism – were prominent. In the USA, study of IR was widely informed by two assumptions. First, rationality and secularity go hand in hand. Second, trouble-free functioning of ‘modern’ political, economic and social systems – not only in the USA but by extension elsewhere – depends upon a clear separation of religion and politics, reflected in the USA’s constitutional division between ‘church’ and ‘state’. In Britain, the other centre of IR enquiry, IR theory took a different turn, especially after World War II ended in 1945. This was reflected in the emergence, in the 1950s, of a focus in IR analysis known as the ‘English School’. It is so named because its major figures, although often not English, did work in English universities (including the London School of Economics and Political Science, as well as at Oxford and Cambridge) during its formative years. Key scholars linked to the English School include: Martin Wight, Hedley Bull, R.J. Vincent, James Mayall, Robert Jackson, Tim Dunne and Nicholas J. Wheeler. According to Barry Buzan (2004: 6), one of its leading proponents, ‘The English School can be thought of as an established body of both theoretical and empirical work.’ What primarily distinguishes the English School is its concern with morality and culture, leading to a distinctive approach to the study of IR that highlights issues of coexistence and cooperation, as well as conflict, especially in the relations between sovereign states. The English School’s main concern is with the evolution of what is called ‘international society’ (Brown 2005: 51). Jackson and Owens (2005: 46) define international society as involving: relations between politically organized human groupings, which occupy distinctive territories and enjoy and exercise a measure of independence from each other. International society can thus be conceived as a society of political communities that are not under any higher juridical political authority. In the language of international relations these communities are referred to as states.

Hedley Bull, one of the founders of the ‘international society’ approach, avers that the ‘starting point of international relations is the existence of states, or independent political communities, each of which possesses a government and asserts sovereignty in relation to a particular portion of the earth’s surface and a particular segment of the human population (Bull 1977: 8). Thus for Bull, the main focus of the study of IR is the ‘world of states’ not sub-state entities or universal categories, such as ‘humanity’ (Brown 2005: 51). According to the ideas of the English School, when states interact they do not merely form an international system but an international society, involving a ‘norm-governed relationship whose members accept that they have at least limited responsibilities towards one another and to the society as a whole. These responsibilities are summarised in the traditional practices of international law and diplomacy’ (Brown 2005: 51). The resurgence of religion in IR raises a theoretical issue: the possibility of an international society in a multicultural international system (Zacher and Matthew 1995). We noted earlier that Huntington controversially raised this issue when asking whether a ‘clash of civilisations’ has replaced the secular ideological confrontation of the Cold War as the main axis of division in world politics. Benjamin Barber (1992) argues that the principle axis of world politics is

14  Handbook on religion and international relations ‘Jihad vs. McWorld’, that is, the forces of particular religious ‘tribalisms’ and the universal, economic, ecological and commercial forces of ‘globalism’. Many analysts in the US foreign policy community believe Islamic fundamentalism has replaced communism as the main threat facing the USA. The explicit linkage between – it should be said – non-Western religious nationalism and a type of ‘new cold war’ facing the West is made by Juergensmeyer (1993). Former North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) secretary-general Willy Claes stated in the mid-1990s that Islamic fundamentalism poses just as much a threat to the West as did communism during the Cold War: ‘NATO is much more than a military alliance. It has committed itself to defending basic principles of civilisation that bind North America and Western Europe’ (The Guardian 1995). In sum, the consequence of religion for international society is not only a theoretical problem in IR but it can also be a practical foreign policy problem, as evidenced by the events and aftermath of 9/11, as well as, more recently, the depredations of ‘Islamic State’ and the perplexed Western response. How the relationship between religion and international society is approached may be influenced by our understanding of how the current global international society came about. Barry Buzan (2004), in an attempt to relate structural realism and regime theory to the concept of international society (using F. Tönnies’ terms), develops the idea of a gemeinschaft understanding of society, which sees society as something organic, and traditional, involving bonds of common sentiment, experience and identity; and a gesellschaft understanding of society, which sees society as being contractual and constructed rather than sentimental and traditional. Members of the English School assume a degree of cultural unity among the members of international society, in which the units (i.e. states) share significant elements of culture, especially religion and language, and ‘since a prior shared culture occurs in most of the main historical examples … the force of the argument is strong’ (Buzan 1993: 333). Buzan points to the ‘messy multicultural history of the Middle East’ to suggest that significant elements of international society can form a sub-system that does not share a common culture. ‘This points to a functional view, more in accordance with a gesellschaft understanding of society, in which the development of international society can be seen as a rational long-term response to the existence of an increasingly dense and interactive international system’ (1993: 334). The point is that whether or not states share a common culture, at some point the regularity and intensity of their interactions will force the development of a degree of recognition and accommodation between them, and they will work out rules for avoiding unwanted conflict and for facilitating desired changes. In other words, international society can evolve functionally from the logic of anarchy without pre-existing cultural bonds. Hedley Bull (1977: 4–5) accepts this functional, gesellschaft view of international society in his minimum conditions for international order: (1) limits on the use of force, (2) sanctity of contracts (including treaties), and (3) arrangement for property rights. The issue of property rights may be more problematic, but for the first two conditions – the use of force and treaties – an important question emerges: is there a universality of these basic conditions which the main religious traditions uphold in their respective societies in spite of the cultural differences between them? Religions and cultures differ but might they still have principles that are common or universal? If this is so, we might be exaggerating the impact of religious or cultural differences on world politics because of the common, underlying principles on which international society is based. On some (limited) issues there are common principles that underlie different cultures, for example, principles regarding the use of force and respect for treaties, which are upheld by their respective religious traditions. There are also other issues, such as

Religion in international relations  15 human rights and the role of women in society, on which the dialogue within these societies continues. This is what Said (1995) calls the ‘battle within civilisations’ (my emphasis), and he suggests this is what animates politics in much of the developing world, pace Huntington, not primarily a clash between civilisations. This chapter is agnostic on whether a morality beyond culture exists. What it does suggest is that the internal debate or dialogue on the relationship between religion and modernity is not a new debate; it has been going on in different societies since the days of colonialism and imperialism. There is no ‘original position’ of inter-cultural ignorance, as multiculturalists might have us believe, in which Asia, for example, has been hermetically sealed off from the West until now, has a ‘different standard’ of human rights, and the West another standard, and these standards are now coming into conflict for the first time. The great world religions – such as Islam, Confucianism, Hinduism and Christianity – may have fixed texts but they do not have fixed beliefs, only fixed interpretations of those beliefs. Religions can be called transnational ideas or ideational communities, but what is most important about them is that they are interpretive communities, in dialogue with their members and with society on the contemporary significance of each tradition. This fact is troubling for IR theory which is far more comfortable with the idea of states as key actors. This also implies that hermeneutics cannot be separated from politics, domestic or international. For example, the recent rise of East Asian economies, and the growing power of such countries – including, China, South Korea and Vietnam – is what has led to a reconsideration of Confucianism and its relationship to economic growth. Growing Asian economic power is what is behind the international debate on human rights and to an extent the associated discussion about the role of religion in IR theory. How does the concept of international society engage with the notion of multicultural IR? A starting point is to note that it makes sense to think of the idea of international society as ‘an occasionally idealized conceptualisation of the norms of the old, pre-1914 European states system’. If this is right, a good question would be whether ‘international society’ provides a satisfactory starting point for understanding our contemporary world order, where the majority of states are non-European. It is at least arguable that the old order worked as well as it did because there was quite a high level of cultural homogeneity in the system; Europeans shared a common history, albeit one of frequently violent relationships, and common Graeco-Roman cultural origins. Even so the divide between (Greek) Orthodox and (Roman) Catholic Europe was a source of some tension, as had been, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the divide in the West between Protestant and Catholic Europe. How much more problematic would the normative basis for an international society be, composed, as today it must be, of states based in many cultures – Islamic, Hindu, Confucian and African as well as ‘Western’ (Brown 2005: 51)? As the twenty-first century dawned, the significance of cultural explanations appeared to be reaffirmed amid the reorganization of world politics that followed the end of the Cold War and the release of new waves of globalization. And, as Brown (2005: 48) notes, ‘theorists of globalization reject the state-centrism involved in [many IR approaches] in favour of an approach that stresses global social, economic, cultural and political forces’. This encourages us to engage with the issue of what might be called ‘cultural globalisation’ as a central facet of globalisation more generally. This issue also highlights the hitherto Eurocentric nature of IR theory and suggests that to understand religion in IR theory more generally, we need to bear in mind that the intrusion of new global actors into IR implies that our theories to under-

16  Handbook on religion and international relations stand IR need to change too. Much early theorising about globalisation focused on cultural changes stimulated by the global spread of identical consumer goods and an American(ised) culture. Disseminated primarily by US-based transnational corporations to Latin America and elsewhere, cultural Americanisation subverts local cultures, not only encouraging people to become ‘consumers’ above all else but also to buy US goods and services to the detriment of those produced locally. Together, the ‘media revolution’ characteristic of post-Cold War globalisation and the growth of consumerism help swiftly to erode particularistic cultures and values, replacing them with an Americanised ‘global culture’ of Disney, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Starbucks. Saurin (1995: 256) argues that culture has become a potent political force threatening the basis of the current fragmented state system and its structures of supporting nationalism. This is because, he argues, ‘culture avoids being located and tied down to any definable physical space’. However, and somewhat paradoxically, nationalism and ethnic awareness are also cultural components transmitted around the globe, becoming both a globalised and a globalising phenomenon. One of the main causes of contemporary ethnic and religious conflict in many countries is said to be such groups’ awareness of what other groups around the world are doing, and with this knowledge seeking to emulate counterparts’ struggles for greater power. A further result of the spread around much of the world of Americanised culture and ideas is a growing adherence to its key component: individualistic, as opposed to communal, values. This development is apparent in the global clamour for more and better (individualistic) human rights. While ‘anti-American’ entities, such as Islamic extremists and some Asian governments, including that of China, fight this development, there is no denying that human rights issues are now widely perceived as worldwide problems, necessitating global solutions. This has stimulated the development of international organisations and global institutions which attempt to address such issues. More tentatively, the concept also suggests the development of a transnational civil society, in which local groups and grassroots organisations from all parts of the world interact (Haynes 2012). The revival of what is termed ‘identity politics’ has not simply rested on ethnicity and nationalism, and neither has it been confined to Europe or Eurasia. A striking feature of the last two or three decades has been the increasing number of people who have adopted a political identity based on religion and, especially, on ‘fundamentalist’ religious ideas and movements. Identity matters, and in IR theory constructivism has done Middle East studies a service in providing an influential theoretical approach to understand international outcomes in the region. On the other hand, constructivist accounts often overlook the material context of identity and, as a result, are as mistaken as materialist attempts to reduce it to only a minor issue. This is because material and normative variables are autonomous, while a steady social order depends on a relative correspondence between them. When norms do not correspond to material structures, the former lack the material anchor to endure and the latter the legitimacy to survive without the continual application of coercive power. Arguably, the main source of the enduring instability of the Middle East is the continuing contradiction between externally imposed structures (the fragmenting states system, the region’s international dependency) and the region’s Arab and Islamic identities … Understanding this dynamic requires a theoretical approach that charts the interaction of material structures and norms, of interests and identity, and this requires bridging the constructivist-utilitarian gap. One commonly proposed compromise is to use constructivist methods in a first step to trace how domestic identity shapes states’ conceptions of their interests; thus rather than a priori defining interests as wealth and power, Arab nationalism

Religion in international relations  17 and Islam could be shown to shape a notion of interest putting a high value on regional autonomy. (Hinnebusch 2005: 170)

In sum, associated with metaphors like ‘the hollowed-out state’ and ‘a borderless world’, globalisation is a focal point of changing economic, political and cultural arrangements and configurations within countries. The result is erosion of the nation-state’s formerly ‘hard’ boundaries and a diminution of states’ ability to control their domestic environments. This implies that globalisation reduces the power of the nation-state to make definitive decisions regarding its own future. On the other hand, this ‘globalisation thesis’ is at odds with several traditional, embedded assumptions of political analysis. These include an understanding that the world comprises: (1) confined political territories governed by national – sovereign – states, (2) nation-states and (3) national economies. These have long been regarded, respectively, as the ‘natural’ units of political and political economic analysis. The globalisation thesis implies that these long-standing arrangements are in the process of being transcended. Rejection of state-centric IR highlights the significance both of various kinds of non-state actors as well as transnational networks for international outcomes. Many students of IR have long been cognisant of the argument that the ‘nation-state is in retreat’. In the late 1960s and 1970s, a primary debate in the field of IR was about the status of the state in the international system. The key question was: ‘Is the state obsolete?’ Coming up with no clear, definitive answer, this turned out to be a recurring question. On the one hand, there was the state-centric (or billiard ball) model of the international system while, on the other, what was known as the ‘cobweb’ model was informed by the idea that the state was being tied down and increasingly incapacitated by the growth of countless transnational connections. Later, in the 1980s, the state made a comeback. Most IR specialists accepted (once again) that it still represented the most significant actor by far in the international system. Later, in the 1990s, as globalisation entered the conceptual fray, IR, like other social sciences, was encouraged, once again, to survey the putative extinction of the nation-state.

RELIGIOUS ACTORS, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND ‘SOFT POWER’ Although many authors attest to the current significance of religion in IR – with some observers noting a recent widespread religious resurgence (Fox and Sandler 2004; Haynes 2012, 2013; Hoeber Rudolph 2005; Micklethwait and Wooldridge 2009; Norris and Inglehart 2004; Thomas 2005) – there have been few recent attempts to seek to assess how transnational religious actors affect IR. This is surprising given the widespread agreement that such actors can be influential. For example, the numerous extant cross-border Islamic movements all have soft power that enhances their strength (Voll 2008: 262–6). However, as Fox and Sandler (2004: 168) note, religion can also affect international outcomes via ‘its significant influence on domestic politics. It is a motivating force that guides many policy makers.’ This is a way of saying that some countries may well use religion as an instrumental component of their foreign policies. As we shall see, this is what the current government of Iran does in relation to its relations with Iraq, seeking to use existing Shia networks to increase its influence. The concept of ‘soft power’ refers to means to achieve objectives. It ‘is the ability to get what you want through attraction rather than coercion or payments. It arises from the attrac-

18  Handbook on religion and international relations tiveness of a country’s culture, political ideals, and policies. When our policies are seen as legitimate in the eyes of others, our soft power is enhanced’ (Nye 2004a). When Joseph Nye (1990) introduced the concept into IR two decades ago, it was a useful reminder that hard power is not the only tool available to achieve goals. Power is the ability to influence others to get them to do what you want. There are three main ways to do this: (1) threaten them with sticks; (2) pay them with carrots; and (3) attract them or co-opt them, so that they want what you want. As Nye (2004b) points out, if you can get others to be attracted, to want what you want, it costs you much less in both carrots and sticks. Nye’s main focus is the rise and fall of US soft power. After World War II, US political ideals favourably influenced Europe in the direction of both democratisation and market economies. During the Cold War, Radio Free Europe helped to build support for both democracy and improved human rights in communist Central and Eastern Europe. In 1989, Chinese students demonstrating in Tiananmen Square used a replica of the Statue of Liberty as a symbol. In 2010, satellite television helped build support in Iran for Western political and economic ideals. As Nye notes: These are all examples of America’s soft power. When you can get others to admire your ideals and to want what you want, you do not have to spend as much on sticks and carrots to move them in your direction. Seduction is always more effective than coercion, and many values like democracy and human rights, and individual opportunities are deeply seductive. As General Wesley Clark put it, soft power ‘gave us an influence far beyond the hard edge of traditional balance-of-power politics.’ But attraction can turn to repulsion if we act in an arrogant manner and destroy the real message of our deeper values. (www​.futurecasts​.com/​book​%20review​%206​-4​.htm)

‘Soft power’ refers to the capability of an entity, usually but not necessarily a state, to influence what others do through persuasion, not force or threats. Soft power attracts or co-opts people; it does not coerce them. Soft power influences people by appealing to them, not by forcing them to comply. Soft power covers certain attributes – including, culture, values, and ideas – collectively representing different, but not necessarily lesser, forms of influence compared to ‘hard’ power. The latter implies more direct, forceful measures typically involving the threat or use of armed force or economic coercion. In short, soft power is neither ‘sticks nor carrots’ but a ‘third way’ of achieving objectives. It goes beyond simple influence – that can rest on hard power threats both military or diplomatic as well as financial payments – to involve persuasion and encouragement rooted in shared norms, values and beliefs. Exercising soft power relies on (1) persuasion, or the ability to convince by argument, and on (2) the ability to attract. If I am persuaded to go along with your purposes without any explicit threat or exchange taking place – in short, if my behavior is determined by an observable but intangible attraction – soft power is at work. Soft power uses a different type of currency – not force, not money – to engender cooperation. It uses an attraction to shared values, and the justness and duty of contributing to the achievement of those values. (Nye 2004c, italics added)

In sum, whereas hard power – military or economic influence, involving overt leverage and/ or coercion – is the ability to force people to do things, irrespective of whether or not they agree with them, soft power moulds preferences to encourage people to want to do things. In other words, soft power is the power of attractive ideas, capable of persuading people to act in a certain way.

Religion in international relations  19 Today, it is possible to talk about transnational religious soft power, although the concept is not new. For example, Christian and Muslim religious missions have for centuries been key expressions of transnational religious soft power. Their aim was and is to seek to change people’s religious norms, values and beliefs from one set of views to another set. The result is that individuals and then communities in foreign countries eventually behave religiously like the original proselytisers. As Nye notes, ‘for centuries, organized religious movements have possessed soft power’ (Nye 2004a: 98). In recent years, especially since 9/11, competing conceptions of soft power have competed with each other, within the context of the ‘war on terror’. The USA has sought to project its soft power but has not been able to convince most Muslims that US objectives in Afghanistan and Iraq are not primarily self-serving (Shlapentokh et al. 2005). The USA has found itself competing for Muslim hearts and minds with both ‘extremist’ and ‘moderate’ Islamic soft power. Focusing on both extremist and moderate Islamic transnational networks, many analysts agree that extremist movements – notably al Qaeda – more strongly affect the world stage and receive more foreign policy attention from the great powers than many ‘weak’ states in the international system (Haynes 2005; Voll 2008). Of course, the relevant literature does not begin and end with Islam. Other religious entities – including the Roman Catholic Church, Protestant evangelical churches (often conservative and USA-based or rooted) and Jewish lobbies – are also significant transnational religious actors at the current time (Norris and Inglehart 2004; Thomas 2005; Voll 2006; Walt and Mearsheimer 2006). What they all have in common is significant amounts of soft power, which encourage followers and those sympathetic to their goals to adopt norms, values and beliefs that encourage them to act in certain ways and not others. Religious soft power expands the use of the term ‘soft power’ beyond Nye’s original argument. Initially, soft power was the influence one government exercises over another to try to achieve its goals. Over time, however, Nye accepts the plausibility of a non-state actor having soft power. For example, commenting on Hezbollah’s war with Israel in early 2009, Nye makes it plain that the concept of soft power can include non-state cultural and religious actors who seek to influence policy by encouraging policymakers to incorporate into their policies religious beliefs, norms and values. For example: Israel used its hard military power in a manner that bolstered Hezbollah’s soft power and legitimacy in Arab eyes, including many Sunnis who were originally skeptical of a Shi’ite organization with ties to non-Arab Iran. We know that terrorist organizations most often lose popular support by their own excesses – witness the drop among Jordanians in the soft power of Al Qaeda in Iraq, led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, after the organization bombed a wedding in an Amman hotel. (http://​theinnercircle​ .wordpress​.com/​2009/​07/​15/​joseph​-s​-nye​-jr​-s​-explanation​-of​-smart​-power​-in​-the​-middle​-east/​)

In sum, whatever their objectives, transnational religious actors aim to spread influence by the establishment and development of cross-border networks. They seek to do this through the application and development of ‘transnational religious soft power’. They must seek to use soft power because such actors very rarely have any hard power worth speaking of. Extending the meaning of the term soft power in this way allows us to include transnational religious actors, such as the Roman Catholic Church and al Qaeda, who have sought to apply soft power, aiming to encourage significant religious and political changes in, for example, Poland or Yemen.

20  Handbook on religion and international relations A theory of IR – known as liberal internationalism – takes into account these transnational advocacy networks in seeking to explain outcomes in IR. Liberal internationalism is based on four key premises: ●● International stability and order require building and upholding appropriately consensual international institutions and norms. ●● Building and sustaining relevant international institutions and norms are core aspects of an international society aiming to bring ‘peace and prosperity to all’. ●● To achieve this goal, it is necessary to discover, cultivate and implement shared values that help achieve this aim. ●● States are no longer automatically the primary actor in world politics in every context and in relation to every issue (Burchill 2005: 64–6). A theoretical approach in IR – the liberal internationalist view – notes several distinct forms of influence, with Keohane and Nye’s (1977) typology of world politics as ‘complex interdependence’ often the starting point. This is a ‘multiple issues’ agenda encouraging government decision makers – once concerned ‘only’ with ‘domestic’ issues, for example, energy, telecommunications, food, agriculture and the natural environmental – to take external actors into account. This not only presents organisational difficulties in coordinating the work of different branches of government but also ‘generates political problems as a proliferation of newly created policy coalitions seek to influence policy’ (Webber and Smith 2002: 63–4). In short, there are now multiple channels of contact linking states and societies, both within and between countries, and in some cases this includes various religious actors that may impact upon both policy-making and execution through their ability to wield soft power. Overall, liberal internationalists recognise the potential and in some cases actual importance of religious actors in IR, in relation to specific issues and outcomes. Such analyses also recognise the ability of soft power under certain circumstances to be influential in relation to international outcomes. The number of transnational non-state actors grew from a few thousand 30 years ago to an estimated 25,000 ‘active’ organisations in the early 2000s and more than 40,000 today (Haynes 2015). While many are secular in orientation a large number are religious. Collectively, transnational religious networks can be influential motivators of, as well as participants in, conflict; they can also be independently significant in promoting various normatively ‘progressive’ objectives, including: peace, inter-group understanding, cooperation and human development.

OVERALL CONCLUSION In terms of state-related religious power, our examples – the USA, India, Saudi Arabia and Iran – collectively underline ‘that religion’s greatest influence on the international system is through its significant influence on domestic politics. It is a motivating force that guides many policy makers’ (Fox and Sandler 2004: 168). To understand and account for the influence of religious actors on foreign policy in relation to the USA, India, Saudi Arabia and Iran, we saw that their wielding of soft power is the best – actually, the only – way to influence foreign policy. We also learnt that while it is obviously important for religious actors directly to get the ear of government through various available mechanisms – both formal and informal – in order to have a chance of their preferred policies being put into effect, there are also additional

Religion in international relations  21 means, including trying to mould public opinion through the media, demonstrations or via think tanks, that might be used. In sum, religious actors may try to influence outcomes in IR by encouraging states to adopt foreign policies that they believe are most in tune with their religious values and goals. We shall examine this issue further in later chapters. We also saw that there is another category of religious actors – non-state religious actors – who attempt to influence IR through a focus on transnational civil society. Transnational religious networks have received growing attention since the end of the Cold War in 1989, but the ability of such actors to influence outcomes in IR is variable. In sum, we saw in this chapter that both state-related and non-state religious actors can be of significance for outcomes in IR. Overall, four main points were made in the chapter: ●● State foreign policies can be motivated or significantly influenced by religious actors. ●● Domestic religious actors can cross state borders and become internationally significant. ●● Various strategies are used in these transnational religious phenomena to try to achieve their goals. ●● Religious norms and values can affect IR in various ways, which in turn affect how we create and use IR theories involving ‘religion’ and ‘culture’.

NOTES 1. On the issue of ideas in IR relating to religion and secularisation, see Philpott (2000: 217ff). 2. Reus-Smit (2005: 211) defines culture as a broad ‘framework on inter-subjective meanings and practices that give a society a distinctive character’.

REFERENCES Barber, B. (1992) ‘Jihad vs. McWorld’, The Atlantic Monthly, March. Brown, C. (2005) Understanding International Relations, 3rd ed., Basingstoke: Palgrave. Bull, H. (1977) The Anarchical Society, London: Macmillan. Burchill, S. (2005) ‘Liberalism’, in S. Burchill, A. Linklater, R. Devetak, J. Donnelly, M. Paterson, C. Reus-Smit and J. True (eds), Theories of International Relations, 3rd ed., Basingstoke: Palgrave, pp. 55–82. Buzan, B. (1993) ‘From international system to international society: Structural realism and regime theory meet the English School’, International Organization, 47, 3 (Summer), pp. 327–52. Buzan, B. (2004) From International to World Society? English School Theory and the Social Structure of Globalisation, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Calvert, P. and Calvert, S. (2001) Politics and Society in the Developing World, London: Routledge. Casanova, J. (1994) Public Religions in the Modern World, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Chazan, N. (1991) ‘The domestic foundations of Israeli foreign policy’, in J. Kipper and H. Saunders (eds), The Middle East in Global Perspective, Boulder, CO: Westview. Ehteshami, A. (2002) ‘The Middle East: Iran and Israel’, in M. Webber and M. Smith (eds), Foreign Policy in a Transformed World, Harlow: Prentice Hall, pp. 255–86. Esposito, J. (2002) Unholy War, New York: Oxford University Press. Fox, J. and Sandler, S. (2004) Bringing Religion into International Relations, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Hay, C. (2002) ‘Globalisation, “EU-isation” and the space for social democratic alternatives: Pessimism of the intellect: A reply to Coates’, British Journal of International Relations, 4, 3 (October), pp. 452–64. Haynes, J. (2005) Comparative Politics in a Globalizing World, Cambridge: Polity.

22  Handbook on religion and international relations Haynes, J. (2012) Religious Transnational Actors and Soft Power, Aldershot: Ashgate. Haynes, J. (2013) An Introduction to International Relations and Religion, London: Pearson. Haynes, J. (2015) Faith-Based Organizations at the United Nations, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Hinnebusch, R. (2005) ‘The politics of identity in Middle East international relations’, in L. Fawcett (ed.), International Relations of the Middle East, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 151–72. Hoeber Rudolph, S. (2005) ‘Religious transnationalism’, in M. Juergensmeyer (ed.), Religion in Global Civil Society, New York: Oxford University Press. Hudson, M. (2005) ‘The Unites States in the Middle East’, in L. Fawcett (ed.), International Relations of the Middle East, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 283–306. Huntington, S. (1993) ‘The clash of civilisations?’, Foreign Affairs, 72, 3, pp. 22–49. Huntington, S. (1996) The Clash of Civilizations, New York: Simon and Schuster. Jackson, R. and Owens, P. (2005) ‘The evolution of international society’, in J. Baylis and S. Smith (eds), The Globalization of World Politics, 3rd ed., Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 45–62. Juergensmeyer, M. (1993) The New Cold War? Religious Nationalism Confronts the Secular State, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Keohane, R. and Nye, J. (1977) Power and Interdependence: World Politics in Transition, Boston, MA: Little Brown. McGreal, C. (2005) ‘Sharon breaks covenant with settlers’, The Guardian, 18 August. Micklethwait, J. and Wooldridge, A. (2009) God Is Back: How the Global Rise of Faith Is Changing the World, Harmondsworth: Penguin. Norris, P. and Inglehart, R. (2004) Sacred and Secular: Religion and Politics Worldwide, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Nye, J. (1990) Bound to Lead: The Changing Nature of American Power, New York: Basic Books. Nye, J. (2004a) Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics, Washington, DC: Public Affairs. Nye, J. (2004b) ‘Soft power: The means to success in world politics’, Carnegie Council. Available at: www​.carnegiecouncil​.org/​resources/​transcripts/​4466​.html. Last accessed 1 May 2012. Nye, R. (2004c) ‘The benefits of soft power’, Harvard Business School Working Knowledge, 2 August. Available at: http://​hbswk​.hbs​.edu/​item​.jhtml​?id​=​4290​&​t​=​globalization. Last accessed 10 April 2006. Philpott, D. (2000) ‘The religious roots of modern international relations’, World Politics, 52, pp. 206–45. Philpott, D. (2002) ‘The challenge of September 11 to secularism in international relations’, World Politics, 55, October, pp. 66–95. Ram-Prasad, C. (2000) ‘Hindu nationalism and the international relations of India’, in K. Dark (ed.) Religion and International Relations, Basingstoke: Macmillan, pp. 180–98. Rues-Smit, C. (2005) ‘Liberal hierarchy and the license to use force’, Review of International Studies, 31, December, pp. 209–21. Sahliyeh, E. (1990) ‘Introduction’, in E. Sahliyeh (ed.), Religious Resurgence and Politics in the Contemporary World, Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, pp. 1–20. Said, E. (1995) Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient, London: Penguin Books. Saurin, J. (1995) ‘The end of international relations?’, in J. Macmillan and A. Linklater (eds), Boundaries in Question: New Directions in International Relations, London: Pinter, pp. 244–61. Shlapentokh, V., Woods, J. and Shiraev, E. (eds) (2005) America: Sovereign Defender or Cowboy Nation?, Aldershot: Ashgate. Telhami, S. (2004) ‘Between faith and ethics’, in J.B. Hehir, M. Walzer, L. Richardson, S. Telhami, C. Krauthammer and J. Lindsay (eds), Liberty and Power: A Dialogue on Religion and US Foreign Policy in an Unjust World, Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, pp. 71–84. The Guardian (1995) ‘Private morals’, 27 March. Thomas, S. (2005) The Global Transformation of Religion and the Transformation of International Relations: The Struggle for the Soul of the Twenty-First Century, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Voll, J. (2006) ‘Trans-state Muslim movements in an era of soft power’, Paper prepared for the Conference on New Religious Pluralism in World Politics, Georgetown University, 17 March. Voll, J. (2008) ‘Trans-state Muslim movements and militant extremists in an era of soft power’, in T. Banchoff (ed.), Religious Pluralism, Globalization, and World Politics, New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 253–74. Walt, S. and Mearsheimer, J.J. (2006) ‘The Israeli lobby and US foreign policy’, London Review of Books, 23 March.

Religion in international relations  23 Webber, M. and Smith, M. (2002) Foreign Policy in a Transformed World, Harlow: Prentice Hall. Zacher, M. and Matthew, R. (1995) ‘Liberal international theory: Common threads, divergent strands’, in C. Kegley (ed.), Controversies in International Relations Theory, New York: St Martin’s Press, pp. 107–50.

2. The rise and fall of secularism in international relations Daniel Philpott

Over the past quarter century, social scientists have developed a new field of study: religion and global politics. Their inquiry, they have told us, tracks the world outside the academy, where religious influence has surged globally, and it challenges the secularization paradigm, which reigned for decades in the social sciences. Consider a few of the titles and subtitles from the early years of the wave. God Is Back (Micklethwait and Wooldridge, 2009). Why God Is Winning (Shah and Toft, 2006). Religion in International Relations: The Return from Exile (Petitio and Hatzopoulos, 2003). The Global Resurgence of Religion and the Transformation of International Relations (Thomas, 2005). Bringing Religion into International Relations (Fox and Sandler, 2004). Religion as an Overlooked Element of International Relations (Fox, 2001). Religion: The Missing Dimension of Statecraft (Johnston and Sampson, 1994). Perhaps nothing vivifies this thesis better than the trajectory of the late Peter Berger, one of the past generation’s most influential sociologists, who predicted religion’s social demise in 1968 but then humbly retracted in 1998, declaring that “the world today … is as furiously religious as it ever was” (Berger, 1968, 1999, p. 2). This thesis, I believe, remains a broadly compelling one, though it has critics (Bruce, 2011; Maoz and Henderson, 2020; Norris and Inglehart, 2004; Wilson, 1985). What I propose here, though, is not to add or detract from this thesis but rather to look at it from a different perspective, not one that doubts the reality of religion’s global rise but one that views it from a different angle. Taking this new view is much like a gestalt switch, that is, what occurs when one has been fixed on perceiving a set of lines and marks as an old lady or a rabbit and then radically perceives it anew as a young lady or a duck. The scholars of the last couple of decades have purported to show that religion has arisen to challenge what was deafeningly dominant and thought to be part of the architecture of the universe. The gestalt switch is to see religion as normal and the secular as the anomaly. The switch is facilitated by expanding one’s range of perception not just to the past few decades or, for that matter, past couple of centuries, but rather to the broad sweep of human history, if such a bold expanse may be envisioned. From this perspective it is overwhelmingly common across vast expanses of time and place for humans to practice religion and to seek to infuse their religion into other realms of life – politics, economics, culture, family life, and so on. By this account, secularization is the anomaly whose rise and influence is to be explained and whose challenge and decline should not be altogether surprising. Even some champions of the secular have viewed things this way, for instance, political philosopher Mark Lilla, who wrote “[o]n one shore the basic political structures of society are imagined and criticized by referring to divine authority … [h]istorically speaking, it is we who are different, not they” (Lilla, 2007). The merits of Lilla’s sympathy will be taken up at the end of the chapter, which briefly considers the moral value of secularism. The prior questions are: What is religion – that from 24

The rise and fall of secularism in international relations  25 which secularism departs? What is secularism? When and how did it arise and seek to challenge religion’s role in global politics? And, what is the influence of secularism today? I am not the first to make the proposed gestalt switch (Fox, 2015; Shah, 2015; Stark, 1999). What is offered here is only a new statement of it – a new iteration of a new way of seeing.

RELIGION IS NORMAL To say that religion is normal – the baseline from which secularism departs – is to say not only that humans have practiced it far and wide, long ago and today, but also that it is authentic. Authenticity means something much like sincerity: people believe and practice religion with the understanding that it embodies something real, beneficial, and pleasing, for themselves and for their relationships with others, and we who observe them trust that they truly believe this and that what they are doing is not plainly illusory or destructive. Authenticity is what religion’s doubters, almost all of them Westerners, have called into question over the past three centuries. They have viewed it as an illusion, a projection, a cloak for the powerful, an emanation of the class structure, wish fulfilment, primitivism, superstition, and an invention, and have charged it with ratifying inequality and oppression, dividing intractably, and causing violence. The baldest skepticism of religion comes from what philosopher Paul Ricoeur called the masters of suspicion – Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Sigmund Freud – all of whom thought that religion was an expression of something more fundamental: power, class position, wish fulfilment (Ricoeur, 1965). Related was the thinking of nineteenth-century philosopher, Ludwig Feuerbach, who viewed religion as the projection of the human onto an infinite screen (Feuerbach, 1957). More recently, vociferous skepticism has arisen in the thought of the new atheists, who hold that religion is irrational and thereby prone to violence and destructive division (Dawkins, 2006; Dennett, 2006; Harris, 2004; Hitchens, 2007; Leiter, 2014). Tied to all of these sceptics’ view that religion is irrational is their expectation that humanity will outgrow its use for religion, much as a maturing young adult sheds her childhood wardrobe. A different form of skepticism does not inquire into religion’s origins or effects but rather calls into question the concept of religion in the first place. In its gentlest form, the skepticism is definitional, based on doubt that religion can be defined widely enough to avoid excluding some religions – Buddhism, Confucianism, shamanism – and narrowly enough to avoid including entities that share some of religion’s qualities but are not ordinarily thought of as religions such as Marxism, nationalism, and the fervor of a Guns and Roses concertgoer. Behind such skepticism is usually a construal of religion as a phenomenon of ideas, which then yields the question of how this set of ideas is coherently demarcated from other ideas, and of why it is privileged in law, as it is in the human right of religious freedom. In the words of legal scholar Micah Schwartzman, “What if Religion Is Not Special?” (Schwartzman, 2012). In its more abrasive form, this skepticism is voiced by post-modern critics, who doubt universals, assert that any given term will have irreducibly different meanings from context to context, and hold that configurations of power lie behind the different usages. They commonly argue that the concept of religion was invented in and through the Protestant Reformation and the Enlightenment and that colonialists deployed religion to dominate non-Western peoples (Asad, 1983; Mahmood, 2016; Sullivan et al., 2015).

26  Handbook on religion and international relations Whereas most doubters of religion are secularists, not all of them are. William Cavanaugh, a theologian, argued in his book of 2009, The Myth of Religious Violence, that “there is no transhistorical and transcultural essence of religion” and joins the post-modernists in arguing that religion is an invention of modernity. By declaring that religion is separate from politics and other spheres of life, and that religion is irrational, violent, and divisive, he argues, modernists marginalize religion and legitimize the gargantuan violence of the modern state. Cavanaugh does not share with other critics an expectation or hope that religion will fade from history, but he joins them in rejecting religion as a normal baseline from which the secular is a departure. What basis is there for performing our gestalt shift? Helping us do so are thinkers who view religion as fundamentally, characteristically human (apart from the authors discussed below, see Alston, 1972; Brady, 2015). The view is at least as old as Cicero, who thought that divine providence rules the universe and that religion is a duty of justice towards this universal being, as well as early Christian thinkers such as Lactantius, who argued in the early fourth century that religion is a natural human phenomenon that is internally instantiated and cannot be coerced (Cicero, 1997; Lactantius, 2004). In the thirteenth century, Thomas Aquinas quoted Cicero in arguing that religion is a species of the natural virtue of justice by which a person renders to God what is God’s due (Aquinas, 1948). In our day, scholars are taking up this classical view, though sometimes through the medium of contemporary disciplines. Writing in the classical tradition, drawing on the thought of Aquinas, are what is known as the new natural law thinkers, who argue that religion is a basic good, that is, a non-instrumental end that realizes a dimension of human fulfilment and is knowable through reason (Boyle, 1998; Finnis, 1980, pp. 89–90; Tollefsen, 2018). A variation on the theme comes from psychologists who argue that religion is hard-wired, a capacity of the mind that is detectable in early children and is not merely socially induced or culturally constructed (see, for instance, Barrett, 2004). Still another approach comes from a religious studies scholar, the late Martin Riesebrodt of the University of Chicago, who argued in his 2010 book, The Promise of Salvation, that religion is in fact a transhistorical and transcultural phenomenon, rooting his case in his lifelong study of world religions. Sociologist Christian Smith, an accomplished scholar of religion, was so inspired by Riesebrodt’s argument that he wrote his own book, Religion: What It Is, How It Works, and Why It Matters (2017), to elaborate and improve upon Riesebrodt’s ideas. These approaches are complementary and each in their own way helps to make the case for what the sceptics deny – the authentically human character of religion. Riesebrodt, and Smith’s elaboration of his thought, is worth looking at more closely on account of his thorough discussion of religion and its ability to answer objections. At the heart of Riesebrodt’s conception of religion are what he calls superhuman powers – entities that are neither human nor created by humans and able to bring about states of affairs that are critically important to humans (Riesebrodt, 2010). Superhuman is not necessarily supernatural or even personal. As Smith explains, these powers may be God or gods but might also include “non-conscious forces, energies, or dynamisms,” as is characteristic of traditions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism (Smith, 2017, pp. 24–6). Humans seek to access these powers by way of practices through which they hope to secure benefits and avoid evils. Riesebrodt zeroes in on three outcomes that superhuman powers effect: ward off misfortune, cope with crises, and provide salvation (Riesebrodt, 2010, p. xiii). The practices are performed with awe, homage, veneration, and supplication. Quintessential is worship, through which humans aim to place themselves in harmony with the powers

The rise and fall of secularism in international relations  27 (Riesebrodt, 2010). Scores of other practices include prayer, sacrifice, almsgiving, divinization, and prostration (Smith, 2017, p. 29). Practices are critical to Riesebrodt’s (and Smith’s) conception. Again, skepticism toward the definability of religion and its privileged place in law is usually premised on religion conceived of as a set of ideas. Post-modern skepticism associates the rise of the concept of religion and of the principle of religious freedom with the historical development of a version of religion that centers around creeds, beliefs, and interior commitment. If, however, religion is a matter of practices oriented towards alignment with superhuman powers, then it is something far more distinct. Beliefs are also important to religion, as Smith stresses. Premises underlie practices and propositions describe the character of superhuman powers and their attributes. Beliefs are spelled out more or less explicitly and elaborately from religion to religion but are an important part of all religions (Smith, 2017, pp. 44–6). Contrary to the claims of post-modern critics, beliefs are not uniquely central to Protestantism, nor is Protestantism a religion of beliefs shorn of robust practices. Riesebrodt’s and Smith’s exposition of religion centers on what ordinary religious believers see themselves as doing and gaining from their religious practice. To the above key elements of their concept may be added a few accents. One is that religion offers answers to what might be called the Grand Questions of Life (see Perry, 1998, p. 15): How did the universe come to be? Why is there suffering? What happens after death? What makes us happy? Such questions are ultimate, concerning what is supremely important. Riesebrodt points to this quality through his three aims of religion, which deal with crises, misfortune, and salvation, all matters of great importance. Expanding this insight, religion’s affirmation of superhuman powers and prescription of practices for accessing them involve responses to the Grand Questions. Religions deal not only with these questions but also with everyday matters, as when religious people pray for academic success or a sunny day. Even everyday matters, though, religious people regard in light of what is ultimate, i.e., they pray for a sunny day. Another accent, which Riesebrodt and Smith each affirm in certain ways, is that religions also involve a community. People of all religious traditions practice religion with others and often under the direction of a cleric or a religious caste or profession. Religious communities have a history and continue through time, usually centuries. The practices that make up the religion emerge and develop within this community and are prescribed by its culture (Smith, 2017, pp. 26–8). A final feature, I suggest, is a moral code. Religions contain norms prescribing what is right and wrong, which are in turn tied to a substantive vision for human happiness, which is in turn tied to the character and identity of the superhuman power. This may be said of Buddhism’s Eightfold Path, Hinduism’s Dharma, Judaism’s and Christianity’s Ten Commandments, Christianity’s Sermon on the Mount, Islam’s Sharia, Zoroastrianism’s ethics, and the moral systems of other religions, too. Weaving all of these elements together is my own definition of religion: An interconnected set of beliefs and practices through which people answer the grand questions of life by seeking to live in harmony with a superhuman power that intervenes in the real circumstances of their lives. They do this most characteristically through worship. Religion typically involves related rituals, a community, a clerical profession, and a moral code grounded in the transcendent realm. (Philpott, 2019, p. 22)

28  Handbook on religion and international relations Like Smith’s view of religion, mine is inspired by Riesebrodt, but with some added accents. It is not a final definition but serves to distinguish religion from related, sometimes partially overlapping, phenomena like ethics, spirituality, mysticism, and nationalism. “In all ages,” writes Riesebrodt, “people have distinguished interaction with superhuman powers from other forms of action” (2010, p. xii). The definition also purports to describe an activity that humans have practiced over thousands of years and in every part of the world. “Religion’s promise, by contrast, remains astonishingly constant in different historical periods and cultures,” Riesebrodt continues (2010, p. xiii). Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Daoism, Jainism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Hinduism, the Baha’i faith, and other traditions all contain genuinely religious practices, he argues. “All human beings belong to the same species” and manifest “universal characteristics … and thus are not arbitrary or infinitely variable or unbridgeably different” (Riesebrodt, 2010, p. 19). It is human to seek harmony with the superhuman.

THE SECULAR AND ITS COUSINS What, then, is the secular, that which emerged out of a religious world and in some manner comes into competition with it? An effort to define the term must confront its cousins – secularism, secularization, secularity. In an earlier piece, I identified nine concepts of the secular, some of which are expressed as secularism or secularization (Philpott, 2009, p. 185). Four of these concepts I identified as positive or neutral towards religion, and five as negative or hostile. Among the positive or neutral, for instance, stands philosopher Charles Taylor’s definition of secular (or secularity, as he terms it) from his widely read book of 2007, The Secular Age, where it means a social context in which religious faith is one of many options rather than an unproblematic feature of the universe (pp. 2–3). Among the negative versions of the concept is secularization, which implies a long-term decline in the influence of religion, a waning of the sort that led Berger to prognosticate in his 1968 piece that by “the 21st century, religious believers are likely to be found only in small sects, huddled together to resist a world-wide secular culture,” or that led Time Magazine to declare on its cover in 1966 that “God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed Him” (Berger, 1968, p. 3). Among these concepts and terms, the most directly relevant for global politics is secularism. As the suffix -ism implies, secularism is a set of ideas that advances a political program. More precisely, secularism is a variety of political theology, a set of ideas about the proper relationship between and the respective roles of religious and political authority (Toft et al., 2011, p. 27). Political theology deals with questions such as: In what manner and to what degree ought the state to promote religion? Ought the state to establish and uphold one religion? In what ways may the state restrict religion? What role ought religious actors to play in the political order? Do religious leaders have standing prerogatives in the government or over government policy? May they legitimately seek to influence who the authorities are and what ends they pursue? What ought these ends to be? Usually, political theology is derived from more foundational theological and philosophical commitments, while it also contains practical wisdom concerning historical lessons and contemporary circumstances. Both political and religious actors espouse political theology and they include intellectuals, theologians, activists, political authorities, opposition leaders, religious leaders, and ordinary citizens. Political theologies come in an enormous variety, including for example, Engaged Buddhism, which advocates human rights, democracy, and environmentalism; the Orthodox Church’s “symphonic

The rise and fall of secularism in international relations  29 partnership” between Church leaders and emperors and kings; and Hindutva, the notion that India is a Hindu homeland and ought to promote and privilege the Hindu religion. A political theology might exist within the realm of ideas alone or it might be adopted into a constitution, public law, or the habitual policies of a regime, in which case it is institutionalized. Political theology is always about religion but it need not be religious in its goals and orientation. It may well be hostile to religion. A political theology of secularism espouses a program that in some manner places limits on the role of religion in public life. The rationales for these limits, though, vary sharply and may be distinguished broadly as positive and negative secularism. The distinction finds close parallels in dichotomies proposed by figures as various as Pope Benedict XVI and political scientists such as Ahmet Kuru and Elizabeth Shakman Hurd (Allen, 2008; Hurd, 2008, p. 23; Kuru, 2009). Positive secularism prescribes a separation of religious and political authority on a justification that is friendly to religion. It embodies what the late political scientist Alfred Stepan called the “twin tolerations,” in which religious communities renounce strong standing authority in government while the political authority supports conditions that allow religious communities to practice their religion robustly and by means of and according to the norms of democratic participation (Stepan, 2001). The most important of these conditions is religious freedom, the right of religious persons and communities to practice their religion without coercive interference or significant penalties. Positive secularism is premised on a favorable appraisal of religion and its contribution to political and social life and maintains that these goods are best advanced through a healthy distance between religious and political authority. One of the pioneering and most enduringly important books in the new field of religion and global politics is sociologist Jose Casanova’s Public Religions in the Modern World, which argued that religion remains influential in politics even from a position of “differentiation,” or institutional separation (1994). Today, positive secularism is institutionalized broadly in the world’s constitutional liberal democracies, where the aggregate levels of religious restrictions are lower and of religious freedom higher than they are in the rest of the world (Fox, 2008, pp. 105–39; Pew Research Center, 2019). Among these democracies, though, significant variations exist, in some cases due to strands of negative secularism (Kuru, 2009). Negative secularism, by contrast, calls for religion to be marginalized from public life on the rationale that it is baneful. The stronger forms of negative secularism even seek the eradication of religion. Negative secularism advocates strong state restrictions on religion and denies religious freedom. Behind negative secularism is a body of thinking much similar to the skepticism described above. Religion is pernicious because it is irrational, superstitious, divisive, violent, stifling of development, and supportive of repression, and it can be expected to exit the stage of history. Negative secularism has been found in the regimes and parties based on the liberal republicanism of the French Revolution, in communist regimes, in post-communist regimes, and in secular regimes in Muslim-majority countries. This secularism, too, admits of variation and degrees. When, where, and how did a political theology of secularism emerge?

A SHORT HISTORY OF SECULARISM Adopting again the perspective of global history, a striking fact arises. Secularism – the term, the concept, the program, the form of regime – originated and has been realized in political

30  Handbook on religion and international relations orders in one civilization in one period of history, the modern West. The term’s roots lie in the Latin word saeculum, which means a fixed period of time, as in an age, say, of 100 years. In medieval times, the term distinguished the temporal age of the world from the eternal realm of God, and could also mean the realm outside the monastery. As the term can be traced in the English language in the eighteenth century and up through today, it came to mean what pertains to this world understood apart from what religion claims or describes. The term secularism, implying a program or agenda, came into widespread usage in England in the mid-nineteenth century. Political programs of secularism, in both their positive and negative variants, seeking deliberately to sequester religion or to separate strongly religious and political authority, arose in Europe in the eighteenth century, made their way to North America and Latin America in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and have spread to numerous other parts of the globe, where they have been shaped, adapted, and resisted (Zuckerman and Shook, 2017). No other major civilization, whether medieval Islam, the Moghul Empire, China, ancient Greece, ancient Rome, medieval Europe, Byzantium, or the Aztecs, has sought deliberately to separate or sequester religion from politics or from other spheres of life – the economy, culture – anywhere near to the extent that countries in the modern West have done. This is not to deny that other civilizations have differentiated political and religious authority. Indeed, to offer once again a sweeping statement, the overwhelmingly common pattern wherever religion has been found is a differentiation between religious and political authority by which their respective functions are exercised by separate figures – kings, presidents, sultans, emperors, and shoguns on one hand, and priests, clerics, divines, rabbis, imams, pujaris, and monks on the other. The degree and manner of this differentiation varies among civilizations. Prior to and outside of modernity, though, these authorities typically have been overlapping and dependent upon each other for legitimacy, material support, protection, and spiritual guidance (Eisenstadt, 1962; Toft et al., 2011, pp. 50–8). Different is secularism. Negative secularism seeks a realm denuded of religion. Positive secularism seeks a differentiation of function that few civilizations or societies knew prior to Western modernity. Thus reinforced is the gestalt shift in which secularism arises as an anomaly from a background in which religion, and the enmeshment of religious and political authority, are the norm. Why did secularism arise in the West? Because of the Christian church. Though the church has never prescribed or taught secularism (a program that would sharply separate religious and political authority), and certainly did not envision forms harshly inimical to it, the church nevertheless made possible a secular realm and secularism. How? To an extent that exceeds other religions, the Christian church constitutes a community that is united by ligaments of authority and membership on the inside and separated in role, function, and authority from political rulers on the outside. Theologically, the church is a realm of grace that is distinct from the wider realm of nature. Thus, the Apostle Paul wrote of the church as the Body of Christ; Augustine would write of the City of God and the Earthly City as separate realms in the early fifth century; and nineteenth-century popes would speak of the church as a societas perfecta, to be distinguished from other societies such as nation-states. The realm of politics, economics, and culture in the world outside the church was something to be engaged, infused, and transformed, but always from the standpoint of a distinct community. Contrast the Christian church with the community out of which it grew, the nation of Israel, which contained kings as well as priests, prophets, rabbis, and religious leaders, and in which the religious community was not sharply separated as a body with its own organic structure. Kings and religious leaders both lived under the law of the Torah and were expected to uphold

The rise and fall of secularism in international relations  31 its teachings, most importantly of all, to avoid idolatry. Following the Babylonian exile of the sixth century BCE, the Jewish community often lived under foreign kings and rulers, but it often had its own kings as well and it aspired to independence of the sort that it enjoyed prior to the exile – one in which kings and religious leaders participated collaboratively in the same community. The Christian church is different. Once it was established, it contained bishops, one of whom was the first among equals and came to be known as the pope; a common body of doctrine; a common mode of worship, around which the members were united; and a common bureaucracy, budget, and set of laws. This structure has always been a transnational one, extending across borders and over and against political authorities. The church’s ranks did not include the Roman Caesar, nor did its theology or law envision its authority being connected with that of a Caesar or any political ruler at all, and during its first three centuries it lived considerably at odds with the Caesar and his lieutenants. Eventually, in 312, the emperor Constantine converted to Christianity and opened the way for a far more symbiotic relationship between the Church and political authority, one that reached its apogee centuries later in the High Middle Ages, where not only politics but also every sphere of life was envisioned in Christian terms. Even then, though, the church was a community with a hierarchy whose integrity it was keen to guard against the encroachments of emperors, kings, and princes. The reverse side of the organic unity of the church was a realm outside of the religious community. Even as the church proclaimed itself distinct from the world, it effectively accorded the world substantial autonomy from itself. The church has always seen its mission as expanding into and transforming the world but not as subsuming the structures and practices of the world into the religious body. In defining a realm outside its religious unity, the church at the same time established a realm that exercised freedom to assert its own authority and power separate from and even against the church. This is what gradually took place following the High Middle Ages as the modern state took root and developed. During the period known as Early Modern Europe, which may be dated roughly as 1450–1750, a major trend was a shift in the balance of power between church and state in favor of the state. Government institutions, nearly all of them monarchies, grew markedly in their economic, military, and bureaucratic power and in their control over the church. Their ascendancy was not accompanied by overt hostility; the monarch remained “the most Christian king.” The Protestant Reformation, beginning in 1517, birthed Christian communities independent of papal authority who sought protection from princes and kings, who then acquired authority over their governance and even their theology. Monarchies increased their control over the church in countries that remained mostly Catholic, too, not least in France, the “eldest daughter of the Church,” where the king asserted “Gallican liberties” over and against Rome. It was during this period that theorists like Bodin and Hobbes came to speak of sovereignty and in which nationalism burgeoned as its buttressing identity and ideology. Across the continent, a system of sovereign states was consolidated at the Peace of Westphalia of 1648, leaving monarchs stronger than ever vis-à-vis the church and the pope weaker than ever in his ability to influence princes (Philpott, 2001, pp. 75–96; Toft et al., 2011, pp. 58–64). The next period of history, which may be termed modernity and dated broadly from 1750 to the 1960s, was one in which the state continued to grow in its power over the church. A landmark expression of this new outlook was John Jacques Rousseau’s Social Contract of 1762, which portrayed Christianity as threatening to a free republic – divisive, repressive, and diverting loyalties – and fashioned and prescribed a new civil religion to be enforced by the death

32  Handbook on religion and international relations penalty (Rousseau, 1994). The French Revolution, beginning in 1789, followed Rousseau’s script, inventing a new religion and fitting it out with a new calendar, rituals, and symbols; sending thousands of priests and nuns to the guillotine; requiring an oath of loyalty that dissevered Catholics from the authority of the pope; and taking the lives of thousands of Catholics in the Vendée region between 1793 and 1796 (Burleigh, 2005, pp. 97–100). Throughout the nineteenth century, twentieth century, and into the twenty-first century, anti-clerical parties inspired by the revolution’s ideals have vied for and held power in Europe and Latin America. Through colonialism, European states installed regimes in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East that broadly replicated the pattern of strong state governance of religion, though in different degrees and manners. In the 1950s and 1960s, the “Bandung Generation” of leaders of newly independent states championed nationalism, socialism, and a secularism of the sort that expected the influence of religion to wane. Taking hostility towards religion a step further was Communism, an ideology inspired by Karl Marx, who thought that religion was an “opiate of the people,” the legitimating ideology of the dominant owner class, and destined for ultimate extinction at the end of history’s class struggle. Following the Russian Revolution, the Soviet Union persecuted the Russian Orthodox Church in the 1920s and 1930s and thereafter ruled what remained of this church as an arm of the state. Communist China under Mao Zedong was likewise highly repressive of religion, expelling foreign missionaries, placing Christian churches under the control of the state, and seeking to eradicate traditional religion during the Cultural Revolution of 1966 to 1979. At least as hostile towards religion was Nazism, which sought to eradicate one religion, Judaism, altogether, and took the lives of thousands of Christian priests and ministers. This was negative secularism, the sort that anticipates and aims to hasten the demise of religion. In the decades after 1917, a wide swath of the world’s population lived under a harsh secular regime, including the populations of the Soviet Union, China, North Korea, Eastern Europe, many Arab states, Mexico, Cuba, and other Latin American states. Modernity also saw the rise of positive secularism, the standard bearer of which has been the United States. While the American colonies had been chequered in their governance of religion, some promoting tolerance, others a single official church, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, passed in 1791, provided for religious freedom and forbade the establishment of a national church. Most of the founders viewed religion as a positive contribution to the new republic. By 1950, most Western European states, as well as states such as India and Japan, had adopted positive secularism into their constitutions, characterized by religious freedom and a variety of church–state relationships. With few exceptions, secularism, in both its negative and positive forms, continued its centuries-long march well into the 1960s and did not show signs of abating. An observer at the time, lacking a global historical perspective, might be forgiven for thinking that secularism was veering towards a natural destiny of total global victory.

SECULARISM TODAY It was not to be. A global resurgence of the political influence of religion, covering every religion and region, began around the 1960s. A global Islamic resurgence; the Second Vatican Council of the Catholic Church; an awakening of religious Zionism; Hindu nationalism; Buddhist nationalism; “engaged” Buddhism; the rise of the religious right in the United

The rise and fall of secularism in international relations  33 States; a sharp growth of religion in China; and a return of religion to the political discourse of Western Europe can all be dated to the 1960s, just prior to this decade, or the years following this decade (Toft et al., 2011, pp. 3–7). For secularists, this was perhaps a temporary reversal. From the perspective of the gestalt switch proposed here, it is the resurgence in politics of something that never went away, adherence to and practice of religion. Still, it would not be accurate to describe global politics as desecularized. Resurgent religion altered secularism’s totalistic trajectory, but global politics remains a mixture of the religious and the secular, both of negative and positive varieties. Communist regimes, who purvey the harshest form of negative secularism, continue to exist in a strong form in North Korea, China, Vietnam, Laos, and Cuba. All of these regimes continue to base themselves on Marxist-Leninist doctrine and continue to implement it in matters of religion even if some of them such as China and Vietnam have relaxed it in the economic realm. North Korea is one of the handful of most religiously repressive countries in the world and the harshest persecutor of Christians, whom it has imprisoned and placed in labor camps by the thousands (Open Doors, 2020). China has sharply increased the repression of religion over the past five years. It has continued to persecute harshly members of the Falun Gong sect. It has forced some 1 to 2 million Uighur Muslims into concentration camps, where it represses their religious practice. It has undertaken a campaign against its fast-growing Christian population, destroying their churches, imprisoning priests and pastors, and prohibiting children under 18 from worshipping. Traditional Buddhist and Confucian practices are comparatively tolerated, but only at the pleasure of the state. Regimes in Vietnam and Laos also rank in the top tier of the most religiously repressive ones in the world; both regard religion, and Christianity in particular, as a threat to their Marxist-Leninist social orders, and each continues to inflict heavy repression. Cuba’s restraints are milder in comparison, but the country remains far from free (Pew Research Center, 2019). Secularism is also found in a more surprising setting, Muslim-majority countries. Among the world’s 47 or so Muslim-majority states, there exist three patterns of governance of religion. The first is religiously repressive countries, whose governments mandate Islamism, a strongly traditional form of Islam that is to be implemented by the state, and that make up 21, or 45 percent, of Muslim-majority countries. Second is religiously free (or positively secular) countries, of which there are 11, or 23 percent of Muslim-majority countries. Third are secular repressive countries, which number 15, or 32 percent of Muslim-majority countries (Philpott, 2019, p. 50). That there are secular repressive Muslim countries will be startling to many in the West, where public debates about Islam pit “Islamoskeptics,” who believe that Islam is hard-wired for repression, against “Islamopluralists,” who stress Islam’s capacities for peace and tolerance. What this dichotomy does not allow is that repression can be inspired by secularism, even a Western secularism. This is the secularism of the French Revolution, which has inspired authoritarian rulers in Muslim-majority countries to promote an ideology of modernization involving economic development, science, technological advancement, social equality, and the building of the nation, and to maintain that religion is an obstacle to these ends and requires marginalization from public life. Secular repressive dictators typically empower a moderate version of Islam while ruthlessly suppressing traditional Islam and seeking to neuter the social and public influence of religion in general. Regimes of this pattern in Syria and Egypt are among the torture capitals of the world (Philpott, 2019, pp. 77–83).

34  Handbook on religion and international relations The standard bearer of this pattern is the Republic of Turkey founded by Kemal Atatürk in 1923. It unfolded in the world of newly independent Arab states through Gamal Abder Nasser’s Egypt in the 1950s, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, Ba’athist Party Syria, Tunisia, Libya, and Jordan. The pattern has evolved and been challenged, for instance, by Turkey’s Prime Minister (and later President) Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who came to lead Turkey in 2002, as well as through the Arab Uprisings of 2011, but the pattern persists in 15 Muslim-majority states. Among these are also the Central Asian successor states to the Soviet Union, which adhere to communist-inspired policies towards the religion of their Muslim populations (Philpott, 2019, pp. 77–113). Positive secularism has a strong presence in the world today as well. In the past half century, over 90 countries have moved from dictatorship towards democracy, including through democratic revolutions in Latin America, Eastern Europe, East Asia, Africa, and other parts of the world. Democratic governance today follows the template of Stepan’s twin tolerations – positive secularism – in matters of religion. The Pew Research Center reported in 2019 that the regimes of 82 countries had low restrictions on religion, a proxy for positive secularism. Particularly significant are the 11 Muslim-majority countries that fit the pattern of positive secularism, demonstrating the diversity of religious governance in the Muslim-majority world. Using a 2009 benchmark, they can be found in Lebanon, Albania, Kosovo, Djibouti, and seven countries in West Africa – Senegal, Mali, Niger, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, and The Gambia. The heart of positive secularism in the Muslim-majority world, the West African countries contain highly religious populations as measured by indices developed by the Pew Research Center, thus confuting the proposition that tolerance requires secularism (Pew Research Center, 2012). These countries practice high levels of tolerance towards the religious expression and practice of their mostly tiny religious minorities, actively promote interreligious cooperation, and extend tolerance to dissenting Muslims, even allowing them to exit Islam without penalty. Behind this positive secularism lies a high level of religious accommodation of non-Muslims that dates back to Islam’s arrival through bands of traders and missionaries rather than conquerors between 1100 and 1600 CE; and the prevalence of Sufi spirituality, which stresses the freedom and interiority of religious commitment (Philpott, 2019, pp. 45–76). Positive secularism in West Africa is not free from challenges. Over the past decade, militant Islamist groups, many of them supported by the outside, have attacked secular governance, though they have not succeeded in destroying it. In the West, and in developed democracies more generally, positive secularism has come under strain. Countries such as France, where Muslims have immigrated in large numbers, have passed laws restricting religious practice, including ones forbidding Muslim women and girls from wearing headscarves. In a very different respect, traditional religion in Western countries has come into conflict with the rise of norms liberalizing marriage and sexuality, often resulting in new restrictions on the behavior of religious institutions and individuals. Finally, continued low levels of religiosity in Western Europe and in other developed democracies such as Japan, and the decline in levels of religiosity in the relatively religious United States, weaken the popular religious basis of positive secularism (Zuckerman and Shook, 2017, pp. 7–9).

The rise and fall of secularism in international relations  35

EVALUATING THE SECULAR I have argued that from a global historical perspective, secularism arose from a background of religion, and religious enmeshment in politics, that is normal across the broad expanse of human history. Secularism, both of the positive and negative varieties, persists in the world today even after a half century of the resurgence of religion in politics. These trends and facts provide clues to a morally defensible secularism, one that amounts to positive secularism. Above, I offered a definition of religion, centered around practices that seek alignment with a superhuman power, that I believe describes a near universal human phenomenon. Not only is religion widely practiced across time and space, I believe, but it is also a human good, something that people find fulfilling for its own sake (Boyle, 1998; Finnis, 1980; Tollefsen, 2018). Because religion deals with matters of ultimate importance, this fulfilment is great in magnitude. The religion that people practice and believe, alone and together, consequently, merits the respect of other people, groups, communities, and governments. Further still, religions typically place great value on interiority, though not to the exclusion of outward practice and profession. They call for their practices and beliefs to be lived and affirmed reflectively, not merely for outward show. Thus, religions emphasize the heart, the mind, enlightenment, sincerity, and purity. This dimension, too, warrants respect. To violate the free practice of religion is to violate a person’s dignity. This is the basis for the human right of religious freedom, which Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights articulates. The articulation is robust, stressing belief and practice, individual and communal aspects, the right to change one’s belief, and the specific dimensions of “teaching, worship, practice, and observance.” The framers of the declaration, hailing from cultures and countries on every continent, included religious freedom with very little controversy (Morsink, 2000, pp. 260–3). Religious freedom is the core of positive secularism and is what negative secularism denies. Other dimensions of religion–state relations vary among positively secular countries, for instance, the establishment of a national religion or church, public funding for religious activities, and so on. If positive secularism is a grand historical anomaly, it also arguably represents a new appreciation for the value of religion. In positive secularism, everyone’s religion, as well as the choice not to be religious, is respected.

REFERENCES Allen, Jr., J. (2008). Benedict Makes a Case for “Healthy Secularism.” National Catholic Reporter. September 12. Available from www​.ncronline​.org/​news/​benedict​-makes​-case​-healthy​-secularism. Alston, W.P. (1972). Religion. In: Encyclopedia of Philosophy. New York: Macmillan. Aquinas, T. (1948). Question 81: Of Religion. The Summa Theologica. Trans. Fathers of the English Dominican Province. Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, pp. 1522–8. Asad, T. (1983). Anthropological Conceptions of Religion: Reflections on Geertz. Man, 18(2), 237–59. Barrett, J. (2004). Why Would Anyone Believe in God? Lanham, MD: Alta Mira Press. Berger, P. (1968). A Bleak Outlook Is Seen for Religion. New York Times. February, 25, p. 3. Berger, P. (1999). The Desecularization of the World: A Global Overview. In P. Berger, ed., The Desecularization of the World: Resurgent Religion in Global Politics. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, pp. 1–18.

36  Handbook on religion and international relations Boyle, J. (1998). The Place of Religion in the Practical Reasoning of Individuals and Groups. American Journal of Jurisprudence, 43, 1–24. Brady, K. (2015). The Distinctiveness of Religion in American Law. New York: Cambridge University Press. Bruce, S. (2011). Secularization: In Defence of an Unfashionable Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Burleigh, M. (2005). Earthly Powers: The Clash of Religion and Politics in Europe, From the French Revolution to the Great War. New York: Harper Collins. Casanova, J. (1994). Public Religions in the Modern World. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Cavanaugh, W.T. (2009). The Myth of Religious Violence: Secular Ideology and the Roots of Modern Conflict. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Cicero (1997). The Nature of the Gods. Trans. P.G. Walsh. New York: Clarendon. Dawkins, R. (2006). The God Delusion. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Co. Dennett, D.C. (2006). Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon. New York: Viking. Eisenstadt, S.N. (1962). Religious Organizations and Political Processes in Centralized Empires. Journal of Asian Studies, 21(3), 271–94. Feuerbach, L. (1957). The Essence of Christianity. Trans. George Eliot. New York: Harper Torchbooks. Finnis, J. (1980). Natural Law and Natural Rights. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Fox, J. (2001). Religion as an Overlooked Element of International Relations. International Studies Review, 3(3), pp. 53–73. Fox, J. (2008). A World Survey of Religion and the State. New York: Cambridge University Press. Fox, J. (2015). Political Secularism, Religion, and the State: A Time Series Analysis of Worldwide Data. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Fox, J. and Sandler, S. (eds) (2004). Bringing Religion into International Relations. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan. Harris, S. (2004). The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason. New York: W.W. Norton. Hitchens, C. (2007). God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. New York: Twelve. Hurd, E.S. (2008). The Politics of Secularism in International Relations. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Johnston, D. and Sampson, C. (1994). Religion: The Missing Dimension of Statecraft. New York: Oxford University Press. Kuru, A. (2009). Secularism and State Policies toward Religion: The United States, France, and Turkey. New York: Cambridge University Press. Lactantius, L. (2004). Divine Institutes. Trans. Anthony Bowen and Peter Garnsey. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. Leiter, B. (2014). Why Tolerate Religion? Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Lilla, M. (2007). The Stillborn God: Religion, Politics and the Modern West. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. Mahmood, S. (2016). Religious Difference in Secular Age: A Minority Report. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Maoz, Z. and Henderson, E. (2020). Scriptures, Shrines, Scapegoats, and World Politics: Religious Sources of Conflict and Cooperation in the Modern Era. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. Micklethwait, J. and Wooldridge, A. (2009). God Is Back: How the Global Revival of Faith Is Changing the World. New York: Penguin Press. Morsink, J. (2000). The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Origins, Drafting, and Intent. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. Norris, P. and Inglehart, R. (2004). Sacred and Secular: Religion and Politics Worldwide. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Open Doors (2020). World Watch List. Available at www​.opendoorsusa​.org/​christian​-persecution/​world​ -watch​-list/​. Perry, M. (1998). The Idea of Human Rights: Four Inquiries. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Petitio, F. and Hatzopoulos, P. (2003). Religion in International Relations: The Return from Exile. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan.

The rise and fall of secularism in international relations  37 Pew Research Center (2012). The World’s Muslims: Unity and Diversity. Available at www​.pewresearch​ .org/​wp​-content/​uploads/​sites/​7/​2012/​08/​the​-worlds​-muslims​-full​-report​.pdf. Pew Research Center (2019). A Closer Look at How Religious Restrictions Have Arisen Around the World. Available at: www​.pewforum​.org/​2019/​07/​15/​a​-closer​-look​-at​-how​-religious​-restrictions​ -have​-risen​-around​-the​-world/​. Philpott, D. (2001). Revolutions in Sovereignty: How Ideas Shaped Modern International Relations. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Philpott, D. (2009). Has the Study of Global Politics Found Religion? Annual Review of Political Science, 12, 185. Philpott, D. (2019). Religious Freedom in Islam: The Fate of a Universal Human Right in the Muslim World Today. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Ricoeur, P. (1965). Freud and Philosophy: An Essay on Interpretation. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Riesebrodt, M. (2010). The Promise of Salvation: A Theology of Religion. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Rousseau, J.J. (1994). The Social Contract. Vol. 4, Collected Works. Ed. Roger D. Masters and Christopher Kelly. Trans. J.R. Bush, R.D. Masters, C. Kelly, and T. Marshall. Hanover, NH: Dartmouth College and the University Press of New England. Schwartzman, M. (2012). What if Religion Is Not Special? University of Chicago Law Review, 79(4), 1351–427. Shah, T.S. (2015). Secular Militancy as an Obstacle to Peacebuilding. In A. Omer, R.S. Appleby, and D. Little, eds, The Oxford Handbook of Religion, Conflict, and Peacebuilding. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Shah, T.S. and Toft, M.D. (2006). Why God Is Winning. Foreign Policy, 155, 38–43. Smith, C. (2017). Religion: What It Is, How It Works, and Why It Matters. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Stark, R. (1999). Secularization, R.I.P. Sociology of Religion, 60(3), 249–74. Stepan, A. (2001). The World’s Religious Systems and Democracy: Crafting the “Twin Tolerations.” In Arguing Comparative Politics. New York: Oxford University Press. Sullivan, W.F., Hurd, E.S., Mahmood, S., and Danchin, P.G. (eds) (2015). Politics of Religious Freedom. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Taylor, C. (2007). A Secular Age. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Thomas, S. (2005). The Global Resurgence of Religion and the Transformation of International Relations. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan. Toft, M.D., Philpott, D., and Shah, T.S. (2011). God’s Century: Resurgent Religion and Global Politics. New York: W.W. Norton. Tollefsen, C. (2018). Religious Liberty, Human Dignity, and Human Goods. In T.S. Shah and J. Friedman, eds, Homo Religiosus? Exploring the Roots of Religion and Religious Freedom in Human Experience. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 230–42. Wilson, B. (1985). Secularization: The Inherited Model. In P.E. Hammond, ed., The Sacred in a Secular Age. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Zuckerman, P. and Shook, J.R. (2017). Introduction: The Study of Secularism. In P. Zuckerman and J. Shook, eds, The Oxford Handbook of Secularism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

3. Religion and foreign policy John A. Rees

The study of foreign policy and religion is arguably one of the most contested in international relations (IR). This chapter identifies core elements of foreign policy and offers a comparative perspective on how these elements are studied within the IR discourse on religion. The comparative frame is constituted by three dynamically related approaches to religion and foreign policy, understood as three contrasting modes of thought present in the work of scholars and policy makers. The chapter concludes with a comparative summation of each mode, captured in tabular form.

INTRODUCTION TO FOREIGN POLICY AND RELIGION IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Foreign policy is an IR subfield traditionally concerned with analysing policies ‘adopted by a state in relation to the outside world’ (Berridge and Lloyd 2012). Once a site of interparadigmatic dispute over whether a focus on realist power or liberal norms should shape the foreign policy agenda, debates have shifted in keeping with the demands of an increasingly pluralized global order (Chan 2017) and trends towards eclecticism and pluralism in IR theory (Bennett 2013; Dunne et al. 2013; Sil and Katzenstein 2010). Accordingly, IR analyses increasingly situate foreign policy within ‘an ever-changing story of how states, institutions and peoples engage with one another within a dynamic international system’ (Alden and Amnon 2017). Thus, foreign policy extends beyond the state to also include the interests of the European Union (Smith 2014), regional bodies like Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Murau and Spandler 2016), and takes into account the agency of a wide array of actors and the structures that shape their interests. The study of religion in world politics arguably reflects the same broadening process that has influenced foreign policy analysis, with religion understood to be ‘among other things, a complicated multifaceted social phenomenon that is constantly changing, evolving, and adapting to an ever-changing environment’ (Fox 2008). Accordingly – as indicated by the wide array of topics addressed in this book – religion in IR has grown into a multidimensional subfield of scholarly inquiry and professional practice. Applied to foreign policy, once discounted as an important element in the strategic thinking of states or only loosely associated with modern diplomatic activity related to issues of ‘culture’, religion has now become a distinct factor (albeit with varying degrees of prominence) in foreign policy analysis. For instance, in the words of one international report on United States (US) foreign policy and the Islamic world, ‘[T]he religionisation of politics and the politicisation of religion, especially in the current dynamic environment, mean that increasingly religion plays a role in diplomacy both as an opportunity for engagement and as a motivation inspiring actors’ (Keiswetter and Chane 2013). Yet the advance of religion into the spaces of foreign policy cannot be assumed to be uniformly significant. For instance, in the US the interlocution of religious and 38

Religion and foreign policy  39 foreign policy interests is significant (Bettiza 2019; Miles 2012), whilst the same dialogue is negligible in the foreign policy deliberations of the US’s long-term strategic and cultural ally Australia (Cappo and Verhoeven 2014). Scholars and policy makers alike are thus challenged to think comparatively about the polities, cultures, and geostrategic contexts where foreign policy is enacted, and to approach macro-interpretations (whether positive or negative) of the place of religion in foreign policy with caution.

THE CORE ELEMENTS OF FOREIGN POLICY Whilst a complex global interplay of actors and interests influences contemporary foreign policy, the centrality of the state remains constant. Four core elements of foreign policy are suggested below, each contested within the literature and of continuing importance to policy makers. The first core element, originally rooted in realist perspectives and debated among IR scholars, is a state’s construction of national interest (Burchill 2005; Clinton 1986; Morgenthau 1948). Understanding the nation-state to be a complex compound of sovereignty, governance, and collective identity, determining the national interest occurs largely at the domestic level (or at least requires a degree of domestic appeal) and is invariably contested (Alden and Amnon 2017; Edmunds et al. 2014). Whether democratically sanctioned or unilaterally enforced, the national interest sets the agenda for how political elites represent the interests and capabilities of a state to the outside world. The second core element of foreign policy is the cultivation of foreign relations between a state and other actors as a means of advancing the national interest in a globalized world (Nye 2004). Bilateral and multilateral mechanisms are utilized for this purpose via the creation of alliances, agreements, and membership of collective bodies. Normative frameworks such as ‘good international citizenship’ and the utilization of ‘soft power’ strategies may play a role in the cultivation of relations (Changhe 2013; Dunne and Langlois 2014). The third core element is the operational domains of foreign policy. Domains common to many foreign policy regimes deal with security (including human security that extends beyond the state), diplomacy (per foreign relations above), economy (especially trade), and development assistance (Blanchard and Ripsman 2013; Kolodziej 2002; Thakur and Newmann 2004; World Bank 2011). As classifications such as ‘middle powers’ suggests, differences in power capacities may also influence the foreign policy instruments available to states and the ways in which they are used (Baldino et al. 2011; Ungerer 2007). The fourth element is the foreign policy cycle through which ideas and strategies are formulated, implemented, and evaluated (Gyngell and Wesley 2007). The evaluation of foreign policy and the shape of the next policy cycle may be significantly influenced by a change of government, the different stages of an existing government’s term of office, and the fluid nature of international circumstances. However, new policy cycles rarely reset a state’s agenda entirely. Factors inhibiting radical and/or rapid foreign policy change include a state’s commitment to alliances, shared histories, or cultural bonds, the binding effect of international agreements, and the demands of geopolitics, with each factor bringing relative continuity to foreign policy over time regardless of domestic power arrangements. The four core elements of foreign policy – national interest, foreign relations, operational domains, and the policy cycle – have been selected because they offer researchers and practitioners of foreign policy an informed framework into which specific issues and discourses can be situated. One example is the way cyber technologies influence the operational domains

40  Handbook on religion and international relations of state security at both instrumental and normative levels (Lonsdale 2018); similarly, discourses of normative justice linked to decolonization, race, and gender have a foundational effect on constructions of the foreign policy environment (Achilleos-Sarll 2018; Shilliam 2020). Religion presents states with a suite of issues and a complex discourse to consider. The remaining sections explore divergent ways religion is conceptualized within foreign policy analysis.

SITUATING RELIGION IN FOREIGN POLICY ANALYSIS Religion has become an important area in the study of foreign policy due to active engagements by influential foreign policy actors such as the US (Albright 2006; Birdsall 2016) and the European Union (Perchoc 2020), and the recognition of religion by international organizations with which foreign policy actors must contend, such as the United Nations, World Bank, and International Labour Organization (Haynes 2014; Marshall and Van Saanen 2007; Peccoud 2004; Rees 2011; Tomalin et al. 2019). Further, state obligations to uphold the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) – to which there are presently 74 signatories and 173 parties (United Nations n.d.) – include commitments to uphold freedom of religion and belief in ways that can potentially impact foreign policy behaviour (Witte and Green 2012). Consequently, a vibrant network of research programmes focused on religion and foreign policy has arisen (e.g. Council on Foreign Relations n.d.; Brookings Institution n.d.; Transatlantic Policy Network on Religion and Diplomacy n.d.), and foreign policy features in compendia on religion in world politics (Rees 2015; Sandal 2016). Although a subject of considerable interest, religion can also appear as a negligible or irrelevant issue in foreign policy analysis. A leading compendium on international diplomacy, for instance, situates religion deep within larger foreign policy instruments such as cultural diplomacy (Goff 2013) and issue areas such as security (Holsti 2013), and is absent from considerations of foreign policy engagements with civil society (Hochstetler 2013). This diverse representation is common and takes many forms, including depictions of religion at opposite ends of the major issue/minor issue spectrum: on the one hand, religion can be considered so prominent as a policy category that it needs to be ‘dethroned’ (Hurd 2015); on the other hand, religion can be entirely neglected in assessments of the field (Alden and Amnon 2017). Accommodating the value of each extreme within a larger, more integrative, discourse is arguably one of the strengths of IR as a discipline, and numerous examples of frameworks offering direct and indirect value to foreign policy analysis (Hassner 2011; Haynes 2008; Joustra 2014). The way religion is defined becomes part of the comparative challenge. The IR discourse on religion has been astutely described as a ‘struggle with a dilemma over the way religion matters; religious contention appears to be both principled and strategic’ (Henne 2020). This dynamic only intensifies within the innately strategic sphere of foreign policy, generating a diverse suite of rival positions on the utility or otherwise of religion (Joustra 2014). It is therefore prudent to recognize the main contours of the scholarly debate and situate the complex dynamics of religion and foreign policy within each. Where a lacuna may exist between the study of religion and the practice of foreign policy, a comparative approach to the IR discourse on religion can serve to either build a bridge or widen the gap, depending on the perspective being advanced. Therefore, in what follows we shall identify different approaches

Religion and foreign policy  41 to religion and foreign policy and consider how each approach interprets the core elements of foreign policy previously considered.

APPROACHING RELIGION: THREE MODES There are arguably three differentiable modes of thought shaping conceptions of religion and foreign policy in IR. Together these modes constitute different logics that are applied exclusively or, more commonly, in a summative fashion by scholars. The first mode engages religion as an indispensable resource in the making of foreign policy. The second mode interrogates religion as an instrument of hegemonic interest. The third mode accommodates the logics of engagement and interrogation in analysing the place of religion in foreign policy practice. Attentive readers will note that the sources, endeavours, and perspectives highlighted below will not fall into a cohesive ‘school’, pressing the point that the modes of religion in foreign policy presented are also informed by other, often competing, assumptions. The logics that inform each mode intersect in contested and complimentary ways. Repurposing Waever’s insightful approach to the ‘mutual serviceability’ of IR paradigms (Waever 1996), the inner logic of each mode is framed independently before being brought into productive tension with the others, allowing a composite picture of religion and foreign policy to develop. We shall define each mode and briefly explore the logic they apply to core elements of foreign policy. The modes of engagement and interrogation feature most prominently because they form the basis of the more composite mode of accommodation. Engagement: Religious Traditions Enhance the Foreign Policy Agenda The mode of engagement functions within a substantivist definition of religion, understood ‘as a set of beliefs, practices, and communities referring to the supernatural and the transcendental, which are presented in stark contraposition to secular ideologies, practices and actors’ (Bettiza 2019). The logic of engagement holds that religious traditions carry unique ethical and instrumental capabilities. Religion is therefore viewed as a catalyst for understanding the ideational and social contexts where foreign policy is enacted, as well as providing strategic resources for foreign policy makers to advance their interests. Advocates for engagement assert that religion should be included in state deliberations as a standing item of foreign policy making. The logic of engagement begins with a focus on religious traditions and asks whether and how the resources found within them might influence state behaviour and play a role in assessing the geopolitical theatres of foreign policy (Dragovic 2015; Hanson 2006; Nasr 2006). Advocates for engagement highly value the renewed/resurgent/emergent status of religion in the study of world politics that produced a six-fold increase in the volume of research in the years following the seismic events of 9/11 (Hassner 2011). Foreign policy issues were fundamental to the process of rethinking the significance of religion in IR, such as ‘how states and global institutions actually practice diplomacy, make war, or make peace’ (Hehir 2012). Forms of engagement with religion that intersect with foreign policy activity include democracy promotion (Farr 2005), the resources of religion employed to further regional peace (Gopin 2003; Kadayifci-Orellana 2015), and religion as a priority in international development assistance (Clarke and Jennings 2008; Marshall 2013; Samuel 2001).

42  Handbook on religion and international relations National interest in foreign policy arguably draws upon domestic sources of identity and operationalizes these resources to further state agendas in the international sphere. Sources of national identity include religion (Smith 2000), and this has led some scholars to consider the ways religious traditions inform the strategic culture of foreign policy in different state settings. Strategic culture argues that differing security preferences of states ‘are influenced to some degree by the philosophical, political, cultural, and cognitive characteristics of the state and its elites’ (Johnston 1995). Applied to the complex entanglement of religious and cultural practices, such approaches challenge realist emphases ‘on the role of material power in influencing strategic choice and [instead] privilege ideas, identity, and norms of appropriate behaviour’ (Wang 2010). For instance, in a study of ‘Taoist strategics’, Pettman argues that the traditions associated with religious and philosophical Daoism possess considerable agency in Chinese foreign policy ‘to temper what Chinese state makers think and how they behave’ (Pettman 2004). The legacy of Huntington’s clash of civilizations thesis (Haynes 2019) may also serve as a backdrop to strategic thinking about religious identity and national interest, though this must be read through a state-centric rather than an international security lens. Recent appeals to the notion of a ‘commonwealth’ between people who are ‘brought together by a shared faith, who are covenanted to one another in the interest of shared benefit’ (Pabst 2018) promote the role of religion as central to the intersection of national identity and international politics. Such a framework has the potential to cluster foreign policy priorities between culturally and religiously aligned states. Beyond state security, a considerable corpus of research in IR and cognate disciplines applies the logic of engagement to the core element of foreign relations. Noting that foreign policy dynamics are informed by multiple actors (Alden and Amnon 2017), one prominent emphasis is the role of religious traditions and religion-inspired actors in peacebuilding (Appleby et al. 2015). Three recommendations for developing ‘faith-based resources for peacebuilding’ are cited below from a seminal essay by Appleby to illustrate this connection: 1. Identify the genius of each religion and cultivate ways to evoke its distinctive strengths in conflict resolution and peacebuilding … 2. Provide access to the mystical, experiential, and syncretistic dimensions of the faith traditions … 3. Engage scholars, theologians, hierarchs or other officials, and prominent lay leaders who believe conflict resolution to be a normative commitment of their religious communities. (Appleby 2003)

Of note is the primacy of tradition in the strategies outlined, which also fall within the broader rubric of track-2 diplomacy (Johnston 2003). Such activities occur at the intersection of religious transnationality and the intermestic dynamic of foreign policy, where the line between sovereign interest and international engagement becomes necessarily blurred. As Banchoff observes, ‘Domestic politics and foreign policies are inextricably linked. And how societies manage religious pluralism internally – whether successfully through dialogue and integration or unsuccessfully through confrontation and polarization – can shape relations with other states and societies’ (Banchoff 2012). To this end, scholars that apply the logic of engagement in the study of religion and foreign policy can value large-scale datasets that assess the global religious landscape (Pew Research Centre 2012; Pollack and Rosta 2017), levels of government involvement in religion (Fox 2008), and specific policy issues (Office of International Religious Freedom n.d.). The ways religion is engaged within the operational domains of foreign policy will largely depend upon the policy culture of particular states, the assumptions about religion that prevail

Religion and foreign policy  43 in a contested policy arena (Joustra 2014), and the scope of operations within states to influence foreign relations. Engagements with religion by the US have had a high degree of influence in IR discussions of foreign policy. Considerable attention has been paid, for example, to the rise and subsequent demise of the Office of Religion and Global Affairs (RGA) based at the US State Department as an explicit policy outreach to the global faith community and religious leaders (al-Rahim et al. 2013; Casey 2017). The RGA initiative was itself a product of wider policy engagements by multiple US administrations in the post-Cold War period. A pivot point in the broader turn toward ‘systematically making religion both a subject and object of American foreign policy’ (Bettiza 2019) was the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, domestic legislation that has also been influential in the religion and foreign policy engagements of other states (Annicchino 2016). Whilst the mode of engagement is relevant to all stages of the foreign policy cycle (formulation, implementation, evaluation), it is arguably most prominent at the nexus between formulation and implementation. For instance, the International Religious Freedom Act and subsequent initiatives have been both celebrated but also critiqued by advocates of engagement (e.g. Farr and Saunders 2009). Similarly, peacebuilding strategies can prioritize a longstanding emphasis on the transnational nature of religious communities (Elshtain 1999) rather than provide a nation-state focus. Even when post-conflict state building is a priority, the logic of engagement will see a leading role for theologies of the state in the (re)construction of norms and institutions (Dragovic 2015). The logic of engagement prioritizes religious tradition and practice rather than the interests of the state per se. Religion can be understood as both a ‘basic good’ and ‘universal human right that demands the protection of every person’s search for and embrace of religious truth’ (Philpott 2019). In this way, the mode of engagement exists in a productive tension with state foreign policy interests. Interrogation: ‘Religion’ a Construct Employed for Hegemonic Interest In stark contrast to the established definitions of religion at work in the mode of engagement, the mode of interrogation begins from the assumption that ‘religion’ is an unstable category that poses a problem for IR scholars who apply ‘unexamined categories’ in their work ‘based on a presumed a priori opposition between “religious” and “secular”’ (Hallward 2008). Building on this critique, ‘religion’ is understood as the product of historicized and politicized processes of identity formation that are often encased within structures of hegemonic interest, an assumption embedded in the anthropological scepticism of Talal Asad (2003). As such, ‘religion’ is viewed within critical IR as a highly problematic instrument of foreign policy. Some scholars working within the mode of interrogation hold that religion should be rejected as a foreign policy category in favour of more universally applicable classifications (Cappo and Verhoeven 2014).1 Others see the worst of all worlds where religious and state interests combine to further a historical legacy of violent domination (Johnson et al. 2018). In general, the focus of the mode of interrogation is on ‘religion’ as a construction of control, with particular reference to ‘secular settlements’ as a means to classify ‘religion’ so that it serves the declared and undeclared norms of the Western (Christian) secular state (Hurd 2017). Subjects of interrogation of ‘religion’ include Western advocacy for religious freedom and the Western origins of legal modes of control in non-Western contexts (Hussin 2018; Schonthal 2018), and the discriminatory constructions of ‘religion’ in humanitarian assistance policies by states (Beaman et al. 2017).

44  Handbook on religion and international relations We now briefly consider the four core elements of foreign policy via the mode of interrogation. National interest is arguably read via a two-layered hermeneutic of suspicion. The first layer repurposes what Scott originally framed as ‘transformative state simplifications’ (Scott 1998) that codify religion according to a state’s need for public order. The second is the link between the sovereign ordering of religion and Western colonialism. Applied to foreign policy, it is the national interests of Western Christian-majority states that are the particular focus of critique where secular agendas are more correctly to be understood as the colonial ‘religio-political legacies of Latin Christendom’ (Hurd 2017). Advocates for interrogation appeal to the correlation between ‘religion’ and colonization as setting a template for states to act in hegemonic ways in the contemporary global order. As Wilson proffers, ‘[s]ecularism’s origins within the Euro-American context have contributed to its association with colonialism and binary oppositions between not only “secular” and “religious”, but also “modern/primitive”, “reason/emotion” and “Western/non-Western” that continue to affect power relations and inequalities in global politics’ (Wilson 2019). From an interrogationist perspective, foreign relations dealing with religion are symptomatic of unconscious renderings of the ‘other’ rooted in and cultivated by colonial behaviour. Scholarship critical of Western interventions in Muslim-majority contexts, for instance, make strong appeal to the secular habitus that typifies US and British interventions in contexts such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Importantly, the emphasis is not so much on readings as misreadings of religion in the foreign policy space. For instance, writing of British government approaches to its own War on Terror strategies, Gutkowski writes: In the absence of a detailed understanding of Islam or radical Islamism or widespread visceral empathy with religious practice or communal identity, senior policy-makers and officers filled the gaps about what Islam might be like with secular as well as loosely, denominationally neutral Christian notions. British senior policy-makers and officers thus created a new knowledge category: ‘Islam’, as a partially fixed, monolithic entity which sometimes overlapped with the wide range of ways in which adherents might see Islam. (Gutkowski 2012)

In a valuable study of the ‘politics of otherness’ in IR, de Buitrago and Resende present ‘four cases centred around issues of identity/alterity and how they pertain to specific security and foreign policy choices’ (de Buitrago and Resende 2019). All four cases – US identity formation processes and foreign policy, constructions of Russian and European state identities, US policy toward Iran, and German policy toward refugees – relate to religious traditions or conceptions of othering as part of the broader purview of political identity within each state under examination. Operational domains dealing with international religious freedom have become a site of intense disagreement between advocates of what we have called engagement and interrogation (see Joustra 2014; Philpott 2019). The premier representation of the latter mode is Elizabeth Shakman Hurd’s influential critique of US foreign policy engagements with religion (Hurd 2015) which has been the subject of broad consideration (e.g. PRI 2017; Rees and Smartt 2018; Springs 2017; The Immanent Frame 2016). Appropriating the logic of interrogation described above, one of the key problems addressed by Hurd is that the stable categorization of religion ‘from which to formulate foreign policy, pursue rights advocacy, and govern internationally’ is determined by governing authorities themselves and is thus a mere extension of state-sponsored interests. Religion is constructed ‘as an isolable entity’ and employed by policy experts in an ‘exercise of civilising power’ that is set against more ‘complex varieties

Religion and foreign policy  45 of contemporary religious practice’ which are ‘entangled in and shaped by specific sociohistorical, economic and political contexts’ (Hurd 2015; also Agensky 2017). Whilst the mode of interrogation is relevant to all stages of the foreign policy cycle, it is arguably most prominent at the nexus between formulation and evaluation. The ethic sustained throughout Hurd’s critique of religious freedom policy, for instance, is that the co-option of religion at work in the international system is ineffective in preventing violence, persecution, and discrimination, and more often ‘reinforces the very lines of division that make the violence seem possible, and in the worst cases, unavoidable’ (Hurd 2015). Such a view presents a seminal challenge to the conceptual and instrumental renderings of religion in the domains of international policy making. Accommodation: Toward an Integrated Approach to Religion and Foreign Policy This introductory study has sought to identify competing logics – named as modes of ‘engagement’ and ‘interrogation’ – at work in the IR discourse on religion and foreign policy. The final section considers a third mode, the mode of accommodation, as a point of departure away from a framework of competition toward a framework of cooperation. The logic of accommodation understands the contested nature of religion as a category, but does not adopt a singular reading in relation to state power (either in the West or globally). Similarly, though religion can be co-opted by states for hegemonic ends, religious actors and interests are also valued for contesting the interests of domination in ways that can productively inform the foreign policy space. Logics at work within an accommodationist mode affirm the need to engage religion qua religion whilst also acknowledging the negative effects that can occur through misreading. Whereas engagement begins with the agency of religious tradition, and interrogation begins with discourses of power, accommodation begins with policy and utilizes insights from the other competing modes to modify foreign policy approaches. Religion and other elements of political culture are co-opted to refine foreign policy strategies. These and other characteristics of accommodation are briefly aligned to the core elements ‘national interest’, ‘foreign relations’, and the composite ‘operational domain/policy cycle’ below. Each is framed around a question and a key source as a means of provoking further enquiry. National interest: Can foreign policy makers take seriously the entanglements of religion and politics in shaping domestic and international priorities? The work of Scott Hibbard is of value in highlighting the constitutive interests of religion in the secular state. Hibbard ‘ascribes to religion a degree of causality and autonomy, even if particular expressions of religious politics are shaped by other, material factors’ (2010). Understood from this integrative position, transnational and domestic religious actors can be understood to hold unique political capacities, including distinctive powers to sanctify or stigmatize political agendas, imbue political action with moral or spiritual meaning, and provide felt responses among religious adherents for mobilizing popular sentiment (see also Sandal 2016). In this context religious tradition becomes a distinct reservoir to understand communal bonds and fissures within a state’s own context and the contexts of international interlocutors. Foreign relations: Can the recognition of the Western Christian origins of ‘religion’ as a category become an asset rather than a liability for foreign policy goals of pluralism and inclusion? Jose Casanova’s construction of ‘global religious and secular dynamics’ (2019) provides a historical template useful for foreign policy makers to understand the legacies of the global Christian movement. Casanova outlines three geopolitical pathways produced by

46  Handbook on religion and international relations Table 3.1

Comparative approaches to analysing foreign policy and religion

Elements of foreign

Mode of engagement

Mode of interrogation

Mode of accommodation

Religion essential for understanding

Religion used to privilege some

Religion informs an

national identity

interests over others

understanding of domestic

Religion unlocks and enhances

Religion as a construct to serve

Religion strengthens global

transnational partnerships

the power interests of Western


policy National interest

interests Foreign relations

secularism Operational

Dependent on policy culture, prevailing assumptions about religion, and the scope of operations within

domains Policy cycle

individual states Formulation/implementation



the interactions of Christianity and secularism – two internal European roads, and one ‘external road of colonial encounter’. The internal European roads are themselves contrasted by different patterns of secularization in Western Europe, and a religiously homogenous form in Eastern Europe. These internal European dynamics are then compared to the roads of colonial expansion that produced complex forms of religious pluralism. Operational domain/policy cycle: What should be the telos, or ultimate objective, of foreign policy operations, and how should this be evaluated? ‘Principled pluralism’ is defined in a foreign policy context by Robert Joustra as ‘the advancement of consensus (secular) principles, without monopolizing the public logic, religious or otherwise, by which actors articulate their support for those principles’ (Joustra 2014). This understanding clearly advocates for accommodation, but is also arguably constituted by the logics of engagement via the principled contributions of religious tradition toward pluralism (Rees 2012), and the logics of interrogation via an emphasis of religion’s entangled history with other core elements of political life (Agensky 2017). This chapter has identified core elements of foreign policy and offered a comparative study of how these elements are studied within different modes of religion in IR. Table 3.1 summarizes this approach. The conclusions reached are indicative and designed for further development, adaptation, and deconstruction of an important and contested domain of IR thought and practice.


This is the view of Verhoeven in debate with Cappo.

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48  Handbook on religion and international relations Council on Foreign Relations. n.d. ‘Religion and Foreign Policy’. www​.cfr​.org/​outreach/​religion​-and​ -foreign​-policy​-program. de Buitrago, Sybille and Erica Resende. 2019. ‘The Politics of Otherness: Illustrating the Identity/ Alterity Nexus and Othering in IR’. In Routledge Handbook of Critical International Relations, edited by Edkins Jenny, 179–93. London: Routledge. Dragovic, Denis. 2015. Religion and Post-Conflict Statebuilding: Roman Catholic and Sunni Islamic Perspectives. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Dunne, T. and Anthony Langlois. 2014. ‘Good International Citizenship’. In Australian Foreign Policy: Controversies and Debates, edited by Daniel Baldino, Andrew Carr, and Anthony Langlois, 211–29. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. Dunne, T., L. Hansen, and C. Wight. 2013. ‘The End of International Relations Theory?’ European Journal of International Relations 19 (3): 405–25. Edmunds, Timothy, Jamie Gaskarth, and Robin Porter. 2014. ‘Introduction: British Foreign Policy and the National Interest’. International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs) 90 (3): 503–7. Elshtain, J.B. 1999. ‘Really Existing Communities’. Review of International Studies 25 (1): 141–6. Farr, T.F. 2005. ‘Public Religion, Democracy Promotion, and US Foreign Policy’. Brandywine Review of Faith and International Affairs 3 (1): 51–2. Farr, T.F. and W.L. Saunders. 2009. ‘The Bush Administration and America’s International Religious Freedom Policy’. Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 32 (3): 949–70. Fox, Jonathan. 2008. A World Survey of Religion and the State. New York: Cambridge University Press. Goff, Patricia M. 2013. ‘Cultural Diplomacy’. In The Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy, edited by Andrew F. Cooper, Jorge Heine, and Ramesh Thakur, 420–34. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Gopin, Marc. 2003. ‘Judaism and Peacebuilding in the Context of Middle Eastern Conflict’. In Faith-Based Diplomacy: Trumping Realpolitik, edited by Douglas Johnston, 91–101. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Gutkowski, S. 2012. ‘The British Secular Habitus and the War on Terror’. Journal of Contemporary Religion 27 (1): 87–103. Gyngell, Allan and Michael Wesley. 2007. Making Australian Foreign Policy. 2nd ed. Melbourne: Cambridge University Press. Hallward, Maia Carter. 2008. ‘“Situating the Secular”: Negotiating the Boundary between Religion and Politics’. International Political Sociology 2 (1): 1–16. Hanson, Eric O. 2006. Religion and Politics in the International System Today. New York: Cambridge University Press. Hassner, Ron E. 2011. ‘Religion and International Affairs: State of the Art’. In Religion, Identity, and Global Governance, edited by Patrick James, 37–56. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Haynes, Jeffrey. 2008. ‘Religion and Foreign Policy Making in the USA, India and Iran: Towards a Research Agenda’. Third World Quarterly 29 (1): 143–65. Haynes, Jeffrey. 2014. Faith-Based Organizations at the United Nations. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Haynes, Jeffrey. 2019. From Huntington to Trump: Thirty Years of the Clash of Civilizations. Lanham, MD: Lexington. Hehir, J. Bryan. 2012. ‘Why Religion? Why Now?’ In Rethinking Religion and World Affairs, edited by T.S. Shah, A. Stepan, and M.D. Toft. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Henne, Peter S. 2020. ‘Religious Statecraft: The Politics of Islam in Iran’. Terrorism and Political Violence 32 (6): 1365–66, DOI: 10.1080/09546553.2020.1788836. Hibbard, Scott. 2010. Religious Politics and Secular States. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. Hochstetler, Kathryn. 2013. ‘Civil Society’. In The Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy, edited by Andrew F. Cooper, Jorge Heine, and Ramesh Thakur, 176–89. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Holsti, K.J. 2013. ‘The Diplomacy of Security’. In The Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy, edited by Andrew F. Cooper, Jorge Heine, and Ramesh Thakur, 577–93. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Hurd, Elizabeth Shakman. 2015. Beyond Religious Freedom: The New Global Politics of Religion. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Religion and foreign policy  49 Hurd, Elizabeth Shakman. 2017. ‘Religion and Secularism’. In An Introduction to International Relations, edited by R. Devetak, J. George, and P. Percy, 3rd ed., 356–70. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hussin, Iza. 2018. ‘“The New Global Politics of Religion”: Religious Harmony, Public Order, and Securitisation in the Post-Colony’. Journal of Political and Religious Practice 4 (1): 93–106. Johnson, Paul Christopher, Pamela E. Klassen, and Winnifred Fallers Sullivan. 2018. Ekklesia: Three Inquiries in Church and State. Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press. Johnston, Alastair Iain. 1995. ‘Thinking about Strategic Culture’. International Security 19 (4): 32–64. Johnston, Douglas. 2003. Faith-Based Diplomacy Trumping Realpolitik. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Joustra, Robert. 2014. ‘Three Rival Versions of Religious Freedom: What Canada’s Office of Religious Freedom Can Teach Us about Principled Pluralism’. Review of Faith and International Affairs 12 (3): 41–54. Kadayifci-Orellana, S. Ayse. 2015. ‘Peacebuilding in the Muslim World’. In The Oxford Handbook of Religion, Conflict, and Peacebuilding, edited by R. Scott Appleby, Atalia Omer, and David Little, 430–69. London: Oxford University Press. Keiswetter, Allen and John Chane. 2013. ‘Diplomacy and Religion: Seeking Common Interests and Engagement in a Dynamically Changing and Turbulent World’. The Brookings Project on US Relations with the Islamic World US–Islamic World Forum Papers. Washington, DC: Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings. www​.brookings​.edu/​wp​-content/​uploads/​2016/​06/​Religion​-and​ -Diplomacy​_English​_Web​.pdf. Kolodziej, Edward A. 2002. ‘Security Theory’. In Conflict, Security, Foreign Policy, and International Political Economy: Past Paths and Future Directions in International Studies, edited by M. Brecher and P. Harvey, 113–40. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. Lonsdale, D.J. 2018. ‘Warfighting for Cyber Deterrence: A Strategic and Moral Imperative’. Philosophy and Technology 31: 409–29. Marshall, Katherine. 2013. Global Institutions of Religion: Ancient Movers, Modern Shakers. London: Routledge. Marshall, Katherine and Marisa Van Saanen. 2007. Development and Faith: Where Mind, Heart, and Soul Work Together. Washington, DC: World Bank. http://​ebookcentral​.proquest​.com/​lib/​unda/​detail​ .action​?docID​=​459585. Miles, Jack. 2012. ‘Religion and American Foreign Policy’. In Religion and Foreign Affairs: Essential Readings, edited by Dennis R. Hoover and Douglas M. Johnston, 543–53. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press. Morgenthau, Hans. 1948. Politics among the Nations. New York: Knopf. Murau, Steffen and Kilian Spandler. 2016. ‘EU, US and ASEAN Actorness in G20 Financial Policy-Making: Bridging the EU Studies–New Regionalism Divide’. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies 54 (4): 928–43. https://​doi​.org/​10​.1111/​jcms​.12340. Nasr, Vali. 2006. The Shia Revival. New York: Norton and Norton. Nye, Joseph. 2004. Power in the Global Information Age from Realism to Globalization. London: Routledge. Office of International Religious Freedom. n.d. ‘International Religious Freedom Reports’. www​.state​ .gov/​international​-religious​-freedom​-reports/​. Pabst, Adrian. 2018. Liberal World Order and Its Critics: Civilisational States and Cultural Commonwealths. London: Routledge. Peccoud, Dominique, ed. 2004. Philosophical and Spiritual Perspectives on Decent Work. Geneva: International Labour Organization. Perchoc, Philippe. 2020. ‘Religion and the EU’s External Policies: Increasing Engagement’. PE 646.173. Brussels: Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services, European Parliament. Pettman, Ralph. 2004. Reason, Culture, Religion: The Metaphysics of World Politics. London: Palgrave Macmillan. Pew Research Centre. 2012. ‘The Global Religious Landscape: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World’s Major Religious Groups as of 2010’. Washington, DC. Philpott, Daniel. 2019. Religious Freedom in Islam: The Fate of a Universal Human Right in the Muslim World Today. New York: Oxford University Press.

50  Handbook on religion and international relations Pollack, Detlef and Gergely Rosta. 2017. Religion and Modernity: An International Comparison. Oxford: Oxford University Press. PRI. 2017. ‘Review Forum: Elizabeth Shakman Hurd. Beyond Religious Freedom: The New Global Politics of Religion’. Politics, Religion and Ideology 18 (1): 100–16. Rees, John A. 2011. Religion in International Politics and Development: The World Bank and Faith Institutions. Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar Publishing. Rees, John A. 2012. ‘Really Existing Scriptures: On the Use of Sacred Text in International Affairs’. In Religion and Foreign Affairs: Essential Readings, edited by Dennis Hoover and Douglas Johnston, 109–18. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press. Rees, John A. 2015. ‘The Four Religions of Foreign Policy’. In Nations under God: The Geopolitics of Faith in the Twenty-First Century, edited by Luke Herrington, Alasdair McKay, and Jeffrey Haynes. Bristol: E-International Relations. Rees, John A. and Tim Smartt. 2018. ‘Beyond Religious Freedom: Asia-Pacific Engagements in Conversation with Elizabeth Shakman Hurd’. Journal of Religious and Political Practice 4 (1): 1–8. Samuel, Vinay. 2001. ‘The World Bank and the Churches: Reflections at the Outset of a New Partnership’. In Faith in Development: Partnership between the World Bank and the Churches of Africa, edited by D. Belshaw, R. Calderisi, and C. Sugden, 237–44. Oxford: Regnum. Sandal, Nukhet. 2016. ‘Religion and Foreign Policy’. In Routledge Handbook of Religion and Politics, edited by Jeffrey Haynes, 284–98. London: Taylor and Francis. Schonthal, Benjamin. 2018. ‘Economies of Expert Religion in Sri Lanka’. Journal of Political and Religious Practice 4 (1): 27–45. Scott, James C. 1998. Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Shilliam, Robbie. 2020. ‘Race in World Politics’. In The Globalization of World Politics, edited by John Baylis, Steve Smith, and Patricia Owens. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Sil, Rudra and Peter Katzenstein. 2010. ‘Analytic Eclecticism in the Study of World Politics: Reconfiguring Problems and Mechanisms across Research Traditions’. Perspectives on Politics 8 (2): 411–31. Smith, Anthony D. 2000. ‘The Sacred Dimension of Nationalism’. Milennium: Journal of International Studies 29 (3): 791–814. Smith, Karen. 2014. European Union Foreign Policy in a Changing World. Cambridge: Polity Press. Springs, Jason. 2017. ‘Beyond Religious Freedom: The New Global Politics of Religion’. Review of Politics 79 (2): 316–19. Thakur, R. and E. Newmann. 2004. ‘Introduction: Non-Traditional Security Regimes in Asia’. In Broadening Asia’s Security Discourse and Agenda: Political, Social, and Environmental Perspectives, edited by R. Thakur and E. Newmann. Tokyo: UNU Press. The Immanent Frame. 2016. ‘Beyond Religious Freedom’. https://​tif​.ssrc​.org/​category/​exchanges/​book​ -blog/​book​-forums/​beyond​-religious​-freedom/​. Tomalin, Emma, Jörg Haustein, and Shabaana Kidy. 2019. ‘Religion and the Sustainable Development Goals’. Review of Faith and International Affairs 17 (2): 102–18. https://​doi​.org/​10​.1080/​15570274​ .2019​.1608664 Transatlantic Policy Network on Religion and Diplomacy. n.d. ‘Religion and Diplomacy’. https://​ religionanddiplomacy​.org​.uk/​about/​. Ungerer, Carl. 2007. ‘The “Middle Power” Concept in Australian Foreign Policy’. Australian Journal of Politics and History 53 (4): 538–51. United Nations. n.d. ‘4. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (16 December, 1966)’. United Nations Treaty Collection. Wang, Y. 2010. Harmony and War: Confucian Culture and Chinese Power Politics. New York: Columbia University Press. Wilson, Erin K. 2019. ‘Being “Critical” of/about/on “Religion” in International Relations’. In Routledge Handbook of Critical International Relations, edited by Jenny Edkins, 143–60. Florence, SC: Routledge.

Religion and foreign policy  51 Witte, John and M. Christian Green. 2012. ‘Religious Freedom, Democracy, and International Human Rights’. In Rethinking Religion and World Affairs, 104–25. Oxford: Oxford University Press. World Bank. 2011. ‘World Development Report 2011: Conflict, Security, and Development’. Washington, DC: International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/World Bank.

4. Religion and transnational relations: Bridges, barriers and breakthroughs Jonathan D. James

INTRODUCTION The March 2020 timing for Tabligh Jama’at (TJ; a relatively unknown Islamic transnational organisation) to convene its international conference in Malaysia was unfortunate. This religious organisation gained notoriety when it was revealed that some Jama’at attendees were carriers of Covid-19, spreading their infection to Malaysia and to at least three other countries. Furthermore, shortly after the Malaysia conference, Indian police served two legal notices to Mohammad Saad, TJ’s Indian leader, for allegedly holding meetings in New Delhi during India’s Covid-19 lockdown. Examples of the dynamics of religion and transnational relations in the remainder of this chapter are generally much more positive. In this chapter, I situate religion within the realm of globalisation and transnationalism, commencing with a brief semantic comparison of globalisation and transnationalism, followed by an introduction of the key construct ‘glocal’ (i.e. global-local), which refers to the crucial macro–micro nexus of transnational religion. I then proceed with the main substance of the chapter: an examination of the working of religious transnationalism within three metaphorical contexts: bridges, barriers and breakthroughs.

CONCEPTS AND THEORETICAL CONSTRUCTS Globalisation and Transnationalism Unsurprisingly, ‘transnationalism’ and ‘globalisation’ are often used interchangeably because both terms allude to increased international movement of one kind or another. However, there are differences in their etymology and usage. Whereas ‘globalisation’ is often used in reference to the scope of economic processes or social movements that have become worldwide and international, ‘transnationalism’ is used to emphasise people’s shared experiences that are ‘simultaneously embedded in two or more nation states’ (Vasquez, 2008, p. 164). Even so, there is an overlap between the two terms, given the complexity of our contemporary world. And in the context of religions: the line between the two [concepts] is not clear cut. Although scholars of transnationalism have attempted to distinguish transnationalism from strong versions of globalization as a set of worldwide or interregional processes, it is nevertheless true that given the complexity of today’s world, the boundaries among the transnational, global, and diasporic religious modalities are very porous. (Vasquez, 2008, p. 164)


Religion and transnational relations  53 Religious movements, along with multinational corporations, are the earliest and most prominent transnational movements (Haynes, 2017). Islamists, Catholics and Buddhists have each ‘carried word and praxis across vast spaces before those places became nation-states or even states’ (Hoeber-Rudolph, 1997, p. 1). The intertwining of religion and globalisation is mentioned among scholars because religion has often reflected the significance of globalisation. However, what is not so well known is that ‘globalisation’ emerged as one of the consequences of transnational religion (Obadia, 2012). Robertson coined ‘glocal’ – a contraction of the global and the local – to emphasise that the local is essential to the global to the extent that it takes as much to ‘invent the glocal’ as it does the global (Robertson, 1995, p. 35). Therefore, although Robertson does not place globalisation on a par with universalism, he highlights how universalism and particularism interplay. The Global–Local Nexus Arguably, glocal religion is finding an increasing place in the study of transnational faiths. As faith communities continue their practices in new centres, the notion of glocality helps us appreciate that these faiths are not divorced from their home locations; the extended geographical locations are inevitably ‘transnationally and symbolically reconstituted’ (Kennedy and Roudometof, 2006); however, continuing connections with the home base and between local and global bodies are bound to be significant for all concerned with each faith. Religion is shaped and recreated through transnational movements. An example of this glocal phenomenon is the case of Santo Daime, a syncretic religion founded in the Amazon region of Brazil, that has successfully fused elements of folk Catholicism with practices of spirt worship, African animism and South American Shamanism (Dawson, 2012). We see an ever increasing array of such glocal realities in several fields – from glocal yoga, to theological adaptations of Christianity under China’s authoritarian leadership (Askegaard and Eckhardt, 2012; Ng, 2007). I will address this phenomenon in the following section on the contextualisation of Christianity among Hindu worshippers in the diaspora. Transnationalism and ‘Transgression’ Transnationalism has been in place for centuries, but contemporary media and transportation technologies have ‘reconfigured’ transnationalism through the speed, efficiency and volume of transnational flows in communities and ideologies (Foner, 1997, p. 362). However, arguably, this recent form of transnationalism has fermented transnational relations that may be ‘transgressive’ in nature. Two decades ago, Ong (1999) made the prescient observation that individuals can now exercise political rights and live as legal residents in two nations; and, in this way, they can influence the home nation or their diasporic community in the host nation. Recently in Australia, controversies arising from Australian parliamentarians with dual citizenship and the questionable loyalty of Chinese Australians are clear manifestations of this phenomenon. In the same way, some transnational religious actors are perceived as an antagonistic force of disruption because of their novel ideas and practices that go contrary to the current order and/or the traditional and essentialist understanding of religion. When, in 2017, the Australian mega church Hillsong wanted to launch its transnational brand beyond Sydney, several

54  Handbook on religion and international relations respondents questioned Hillsong’s theology and practices. For example, a pastor of a mega church in Perth, Finkelde (2017, para. 17), interviewed other Christian leaders and revealed their comments: Oh, no not another shallow, superficial mega-church franchise setting up in my back yard. They don’t care one iota about my church and about the impact on me. Anyway, they don’t produce real disciples of Christ, everyone knows it’s all performance, celebrity and compromise. Mile wide, inch deep. That’s Hillsong.

Likewise, in the late 1990s, the reformed Hindu movement BAPS1 was seen to be at odds with traditional Swaminarayan Hinduism in India. When BAPS supported the Sardar Sarovar Dam project in Gujarat to increase power capacity and provide irrigation, many Hindu adherents, including the traditional Swaminarayan supporters, criticised the move as a social disaster because the dam was built at the cost of destroying a large number of Dalit and tribal villages (Kim, 2005). In the next section I investigate transnational religious relations from the following metaphorical standpoints: bridges, barriers and breakthroughs.

BRIDGES Sociologist Peter Berger argued: There are three options that all contemporary religious communities now face: to resist pluralism, to withdraw from it, or to engage with it. None is without difficulties and risks, but only engagement is compatible with liberal democracy. Engagement means that the tradition is carried into the open discourse of the culture and that those who represent the tradition make unapologetic truth claims. (Berger, 2005, para. 14)

What follows is a brief review of what I call the bridge-building ‘options’ taken by the Catholic Church, Ciji (a Buddhist organisation) and Gülen Hizmet Movement (GHM, a Sunni Islamic entity). The Catholic Church The Catholic Church has successfully established a bridge to the nation states of the world partly because the Church is in a unique situation where ecclesiastical and sovereign political power converge. Vatican City, where the Pope resides, acts as the capital of a political state as well as the spiritual headquarters for the more than 1 billion Catholics across the world. Unsurprisingly, the Church sees itself as a bridge builder – which explains the old title for the Pope, Pontifex Maximus, or master bridge builder (Troy, 2016). The incumbent, Pope Francis, is described as the first truly ‘global Pope’ (Franco, 2013, pp. 71–7). In 2013, after a week of being elected as the first non-European pontiff in 1,300 years, Pope Francis met leaders from non-Catholic traditions, comprising the Orthodox Church, Anglicans, Lutherans and Methodists, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus. Francis declared to the leaders: ‘The Catholic Church is aware of the importance of furthering respect of friendship between men and women of different religious traditions’ (Pullella, 2013, para. 3). Under Francis, the Holy See2 diplomats participated in the 2013 Geneva conference on Syria, where Pope Francis

Religion and transnational relations  55 pleaded for a more intense dialogue with Islam, ‘calling on church leaders to renew diplomatic discourse with countries that do not have official ties with the Holy See, like China’ (Povoledo, 2013, para. 1). Pope Francis’s September 2018 agreement with the Chinese government was historic; it concluded a 10-year tug of war between the Catholic Church and the Chinese Government as to whether the latter had the authority to select local Catholic bishops. In this new agreement, Pope Francis recognised the Communist Chinese Government’s appointment of seven bishops. Francis’s concurrence with China caused sharp criticism among Catholics worldwide, such as the former archbishop of Hong Kong, Cardinal Joseph Zen, who described the accord as ‘an incredible betrayal … a church enslaved by the government is no real Catholic Church’ (Summers and McQuillan, 2018, para. 6). However, it seems that Pope Francis’s move was a compromise to make peace and stabilise relations with China, thereby ensuring the continuity of the Catholic Church in China, albeit in a less controlled form. Desch (2007) described papal interventionism as an ongoing activity and Troy (2016, para. 28) described how the Church views itself as ‘a compensating and balancing element in international politics’, mindful of the high number of persecuted Christians around the world today. Troy (2016, para. 17) also argued: ‘Francis sticks to a well patterned papal and indeed Catholic political behaviour, a conservative theological agenda while at the same time advocating a liberal stand on political, social and economic issues’. The Secretariat of State, part of the Roman Curia, is the central governing body of the Catholic Church under the Cardinal Secretary of State who performs all the political and diplomatic functions of the Holy See. The Secretariat is divided into three divisions: General Affairs, State Relations and Diplomatic Staff (Troy, 2016). The third division, created by Francis in 2017 to deal with matters relating to the Catholic Church’s diplomatic representatives in the world, brings the structure on the same level as those that serve in the Church’s local and foreign activities – hence Francis’s increasing focus on international relations.3 Next to the Pope, the Curia is responsible for change and continuity (Franco, 2013). Curial posts are compared to the role played by Supreme Court judges in the United States (USA), who represent the judicial branch of government. The Pope and the Curia determine the theological and political orientation of the Church (Maltzman et al., 2006). The papacy, like secular transnational organisations, has a clear vision and the means to attract and mobilise followers and, in the process, change the spiritual and political landscapes of nations (Schroeder, 2014). These papal interventions are more significant because of the Church’s use of statecraft as well as diplomacy. The Catholic Church’s interest in international relations is understandable given the many Catholics who are living in conflict-ridden countries. However, the nature and structure of the Church and the role of its leaders will continue to reinforce the Church’s interest in international relations. Regardless of the changing situation in the world, the Catholic Church is likely to continue its commitment to international relations because ‘the principle of a global apex of sacred authority and religious symbolism will be enhanced, rather than eclipsed, by future change’ (Vallier, 1971, p. 497). Ciji Ciji (also known as Tzu Chi) is a Taiwanese Buddhist transnational entity founded by Zhengyan, a charismatic and visionary female leader in 1966. One of the motivations for Ciji’s establishment as an aid organisation was Zhengyan’s meeting with three Catholic nuns

56  Handbook on religion and international relations who came to convert her and ‘save the betrayal of God’ (Chen, 1998, cited in Huang, 2005). Apparently, the Catholic nuns asked why Buddhists, with their ideal of universal love, tended to focus only on improving themselves rather than establishing schools and hospitals like the Christians. This was the trigger for Zhengyan to revisit Pure Land Buddhism4 and reinvent it as a compassionate aid organisation through her agency – Ciji (Huang, 2005). Ciji’s founder, who also portrays herself as Kuan Yin – the Chinese goddess known as the ‘goddess with a thousand arms’ – has extended her reach of social work, emergency relief and medical help to several other countries, including Australia and the USA, from her headquarters in Taiwan (Huang, 2005). It is amazing that Ciji, a Taiwanese Buddhist entity, has become so strongly established in China, given that it entailed overcoming ongoing political tensions between Taiwan and China, compounded by China’s policy of suppressing religious organisations and Taiwan’s antipathy towards helping China. Zhengyan, Ciji’s founder, launched its aid programme in China in 1991 in a timely manner – soon after massive floods ravaged central and eastern China. Since then, Ciji’s relief work – referred to as ‘building a bridge of Love’ – took bolder steps, such as building schools, nursing homes and infrastructure in several remote regions, such as the Guizhou province (Laliberté, 2013, p. 81). Today, the Taiwanese transnational movement has initiated active humanitarian work in some 30 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions in China. Projects include relief work after major disasters, distribution of essential food to the poor, scholarship programmes to underprivileged students and medical missions featuring Ciji’s signature transnational bone marrow donation programme (Laliberté, 2013). In March 2008, Ciji became the first non-mainland organisation to be registered with the Chinese government. In August 2010, Ciji was recognised as the first overseas non-governmental organisation (NGO) to be approved by the Ministry of Civil Affairs as a nationwide charity foundation. Ciji has also received several prestigious Chinese Government awards such as the China Charity Award from the Ministry of Civil Affairs for its contribution for the betterment of society (James, 2017). Ciji’s achievements are even more remarkable because the political environment under China’s current president Xi Jinping has become increasingly totalitarian and restrictive toward any form of organised religion. Therefore, Ciji’s principles and practices are a landmark worldwide for the effective use of soft power (Laliberté, 2013). Gülen Hizmet Movement After a visit to Turkey, Mehl, a professed Christian, spoke of GHM, a Sunni Islamic organisation, as a bridge, or model, for other religions and nations: I think that this spiritual adventure of passing over and coming back … occurs in the person of Fethullah Gülen … his passing over and coming back has led to a bridge that makes it possible for the rest of us – Christians, Jews, Muslims, Humanists, to engage in the spiritual adventure of our time. We too can use the ‘Gülen bridge’ to pass over from our standpoint, be it in America as a Christian (as for myself) or from Turkey as a Muslim, as for my new Turkish friends. (Mehl, 2013, para. 3)

GHM is famous for its establishment of schools worldwide, from elementary to tertiary institutions. GHM claims that it does not have a central registry of all Gülen-inspired institutions, but a reliable estimate is more than 2,000 educational establishments in 160 countries (Hendrick,

Religion and transnational relations  57 2013). In the USA, GHM affiliates run approximately 170 schools, mainly charter schools (attended by American children and partially funded by the US government), in more than 26 states (Hendrick, 2013). Fethullah Gülen, the legendary founder of the movement, had one consuming ambition: to harness power within the Turkish state to create a group of young elites, called the ‘golden generation’, who would run Turkey in future decades. The civic Islam promoted by Gülen is a moderate Islam that promotes community awareness and involvement in humanitarian projects. Gülen’s secondary goal was to work towards the resurgence of a neo-Ottoman empire through educational establishments (Sunier, 2014, p. 2193). This underlying desire is seen in the writings of Ali Reza Tanrisever and the now famous map story of the founder of GHM: ‘On the wall in his dormitory room, [Fethullah Gülen, the founder] used to have a map of the Ottoman empire with the inscription “you are still in my dreams”. Later this was exchanged for a world map and finally a satellite view from space’ (Barton, 2014, p. 14). This neo-Ottoman ambition has extended worldwide – except for Saudi Arabia and Iran – which blocked GHM’s operations to take root in their countries. Unsurprisingly, GHM followers are considered the modern-day version of Protestant missionaries whose public duty was to spread both GHM schools and Turkey’s influence simultaneously. Thus, schools and centres of learning are the bridge to build this somewhat ambiguous yet successful ‘empire’ of civic Islam. To sum up: the Catholic Church, Ciji and GHM have motivations to extend their reach transnationally, and each has identified a strength and vision to act as a bridge for its expansion programme.

BARRIERS In this section, I reflect on how transnational faiths can be prevented in their expansion by two barriers: ethnic and legal.5 Ethnic There is a growing perception in some countries that the traditional religion of the nation should be coupled with nationalism and patriotism. This is exemplified in the current Indian Government’s call for a Hindu Rashtra (a nation built on Hinduism). After India gained independence in 1947, two visions of the independence movement were proposed. First, the Congress Party argued that India would be truly unified when religious and cultural differences were disregarded and an economic plan to enhance the poorest segments of society was introduced (van der Veer, 1994). Second, an alternative proposal surfaced, based on vestiges of anti-colonial ideology (and a form of Hindu nationalism), which purported that the unification of India could only take place when India is freed from all foreign influences. The latter, anti-colonial vision saw the development of the Arya Samaj, a syncretic religious tradition that introduced the Western concepts of monotheism and proselytisation into Hinduism in the 1870s (Van der Veer, 1994). The Arya Samaj called for Hinduness, that is Indianness blended with Hindu nationalism, as expressed in a pamphlet titled Essentials of Hindutva.6 This pamphlet was the foundation for Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a right-wing organisation

58  Handbook on religion and international relations formed in 1925, which later championed the mantra that an independent India should be a state for Hindus (and Buddhists). Clearly, the current7 Prime Minister Modi’s Bharata Janata Party (BJP) has its roots in this long-standing project by Hindu nationalists to transform India into a Hindu Rashtra (nation). Recently, the Modi Government undertook a series of legislative actions to make the Hindu Rashtra a reality: by closing the Christian NGO Compassion International (CI), withdrawing special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir and amending the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).8 An elaboration of these actions follows. In March 2017, the USA-based NGO, CI, one of the largest international donors in India, was required to close its India operations. CI, a Christian charity with an investment of approximately US$45 million per annum in India, was alleged to have violated the nation’s law by their involvement in Christian activities while being registered as a ‘social, cultural, economic and cultural organisation’ (Bennett, 2017, para. 7). CI contended that its donations for India were for education, medical care and the provision of meals for needy children (Barry and Raj, 2017). The New York Times reported that the transnational NGO had to close because it was deemed ‘detrimental to the national interest’ (Barry and Raj, 2017, para. 6). India’s Ministry of External Affairs rejected CI’s claims that the closure was over ideological reasons. The New York Times also quoted CI as saying that the members of the NGO ‘found themselves in murky back-channel negotiations with a representative of RSS’, associated with the current Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP party (Barry and Raj, 2017, para. 8). The Indian Government denied the allegations that CI’s executives had been approached in the USA by a representative of RSS, offering leniency on the condition that CI redistribute its funding through non-Christian civic organisations (Barry and Raj, 2017). In 2016, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives heard testimony from CI on behalf of the 130,000 children who were helped in India; however, the US Government failed to secure CI’s ongoing work in India (Zylstra, 2017). CI is still hopeful that its operations will be reinstated soon: There have been whispers of hope. One Indian official told India Today … that the government was willing to reconsider Compassion’s case, but nothing came of it. Another Indian newspaper floated the idea that the government might ease up on Compassion if the US would be more lenient with visas granted to Indians. (Zylstra, 2017, para.13)

For more than seven decades, India extended special status to the contested Muslim-majority state of Jammu and Kashmir,9 which enjoyed rights to administer local issues such as residency, land ownership and jobs. This privilege was granted to Jammu and Kashmir in exchange for it joining the Indian union following India’s independence in 1947. The state’s relative right to local administration came to an abrupt halt in August 2019 when the BJP government withdrew the privileged status of Jammu and Kashmir which meant the nation’s only Muslim-majority state was split into three distinct zones (Gentleman et al., 2019). In the new set up, Hindu-majority Jammu and Muslim-majority Kashmir would have their own legislative assemblies and the other region – Buddhist-majority Ladakh – which is also home to a considerable number of Shia Muslims – would be controlled by the Indian Government (Gentleman et al., 2019). The move saw large-scale resistance in the Muslim-majority state, and it escalated tensions with India’s arch enemy – Pakistan. In December 2019, the Indian Parliament approved the CAA. This allowed pre-2014 migrants from the surrounding Muslim-majority countries of Pakistan, Bangladesh and

Religion and transnational relations  59 Afghanistan – that is, migrants who are Hindu, Christian, Jain, Buddhist and Sikh (but not Muslim) – to acquire Indian citizenship (Malik et al., 2019). The CAA was approved by both Houses of Parliament but with minimal consultation. It is envisaged that the Supreme Court may find the CAA unconstitutional because of religious discrimination. Also, the National Register of Citizens (NRC), implemented in early 2020, required people to show evidence of their Indian citizenship or be deported (Malik et al., 2019). So, the introduction of the CAA in conjunction with the proposed all-India NRC spurred much tension and debate as to what the combination of the two laws would mean for the already vulnerable Muslim population in India, a nation where the ownership of citizenship documentation is the exception rather than the norm. Predictably, NRC was first introduced in the north-eastern state of Assam (which shares a border with the Muslim nation Bangladesh) and the intent was to maintain a limit on the entry of Muslim migrants. Christian and Muslim faiths and their transnational movements would find it increasingly difficult to continue and expand their activities in this climate where hyper-nationalism is practised, and ethnicity is equated with the national religion of Hinduism. Legal Each religious tradition worldwide has its own understanding of religion and politics. Fundamentalist traditions generally view politics as the basis for organising society in accordance with what they consider divine commands. In Iran, the ultimate court in the nation is the religious court, based on Shia Islam – the second-largest Islamic branch in the world. This court is empowered to veto parliamentary laws and make determination on who can hold political office. Likewise, in Myanmar (formerly Burma), a predominantly Theravada Buddhist nation, Buddhist monks have launched a movement to revitalise Buddhism across the nation. One of the proposals by this group of more than 2,000 monks and laypersons10 was the introduction of the marriage law, hotly debated and subsequently passed in parliament in 2015 which upholds that Myanmar women can marry men of different religions, but their future husbands must espouse Theravada Buddhism (International Crisis Group, 2017). As a result of this law and other proposed ones, non-Theravada Buddhists (over 10 per cent of the population), and groups of people whose first language is not Burmese (about 30 per cent), are marginalised creating ethnic, religious and economic uncertainty (International Crisis Group, 2017). However, totalitarian regimes, such as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), can exercise control over religion without fear or favour by criminalising a movement with the stroke of a pen. How the CCP dealt with the Falun Gong (FG) movement, a religious entity, is a case in point. The FG is based on an ancient Chinese spiritual practice emanating from China’s beliefs in Buddhism, Taoism and qigong – a spiritual and health tradition of breathing, meditation and body movement. The FG, founded in May 1992, was initially welcomed by the Chinese Government, who praised the founder Li Hongzhi11 for its ethical and social benefits (Leung, 2002). But the praise was short-lived. When the qigong movement drew millions of followers, the CCP had second thoughts. During the mid-1990s the Chinese media published several articles attacking qigong and FG for its unscientific and superstitious beliefs (Leung, 2002). FG followers, troubled by this rapid shift in perception by the government, staged a spate of protests, with no reprisals from the government until practitioners located their protest outside the offices of a local newspaper in April 1999. Suddenly, riot police descended to break up

60  Handbook on religion and international relations the demonstration, resulting in many arrests (Cook, 2007). In the days following, some 10,000 FG practitioners gathered near the Zhongnanhai government vicinity in Beijing asking for an end to government harassment. The then CCP General Secretary Jiang Zemin, embarrassed and concerned by this large-scale protest (which was compared to the notorious Tiananmen Square demonstrations of 1989), called for an end to the movement. Subsequently, security forces swiftly ended the riots and detained thousands of leading FG followers. A few days later, an official announcement was made that the FG movement was deemed illegal by the government because of its erroneous teaching and destabilising activities. It is estimated that at least 15 per cent of prisoners from ‘re-education’ camps in China today are FG followers (Cook, 2007). Currently FG’s headquarters is located in Dragon Springs, a 400-acre complex in New York housed near FG’s performance arts academy Shen Yun and its schools, Fei Tian College and Fei Tian Academy of the Arts. Since then, the group has emerged as one of the most ardent critics of the CCP. FG has launched media subsidiaries, the most well known being the Epoch Times and New Tang Dynasty TV, which regularly carry anti-Chinese government programmes. Freegate,12 an FG-created computer software, is used as a means of overcoming internet censorship in China (Allen-Ebrahimian, 2020). FG has evolved into a quasi-political transnational organisation with an active presence in several countries, including Taiwan, where it campaigns against a merger with China: ‘Because of the campaign of suppression, [FG] wound up becoming explicitly political … continued efforts [by the People’s Republic of China] to suppress served only to spur Falun Gong to continue their own efforts’ (Ownby, 2008, p. 33). Hence, even though FG has been criminalised as a movement in China, it flourishes as a strident transnational organisation, with active bases outside of its home country, servicing Mainland China dissidents.

BREAKTHROUGHS In 1994, Douglas Johnston and Cynthia Sampson published their book Religion: The Missing Dimension of Statecraft in which they alluded to the fact that understanding the rich tapestry of the world’s religions is key to overcoming conflict. Other leaders such as the then US Secretary of State Madeline Albright13 asserted that, ‘Faith-based diplomacy is not only a useful tool of foreign policy, it is essential’ (Albright and Woodword, 2006, p. 73). In this way, Albright underscored the need for the world to change its focus from a region-centred perspective to a more transnational one because religion, which is historically not limited to political borders, can provide the means to facilitate international engagement. In the aftermath of 9/11 and the rise of Islamophobia, the United Nations created a new body in 2005, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, to engage with and foster a spirit of understanding between Christianity and Islam. While other studies have shown the strengths and weaknesses of these initiatives,14 my intention in this section is to highlight how transnational faith movements have blossomed using essentialist and indigenous principles to gain acceptance in nations that were/are repressive in their religious agenda. I discuss the role of a Sunni Islamic reform movement from India, and the infusion of Christianity among Hindu adherents in the US diaspora as examples of breakthrough.

Religion and transnational relations  61 Tabligh Jama’at The post-colonial era brought nationalism to the forefront in many countries. For example, during the two centuries of British rule in India, an educated and elite class of Indians was recruited to help in its administration. Many from this class came to resent the British and the role of Christian missionaries and later were the key protagonists in nationalistic movements (Van der Veer, 1994). Nationalism in turn spawned reform movements among Islamic, Hindu and Sikh communities. Some of these reform movements were so successful that, aided by the forces of globalisation, they became transnational entities with a huge presence outside South Asia. One such movement, TJ, was founded by Muhammad Ilyas al-Kandhlawi in Mewat, India, in 1926. TJ’s target was Muslims, not non-Muslims, so that even though this movement spread from India to Europe and other parts of the world, it is not well known among non-Muslims. Muhammad Ilyas, who had a Sufi background, was passionate about restoring Sufi Islam from political and spiritual decadence. Within Islam there are elements of superstition operating side by side with the teachings of the prophet Mohammed, such as ‘healing, spirit possession and the worship of saints’ (Van der Veer, 1994, p. 57). To reform and ‘purify’ the faith, Muhammad Ilyas reduced Islam to a person practising the key Muslim duties, such as regular attendance in the local mosque. What Muhammad Ilays added to this recipe was that the reformed faith members should actively invite (tabligh) their fellow Muslims to perform such duties. Therefore, through a kind of ‘snowballing’ technique, groups of laymen (jama’at) were formed and then brought together into a mass gathering known as the ’itjima. While it is true that TJ consists of loosely affiliated, itinerate groups, the reform movement also has a hierarchical group of leaders who are elders drawn from local mosques with the global headquarters located in New Delhi (Borreguero, n.d., cited in Howenstein, 2006). Thus, TJ does not oppose the Islamic clergy (Ulama). It respects the Ulama and encourages lay empowerment of the tabligh in the jama’at and the ’itjima. The movement discourages its followers from assimilation to the host nation by providing Muslim families with alternative networks and structures for education, friendship and employment. Furthermore, the apolitical framework15 ensures that the group is not involved in activities that draw undue attention to the Muslim community in the West: ‘One should try to be a good Muslim simply by fulfilling one’s duties. When every Muslim does so, this will have an exemplary effect and turn the whole world into a world of believers’ (Van der Veer, 1994, p. 129). Unlike Islamic revival movements originating from Arab nations, which have been predominantly fundamentalist in nature, TJ keeps its focus on ‘moderate’ Islam. In this way, TJ has gained acceptance by the governments of regions and countries, aiding its expansion from India to Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. Decentralisation and meeting the felt needs in each place are other keys to the success of this transnational movement. TJ missionaries do not keep to standardised ways of operation; they employ improvised ways and means in each local area (Siddiqi, 2018). For example, the Tablighi entity in the British town of Dewsbury functions as a regional coordinating office for Northern Europe, while other British centres concentrate on local community concerns. Ethnicity also plays a part: most of the TJ followers in Britain are of South Asian descent, whereas the TJ centre in Barcelona caters mainly for the city’s North African migrants (Siddiqi, 2018).The genius of TJ is that it successfully embeds itself within communities,

62  Handbook on religion and international relations using the network of diaspora Indian Muslims who have already settled in the countries of the region, and adapting to the current socio-political and economic conditions (Siddiqi, 2018). Despite the rise of Islamophobia, which has stirred some misgivings about the movement, TJ has worked hard to be perceived as an entity that acts as a countermovement to religious fundamentalism. It aims to keep Muslims, especially diaspora and second-generation Muslims, from being influenced by Islamic extremism and radicalisation. Gyan Ratna Gurukul Founded by Brother Anil in Chicago, USA in 2013, Gyan Ratna Gurukul16 (GRG) operates in the USA and India as a Christian mission. In Chicago GRG caters to 100,000 Indians (mostly Hindus), but not in the traditional way of Christian missionary work. GRG was formed to overcome three major issues. First, the transnational organisation was reconfigured in structure and polity to address the misconception that Christianity is primarily associated with the West. When Hindus see the church, they often consider it as the champion of Western cultural and political aspirations. And the Indian church has inadvertently reinforced this misconception through its uncritical adoption of Western norms, values, lifestyle and church architecture. Brother Anil is keen to point out that Christianity came to India in the first century AD, long before it reached many countries in the Western world. Brother Anil refers to a book by P. C. Mozumdar (1898) titled The Oriental Christ, in which Mozumdar defends Christ’s Asian roots and appeal (Anil, personal communication, 3 August 2020). The second major issue in GRG’s approach to Hindus is to overcome the failure on the part of Christians to understand the Hindu ethos. Hindus consider their religion as Sanatana Dharma. Sanatana means eternal, having no beginning or end (Timcak, 2019). Thus, Hinduism embraces the entire cultural and spiritual spectrum of values and life of the people of India. Hence, GRG’s attempt to engage sensitively with Indian culture and lifestyle. The third issue that GRG addresses concerns the Indian community: The central issues in Hindu contexts do not relate to culture, but rather community. Thus, when believers seek to integrate Hindu practices into biblical faith and life, true contextualization is still lacking because they reject their birth community in favor of the ‘Christian’ community … Hindu believers … recognize that remaining integrated with their birth community is essential. (Richard, 2004, para. 3)

Historically, colonial churches practised ‘extraction evangelism’: that is, when Hindu individuals were converted by the Church, they were extracted from their communities to be part of the local church, neglecting the important role of community in the Hindu culture and the collectivist nature of Indian society in general (James, 2014). To overcome this problem, GRG has adopted one of the highest levels of contextualisation – the H5 level of contextualisation model17 – to ensure that Hindus who come to Christ maintain their sociological identity as Hindus within the birth community (Richard, 2004). GRG initiates gurukuls (schools), in the USA and India where leaders are trained to hold Christian worship called Satsangs (fellowship of the truth) in acceptable Hindu formats using Sanskrit liturgy, and other formats such as singing Hindu bhajans (hymns) with words taken from the Psalms and the New Testament of the Bible. The headquarters of the US GRG movement is in Devon Street, Chicago (Little India) where prayer meetings are held every morning, worship services on Sundays and sectional

Religion and transnational relations  63 Bible reading meetings once a month on Saturdays. A new centre recently opened in New Jersey and, eventually, the plan is to establish satsangs and gurukuls in the key cities of the USA where the Indian diaspora is located. GRG also has bases in India where several Satsang worship centres have started, especially in northern India – the heartland of Hinduism. Anil travels to India regularly to encourage the Satsang ministry in India and to conduct training sessions for Indian Satsang leaders (Anil, personal communication, 3 August 2020). GRG seeks to change the negative perception of Hindus who embrace Christianity in the current Hindutva climate in India, where identity politics is practised. In GRG, adherents view themselves as bhaktas (devotees) of Christ. ‘Christian’ in India is highly politicised and has associations with colonial history. GRG seeks to develop Hindu patterns of personal devotion and corporate worship. Evangelism strategies are also developed to explain the Christian faith within the rich contextual tapestry of Hinduism. This high-end contextualisation of the Christian faith in Hindu formats is also an effort to reach the high and priestly caste of Hindu adherents and so liturgy is mainly recited in Sanskrit – the language of the Hindu temple. Recently, GRG printed the Gospel of Mark18 in the old-fashioned Hindi language on the life and character of Jesus Christ. The uniqueness of this book is that it has converted the narrative into highly intricate poetry using simple language. As Indians are aural learners, they can hear the life stories of Christ in an effective way (Anil, personal communication, 9 August 2020). Other aspects adopted by GRG include the use of Indian musical instruments, such as the harmonium, tabla and sitar. The posture of the preacher is different in Hindu temples: he is seated on the floor together with the other adherents. GRG has adopted this format of preaching and teaching. Artefacts like the cross are Indianised and publications such as Divya Destiny,19 a quarterly magazine, support the fledgling community of Christian Bhaktas (devotees) in the GRG tradition both in India and the USA. Rites of passage like birth, marriage and death are conducted in a Hindu-sensitive manner. Hindu festivals are celebrated, sometimes modified with new biblical meaning. For example, Diwali – the festival of light – ‘has been redeemed to give new meaning incorporating Jesus, who, according to the Bible is the true light of the world’ (Anil, personal communication, 2 October 2019). Arguably, the breakthrough that GRG has created is a ‘glocal’ expression of Christianity introduced to Hindus in a culturally sensitive way, dressed in Indian clothes and presented in an Indian cup.20 GRG keeps Indian Christians within the Hindu community and, furthermore, networks with Indians in India in sharing resources and expanding its reach in Western nations where Indians congregate. Importantly, GRG as a movement is not considered a countercultural community, but rather part of the matrix of the larger Hindu community. Therefore, it would not foreseeably be targeted by the Hindutva forces because GRG presents itself as part of Sanatana Dharma (eternal and all-embracing Hinduism), albeit with a Christian expression that is culturally sensitive and pro-community.21

CONCLUSION As indicated, ‘transnationalism’ and ‘globalisation’ allude to the extension of political, economic and religious bodies and movements beyond their nation-state. For example, in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries we have seen a sharp increase in transnational flows of migration and religion. However, in the same period there has been a backlash against reli-

64  Handbook on religion and international relations gions primarily, but not exclusively, for political reasons. Religious terrorism, most notably associated with ISIS, has plagued various parts of the world; China has been threatened by some religious movements; and in India a type of hyper-nationalism has erupted which conflates Hinduism (the majority religion) with nationalism. In the foregoing sections, I have used the metaphors of bridges, barriers and breakthroughs as windows into how and whether transnational faiths have extended their influence. The Catholic Church, Ciji and GHM were cited as examples of significant bridgebuilding. When it came to barriers to transnational faiths it was intriguing to note that China’s outlawing of the FG resulted in the latter’s vibrant transformation rather than elimination. And transnational faiths like TJ and GRG have used socio-cultural and indigenous logistics to create breakthroughs to overcome obstacles like identity politics and deep-seated misperceptions. In this way, they have become less transgressive to receiving governments and related groups. Overall, what emerges from the study is a realisation that most transnational religious bodies are resilient and creative. CI was forced to cease operations in India, but this Christian NGO remains hopeful of returning. In this respect, transnational religion may be likened to a river that is dynamic and persistent, wending its way to overcome obstacles. What remains is the question: How will the dialectic of religion and transnational relations play out transnationally in a changing world – especially a world disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic?

NOTES 1. Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Sanstha is a Hindu religious transnational organisation with its headquarters in Gujarat, India. 2. The Holy See is a reference to the papacy, the papal court and the leaders associated with the government of the Vatican and the Catholic Church. 3. In contrast to the Catholic Church’s use of statehood, ISIS, the terrorist institution that tried to establish a state, failed to gain support from most countries, including Muslim nations (James, 2017). 4. Pure Land Buddhism stems from Mahayana Buddhism. 5. The two terms seem to overlap, but they stem from different motivations. 6. The pamphlet was later retitled ‘Hindutva: Who Is a Hindu?’ by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. 7. 2020. 8. This is on top of the anti-conversion laws that are in force in six Indian states. 9. Jammu and Kashmir, although the two names are considered one state in India. 10. This nationalist organisation is called the Association for the Protection of Race and Religion (referred to by its Burmese-language acronym MaBaTha). 11. Li was born in Gongzhuling, China and now lives in the USA. 12. Freegate is financed by the Broadcasting Board of Governors, a US government agency. Freegate also receives funding from the American non-profit organisation the National Endowment for Democracy. 13. Albright was the first woman to hold the post of US Secretary of State (1997–2001) under the Clinton administration. 14. See Baumgart-Ochse and Wolf (2019). 15. Borreguero (n.d., cited in Howenstein, 2006) conceded that militant groups have tried to infiltrate TJ as a cover for obtaining visas for travel. She concluded that some members have found that the movement’s principles are unappealing because of their apolitical stance. Borreguero argued that TJ keeps true to its ‘salient features, including its simple message, its non-political character [and the] the authority of its leadership’ (Borreguero, n.d., cited in Howenstein, 2006, para. 12). 16. The name in Sanskrit means ‘Pearl of Wisdom School’.

Religion and transnational relations  65 17. This is part of a seven-point scale to show how deep and extensive the level of contextualisation is in reaching another faith community with the Christian Gospel. 18. This translation of the Gospel of Mark was originally published in 1935 by P. D. Gottlieb, an Indian pastor, in Chhattisgarh, central India. 19. Divya Destiny is a contextualised magazine for Hindu converts with acceptable Hindu iconography and text. 20. The reference to Christianity presented in an Indian cup is attributed to Sadhu Sundar Singh, a Sikh convert to Christianity who undertook contextualised evangelism. 21. Orthodox Hindus could still take issue with GRG, although no known cases have been reported so far.

REFERENCES Albright, M. D. and Woodward, W. (2006). The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs. New York: HarperCollins. Allen-Ebrahimian, B. (2020). ‘In Media Agency Shakeup, Conservative Groups Push for Falun Gong-Backed Internet Tools’, Axios. Available at: www​.axios​.com/​falun​-gong​-us​-agency​-global​ -media​-001fcf52​-95fa​-43de​-b0c70cd7cfc2918f​.html (Accessed 20 May 2020). Askegaard, S. and Eckhardt, G. (2012). ‘Glocal Yoga: Re-appropriation in the Indian Consumptionscape’, Marketing Theory, 12(1), pp. 45–60. Barry, E. and Raj, S. (2017). ‘US to Question India about Ban’, New York Times. Available at: www​ .nytimes​.com/​2017/​03/​09/​world/​asia/​compassion​-international​-india​.html (Accessed 15 May 2020). Barton, G. (2014). ‘How Hizmet works: Dialogue and the Gulen Movement in Australia’, Hizmet Studies Review, 1(1), pp. 9–25. Baumgart-Ochse, C. and Wolf, K. D. (2019). Religious NGOs at the United Nations: Polarizers or Mediators? Abingdon: Routledge. Bennett, J. (2017). ‘Compassion International Forced to End Indian Operations’, ABC. Available at: www​.abc​.net​.au/​news/​2017​-03​-10/​christian​-charity​-to​-end​-india​-operations​-over​-donation​-laws/​ 8344300 (Accessed 9 March 2020). Berger, P. (2005). ‘Religious Pluralism for a Pluralistic Age’, Project Syndicate. Available at: www​ .project​-syndicate​.org/​commentary/​berger1/​English (Accessed 21 May 2020). Cook, S. (2007). ‘Falun Gong: Religious Freedom in China’, Freedom House. Available at: https://​ freedomhouse​.org/​report/​2017/​battle​-china​-spirit​-falun​-gong​-religious​-freedom (Accessed 2 August 2020). Dawson, A. (2012). Santo Daime: A New World Religion. London: Bloomsbury. Desch, M. (2007). ‘America’s Liberal Illiberalism: The Ideological Origins of Overreaction in US Foreign Policy’, International Security, 32(3), pp.7–43. Finkelde, J. (2017). ‘Hillsong Is Launching: Should Pastors Panic?’, Eternity. Available at: www​ .eternitynews​.com​.au/​opinion/​hillsong​-perth​-is​-launching​-should​-pastors​-panic/​ (Accessed 15 June 2020). Foner, N. (1997). ‘The Immigrant Family: Cultural Legacies and Cultural Changes’, International Migration Review, 31(4), pp. 961–74. Franco, M. (2013). ‘The First Global Pope’, Survival, 55(3), pp. 71–7. Gentleman, J., Raj, S., Schultz, K. et al. (2019). ‘India Revokes Kashmir’s Special Status Raising Fears of Unrest’, New York Times. Available at: www​.nytimes​.com/​2019/​08/​05/​world/​asia/​india​-pakistan​ -kashmir​-jammu​.html (Accessed 20 January 2020). Haynes, J. (2017). ‘Foreword’, in James, J. D. (ed.), Transnational Religious Movements: Faith’s Flows. London: Sage, pp. vii–x. Hendrick, J. (2013). Gülen: The Ambiguous Politics of Market Islam in Turkey and the World. New York: New York University Press. Hoeber-Rudolph, S. (1997). ‘Introduction’, in Hoeber-Rudolph, S. and Piscatori, J. (eds), Transnational Religion and Fading States. Boulder, CO: Vintage, pp. 1–24.

66  Handbook on religion and international relations Howenstein, N. (2006). ‘Islamist Networks: The Case of Tabligh Jamaat’, USIP. Available at: www​.usip​ .org/​publications/​2006/​10/​islamist​-networks​-case​-tablighi​-jamaat (Accessed 2 March 2020). Huang, J. (2005). ‘Ciji’, Encyclopedia.com. Available at: www​.encyclopedia​.com/​environment/​ encyclopedias​-almanacs​-transcripts​-and​-maps/​ciji (Accessed 2 January 2020). International Crisis Group (2017). ‘Buddhism and State Power in Myanmar’, Report No. 290. Available at: www​.crisisgroup​.org/​asia/​south​-east​-asia/​myanmar/​290​-buddhism​-and​-state​-power​-myanmar (Accessed: 11 May 2020). James, J. D. (2014). A Moving Faith: Mega Churches Go South. New Delhi: Sage. James, J. D. (2017). Transnational Religious Movements: Faith’s Flows. London: Sage. Johnston, J. and Sampson, C. (1994). Religion, the Missing Dimension of Statecraft. New York: Oxford University Press. Kennedy, P. and Roudometof, V. (2006). Communities across Borders: New Immigrants and Transnational Cultures. London: Routledge. .encyclope Kim, H. (2005). ‘Swaminarayanan Movement’. Encyclopedia.com. Available at: www​ dia​.com/​e nvironment/​encyclopedias​-almanacs​-transcripts​-and​-maps/​s waminarayan​-movement (Accessed 15 May 2020). Laliberté, A. (2013). ‘The Growth of a Taiwanese Buddhist Association in China: Soft Power and Institutional Learning’, China Information, 27(1), pp. 81–105. Leung, B. (2002). ‘China and Falun Gong: Party and Society Relations in the Modern Era’, Journal of Contemporary China, 11(33), pp. 761–84. Malik, A., Mukherjee, S. and Verghese, A. (2019). ‘In India, Thousands Are Protesting the New Citizenship Law’. Washington Post. Available at: www​.washingtonpost​.com/​politics/​2019/​12/​31/​ india​-thousands​-are​-protesting​-new​-citizenship​-law​-here​-are​-things​-know/​ (Accessed 30 January 2020). Maltzman, F., Schwartzberg, M. and Sigelman, L. (2006). ‘Vox Populi, Vox Dei, Vox Sagittae’, Political Science and Politics, 39(2), pp. 297–301. Mehl, P. (2013). ‘Gulen Hizmet: A Shared Bridge’, Gulen Hizmet. Available at: www​.gulenmovement​ .com/​the​-gulen​-movement​-a​-shared​-bridge​-between​-the​-u​-s​-and​-islam​.html (Accessed 2 February 2020). Ng, P. T. M. (2007). ‘Glocalization as a Key to the Interplay between Christianity and Asian Cultures: The Vision of Francis Wei in Early Twentieth Century China’, International Journal of Public Theology, 1(1), pp. 101–11. Obadia, L. (2012). ‘Localised Deterritorialisation? The Case of the Glocalisation of Tibetan Buddhism in France and Worldwide’, International Social Science Journal, 63(1), pp. 185–95. Ong, A. (1999). Flexible Citizenship: The Cultural Logics of Transnationality. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Ownby, D. (2008). Falun Gong and the Future of China. New York: Oxford University Press. Povoledo, E. (2013). ‘Pope Appeals for More Interreligious Dialogue’, New York Times. Available at: www​.nytimes​.com/​2013/​03/​23/​world/​europe/​pope​-francis​-urges​-more​-interreligious​-dialogue​.html​ ?ref​=​world​&​_r​=​0 (Accessed 20 January 2020). Pullella, P. (2013). ‘Pope Urges Religions with No Ally’, Reuters. Available at: https://​ca​.reuters​.com/​ article/​pope/​pope​-urges​-religions​-those​-with​-no​-church​-to​-ally​-for​-justice​-id​IN​DE​E9​2J​0A​I2​01​30​ 320 (Accessed 18 January 2020). Richard, H. L. (2004). ‘H Scale for Hindu Contextualization’, Evangelical Missions Quarterly, 40(3), pp. 316–32. Robertson, R. (1995). ‘Globalisation or Glocalisation?’, Journal of International Communication, 1(1), pp. 33–52. Schroeder, M. (2014). ‘Executive Leadership in the Study of International Organizations: A Framework for Analysis’, International Studies Review, 16(3), pp. 339–61. Siddiqi, B. (2018). Becoming a ‘Good Muslim’: The Tablighi Jamaat in the UK and Bangladesh. Singapore: Springer. Summers, A. and McQuillan, L. (2018). ‘The Pope Bows to Beijing’, US News. Available at: www​ .usnews​.com/​opinion/​civil​-wars/​articles/​2018​-03​-02/​is​-pope​-francis​-selling​-out​-to​-communist​-china (Accessed 15 August 2020).

Religion and transnational relations  67 Sunier, T. (2014). ‘Cosmopolitan Theology: Fethullah Gulen and the Making of a Golden Generation’, Journal of Ethnic and Racial Studies, 37(12), pp. 2193–208. Timcak, G. (2019). Yoga as a Part of Sanatana Dharma. Available at: file:///​C:/​Users/​Jonathan/​ Downloads/​5​-1​-timcak​.pdf (Accessed 15 August 2020). Troy, J. (2016). ‘The Catholic Church and International Relations’, Oxford Handbooks. Available at: www​.oxfordhandbooks​. com/​v iew/​1 0​. 1093/​oxfordhb/​9780199935307​.001​.0001/​oxfordhb​ -9​7​8​0​1​9​9​9​3​5​3​07​-e​-2 (Accessed 19 May 2020). Vallier, I. (1971). ‘The Roman Catholic Church: A Transnational Actor’, International Organization, 25(3), pp. 479–502. Van der Veer, P. (1994). Religious Nationalism: Hindus and Muslins in India. Delhi: Oxford University Press. Vasquez, M. A. (2008). ‘Studying Religion in Motion: A Networks Approach’, Method and Theory in the Study of Religion. Available at: https://​static​.ceres​.rub​.de/​legacy/​uploads/​khk/​events/​vasquez​ _2008​_networks​_approach​.pdf (Accessed 18 January 2020). Zylstra, S. (2017). ‘Compassion: Why We Are Leaving India but Still Have Hope’, Christianity Today. Available at: www​.christianitytoday​.com/​news/​2017/​march/​compassion​-international​-leaving​-india​ -child​-sponsorship​.html (Accessed 21 May 2020).

5. A feminist perspective on religion in international relations Anne Jenichen

INTRODUCTION When religion becomes politicized, gender often is involved too. Consider the discussions about the hijab in Western Europe, the ‘culture wars’ between prochoice and prolife activists in the United States, or the restriction of women’s rights in many countries where religious movements regain strength. Accordingly, much has been written about the interaction of gender and religion in international politics. The discussions usefully focus on the ways in which women have been subordinated in different religions, often leading to their legal inequality, and how women have participated in as well as resisted this subordination, both from within and outside of religious communities. These discussions, however, primarily compare the interaction between religion and gender in different national contexts. As Amanda Donahoe (2017: 21) in her excellent review of the literature concludes, ‘the literature on gender, religion, and international relations is vast, but the connection to the global – how international relations is implicated – remains fairly inchoate’. It only rarely engages with issues typically discussed in international relations (IR), such as international security or global governance. Therefore, this chapter takes a somewhat different direction. It applies a feminist perspective, as has been developed by feminist research in IR (e.g. Steans 2013; Tickner 2001), to research on religion in IR, drawing primarily on the insights into potential avenues through which religion can shape international politics (Sandal and Fox 2013). Through this, an analytical framework emerges that highlights the interaction of international discourses, norms and policies with the lived experiences and rights of individual women on the ground. Its usefulness will be illustrated by two broad case studies on international religious terrorism and global women’s rights governance. I chose these two case studies because they represent two fields typically discussed in IR and illustrate how international policies and debates are gendered, which often contributes to the exclusion of women. The chapter is divided into four sections: I will first discuss what a feminist perspective in general, and in IR specifically, entails, and what the main concepts that feminists operate with are. I then highlight some of the parallels, and indeed overlaps, of the concepts of ‘gender’ and ‘religion’ in IR, before developing the feminist framework for research on religion in IR and applying it to the two case studies.

WHAT DOES A FEMINIST PERSPECTIVE ENTAIL? Feminist research is closely related to feminist practice, which for decades has drawn attention to persisting inequalities between women and men in a variety of areas, including access to 68

A feminist perspective on religion in international relations  69 political power, economic resources, human rights and justice. As Katrina Lee-Koo (2017: 80) summarizes: The goal of feminist IR is to highlight, understand and address this inequality. It also seeks to encourage the discipline of IR to recognise and better understand the role of gender politics in shaping how we think about the world and the people and institutions in it … While feminist international relations encompasses numerous feminisms based on distinct theoretical approaches, feminist IR scholars have a common commitment: to highlight and address the discrimination and disadvantage that women in particular experience in international politics.

The main concept with which feminists operate is ‘gender’.1 Gender is a relational concept referring to the social construction of differences between women and men. It focuses on notions of femininity and masculinity, i.e. ideas of how women and men are and ought to be, and of gender roles, i.e. assumptions about what women and men do and ought to do.2 ‘Relational’, in this context, means, unlike the common misperception of gender equalling women, that the position of women in society cannot be fully understood without also considering the position of men. ‘Socially constructed’ means that differences between women’s and men’s roles and behaviour are not grounded in biology, but that they are based on commonly held understandings, which are historically and culturally contingent. Hegemonic notions of femininity and masculinity usually are quite stable. But because they are constantly reproduced, they are also susceptible to change (Hawkesworth 2013). Not all people, for example, can always live up to these standards due to social circumstances; others challenge hegemonic gender identities and roles to defend their own values and lifestyles. Therefore, it is important to also take the lived experiences of women and men into account. Hegemonic notions of femininity and masculinity often tend to define socially valued traits as male and less valued characteristics as female, which has consequences for the roles and positions of women and men in society. For example, leadership is often associated with characteristics linked to masculinity, such as rationality, strength and assertiveness. Therefore, men appear to be ‘natural’ leaders, while women have to work with or against these masculine standards, explaining, among other aspects, why it still is more difficult for women to reach leadership positions than it is for men. A classic example is Margaret Thatcher, who, before becoming the first female prime minister of the United Kingdom, took lessons to lower the pitch of her voice to help ‘her overcome the negative connotations of femininity (such as emotionality and shrillness) in the minds of the electorate at large’ (Kirby 2017: 270). Hence, ‘gender’ organizes forms of exclusion and privilege, that are neither fixed nor closed and that are constantly produced and reproduced (Whitworth 2010: 399). The concept of ‘gender’ also incorporates ideas about sexuality and desire. Hegemonic notions of femininity and masculinity usually include the notion of ‘heteronormativity’, i.e. the conviction that men and women desire each other, while homosexual relationships are defined as aberrant.3 Finally, a feminist perspective also considers that gender does not work in isolation from other structures of power, such as race, class or nationality. The opportunities and discrimination that actual people face depend not only on their gender but also on other factors. This concept of ‘intersectionality’, i.e. the impact of the interaction of different categories of difference (Crenshaw 1989), is important for our discussion here as it opens up an avenue for feminist research on religion by emphasizing the relevance of differences between women (and men) based on lived religions.

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PARALLELS BETWEEN GENDER AND RELIGION IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS There are interesting parallels between the two concepts of gender and religion in IR, which further encourage one to explore their intersections. These similarities include their long exclusion from the study of IR due to the state-centric bias of the discipline even though they are constitutive of IR; the tendency of their overgeneralization after their inclusion; and the relevance of the public/private divide in the context of both concepts. Both gender and religion are relative newcomers to the study of IR. They had long been disregarded due to the state-centric bias of the discipline, which made individuals with different genders and the international impact of domestic power inequalities invisible (Youngs 2004). Moreover, in the Western-biased perspective of most IR scholars, states were seen as secular institutions in which religion, due to the belief in widespread secularization, had become irrelevant (Hurd 2008; Philpott 2009). Feminists and scholars of religion, by contrast, make us aware that the international system has been created, maintained, developed and reproduced by people whose identities and ideas shape their behaviour, practices and sense of belonging. Therefore, pervasive ideas about gender and religion (or its absence) have become embedded in the international system. Acknowledging the impact of these identities and ideas helps us understand that both gender and religion are constitutive of both the discipline and practice of IR. In the form of identities and ideas, they have always been there. The discipline of IR for a long time just chose not to see them (Brown 2020a; Enloe 2014; Hurd 2008). After long being disregarded, contributions both on gender and religion started to appear in the 1980s and increasingly in the 1990s. Two simultaneous events helped to trigger interest in gender and religion at the international level: the adoption of the international Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1979, which for the first time in history codified women’s rights in an international binding treaty; and the Iranian Revolution in the same year, which culminated in the establishment of an Islamic state and raised the international awareness of political religion. Nonetheless, first contributions on gender and religion in IR were controversial because they challenged the male dominance and secularist bias of the discipline as well as its state-centric perspective. That changed after the end of the Cold War. The inability of IR theories to predict the sudden collapse of communism and the increasing importance of non-state actors and identity politics opened up spaces for alternative perspectives, including those on gender and religion. Since then, and for religion further triggered by 9/11, contributions on gender and religion have proliferated in IR. Even though still at its margins, feminist and gender approaches and issues of religion have increasingly become recognized as part of the discipline. A certain sign of that is the representation of feminism and gender in basically every textbook on IR (e.g. Kirby 2017; Lee-Koo 2017; Sjoberg and Tickner 2013; True 2010; Whitworth 2010); and even though chapters on religion can be found in only a few IR textbooks (e.g. Hurd 2017; Toft 2013), the number of books on religion in IR has increased at least six-fold since 2002 (Hassner 2011: 38). However, with the inclusion of both concepts has come a tendency to apply them in a rather generalized manner, taking, for instance, white middle-class women of the global North/West as the norm and homogenizing Islam. Such perspectives obscure differences both among women and within religions. An intersectional approach that stresses the interaction of various categories of difference/identity and of different power structures as well as one that takes lived experiences

A feminist perspective on religion in international relations  71 and diverse practices into account, therefore, is important to avoid such overgeneralizations (Brown 2020a). Another interesting parallel, indeed overlap, between gender and religion is their focus on binaries and the public/private divide. Common understandings of gender and religion in politics are often based on the two dichotomies of femininity versus masculinity and of religion versus secularism. The binary construction involves the attachment of other binaries, which interestingly often overlap. For example, in the age of secularization both men and secularism are often defined as rational and women and religion as emotional and irrational. Another overlap refers to the public/private divide, which is salient in Western reasonings on both gender and religion, assigning the private sphere to women and religion and the public sphere to men and secularism. In this context, women have become central to definitions of cultural identity. On the one hand, this helps explain why almost everywhere in the world women tend to be more religious than men (Pew Research Center 2016). On the other hand, the construction of gender roles that assign women the role of the reproduction of the nation’s spiritual sphere and men the role to protect both of them helps explain why (mostly male) conservative religious authorities often see the need to protect traditional gender relations and therefore oppose the advancement of women’s rights (Donahoe 2017: 13). These dynamics demonstrate how powerful and pervasive ideas based on binaries are. They do, however, project a world in which femininity and masculinity, as well as religion and secularism, seem to be mutually exclusive concepts. Feminist scholarship and research on religion, by contrast, make us aware of the fact that one side cannot be fully understood without considering its relationship with the other. For instance, male dominance in the military cannot be explained without reference to the (stereotypical) binary between ‘male protectors’ and ‘female victims’ (Sjoberg and Tickner 2013: 175f); and the definition of secularism is tightly linked to different ideas of how religion should be managed, remade and reformed (Hurd 2017: 359). The parallels and overlaps between the two concepts of gender and religion in IR already suggest a close relationship. The next section therefore explores how a feminist perspective enriches studying the role of religion in IR.

A FEMINIST FRAMEWORK FOR STUDYING THE ROLE OF RELIGION IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Feminist research in IR involves ‘looking up and down’ (Sjoberg and Tickner 2013: 175), i.e. focusing on elements of both structure, such as norms and discourses, and agency (True 2010: 415). This perspective is useful when developing a framework for feminist research on religion in IR. It suggests considering international discourses about the interaction between religion and gender and their effects both on international norms and policies and on the lived experiences of (different groups of) women (and men). When reversing the perspective, the role of individual actors in supporting or challenging these international discourses and policies comes into view. For instance, in dominant international discourses on gender and religion there is a tendency to see women as ‘victims’ of religion, in contrast to men, who are considered to be agents within and representatives of their religions. This is primarily true for Islam: Muslim women are routinely portrayed by Western media as ‘bound by the unbreakable chains of

72  Handbook on religion and international relations religious and patriarchal oppression’ (Mahmood 2005: 7). In addition, there is a tendency to see religious authorities and minorities as corporate entities with too little attention for the question of whether their leaderships represent members and their needs equally (Phillips 2009: 45). Therefore, women are frequently not seen or acknowledged as agents within religious communities. This representation is further nurtured by the fact that most religions do not allow women to reach leadership positions within their structures (Donahoe 2017: 3ff). Consequently, men appear as ‘natural’ representatives of religion and women’s contributions and needs become invisible, while a focus on ‘official religion’ also tends to privilege orthodox and conservative, often patriarchal, readings of religion (Avishai et al. 2015; Woodhead 2008). Such a view can have serious political implications, for instance, when women are excluded from government attempts to engage religious actors in their foreign policies because they do not appear as influential actors. Or, on the other hand, if there is an overreliance on women in faith-based dialogue initiatives because they are seen as ‘naturally’ peaceful and cooperative, overlooking differences among women and unequal power relations on the ground constrain what these women can achieve. Contrary to hegemonic assumptions about women as victims and men as representatives of religion, women are not only subjugated within their religious communities, they also actively participate, thus both support and challenge religious norms and principles from within. Therefore, apart from international discourses and policies about gender and religion, a key question in feminist research on religion in IR should focus on the individual agency of women: ‘the need to respect the choices women make, not dismiss those of religious women as evidence of victim status or illustrating their false consciousness; but also the recognition that resistance takes many and subtle forms, and that what looks to an outsider like submission can sometimes be better understood as empowerment or subversion’ (Phillips 2009: 42). We also need to be careful not to frame religious experience and practices from a secular social science perspective of causality, i.e. seeing women’s participation in religion exclusively as motivated, for example, by protest and resistance against patriarchal norms, while for the women themselves it may primarily be about divinity, piety and virtue (Mahmood 2005; Phillips 2009: 42). Kelsy Burke (2012), accordingly, identifies four approaches of agency of religious women. These approaches include behaviours that are compliant with gender-traditionalist religious teachings for purely pious reasons or for more instrumental reasons, such as education or employment opportunities, recognition among peers or authority in the private sphere. Other women reinterpret religious doctrine and practices in ways that make them feel empowered in their everyday lives or even actively try to challenge and change some aspects of their religions from within. Taking the agency of religious women seriously requires taking their self-descriptions seriously and the meanings they themselves attach to their practices and beliefs (Phillips 2009: 43). For the feminist study of religion in IR, the last category of women’s participation in religion is particularly interesting: religious feminist movements and activism, although they seldom call themselves feminist (Antler 2020; Badran 2009; Henold 2008; Mir-Hosseini 2019; Moghadam 2002; Zwissler 2018). These have been crucial for changes within religious communities to happen. Without their activities, for example, many Protestant churches still would not recognize women as ministers, some of them even to become bishops, Reform Judaism would not allow women to serve as rabbis, some schools of Islam would not allow women to lead women-only congregations in prayer and the Catholic Church would not permit women to read lessons in mass and give communion wafers (Phillips 2009: 51f). Increased education

A feminist perspective on religion in international relations  73 has resulted in women increasingly using sacred texts to challenge restrictions of their agency imposed on them in the name of these same texts (Donahoe 2017: 5). The presence of feminist women within religious communities challenges the traditional practice of religious leaders speaking on behalf of all within their communities. Internal reform movements are an important way forward for change because they often are more credible to believers than coercion or accusations from outside their faith. At the same time, it may be too optimistic to solely rely on reform from within, because ‘internal reform is hardest to mobilize precisely where there is most need for it. The religions whose practices are currently most problematic for gender equality will be the very ones that block women or homosexuals from organizing for internal change’ (Phillips 2009: 52). In those cases, alliances between religious and non-religious activists and movements may be a promising way forward (Phillips 2009). The different roles of women within religions reflect the ‘political ambivalence of religion’ (Philpott 2007), or the ‘two faces of faith’ (Hurd 2015), which also appear in the context of gender equality. Religion can be a threat to gender equality, for instance, when religious leaders preach that women are inferior to men, that they must obey men and that their sexuality is a disruptive force that needs to be contained, although it also needs to be stressed that ‘[r]eligions have no monopoly on such representations’ (Phillips 2009: 39). But if they come from religion, they often have additional force. At the same time, as mentioned in the context of religious feminism, religion also can be, and has been, an inspiration of and ally in movements for women’s emancipation and gender equality. Consequently, ‘we can not represent religion as the nemesis of gender equality or secularism, understood as the complete separation of politics from religion, as the precondition for feminist politics’ (Phillips 2009: 41). Religion has served as a powerful tool for social control, subordinating and oppressing women (and non-dominant men), but it has also informed and supported different configurations of and possibilities for women’s agency as political actors (Donahoe 2017). Consequently, it is imperative to study the impact of international discourses around religion and gender on the lived experiences of women (and men), as well as the role of religious actors in sustaining, reproducing and challenging these discourses. The following two broad case studies take international phenomena and policies – international religious terrorism and counter-terrorism as well as global women’s rights governance – as examples to illustrate how a gender perspective can illuminate international discourses on religion and security and how considering religion enriches our understanding of global gender politics.

ILLUSTRATIVE CASE STUDIES Regarding the empirical areas that studies on gender and religion in IR have focused on, there is some overlap again. Both fields have shown interest in the area of international security, including violent conflicts and humanitarian intervention. Therefore, one of the case studies will focus on an obvious choice in this area, namely religious terrorism. The other case study explores the area of global governance, much less prominent in the study of religion in IR but promising, as will be demonstrated below, for studying the role of religion from a feminist perspective. I do not claim that these are the most, let alone only, relevant issues at the intersection of religion and gender in international politics, but they illustrate the added value of a feminist perspective when studying religion in IR.

74  Handbook on religion and international relations Transnational Religious Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism from a Feminist Perspective According to Nukhet Sandal and Jonathan Fox (2013), one potential avenue through which religion shapes international politics is through the presence of transnational religious issues and transnational religious movements (also Fox 2018). Religious terrorism is such an issue of international relevance and, as feminist and gender scholars have highlighted, it is highly gendered. Many violent extremist and terrorist organizations reward and absorb toxic forms of hyper-masculinity. The ideologies of religious terrorist groups, such as ISIS and al Qaeda, are furthermore bolstered by conservative interpretations of religious doctrine, based on the conviction that women must obey their male relatives and that their sexuality needs to be contained. Interestingly, the ideas of these groups that women’s religiosity and religious identity are private, whereas male religiosity and religious identity are public (performed in mosques, street prayers, violence, legal and political authority), are remarkably similar to the public/ private divide in Western beliefs, just that the conceptualization of the public sphere differs markedly (Brown 2020a: 299). Due to these ideologies and the often egregious violence against women and violation of their rights perpetrated by groups like ISIS or Boko Haram, women have primarily been perceived as victims of religious terrorism, not as perpetrators. However, the academic, political and media perception of women in the context of (religious) terrorism is not only driven by what terrorists do but by gendered ideologies themselves (Auer et al. 2019; Brown 2011, 2020b; Narozhna and Knight 2016). Even though women have been involved in terrorism for a long time, including as informers, collaborators, recruiters, bait, shields, bombers and logisticians, women’s contribution to terrorism was long neglected in both research and politics. Only after prominent cases of female suicide bombings received international attention, did terrorism studies, political experts and the media start to pay attention to female terrorism. Yet, rather than applying a gender perspective to the whole field, this new attention has primarily focused on ‘women’s terrorism’ as an exceptional phenomenon. Like the original disregard for the topic, the widespread belief that there is something exceptional about violent women can be explained by the fact that women are indeed underrepresented in terrorist organizations, but primarily by the fact that they challenge gender stereotypes and essentialist understandings of womanhood, which make us belief that women are naturally and inherently peaceful and caring rather than violent (Auer et al. 2019: 283; Brown 2020b). This has led to stereotypical, reductionist narratives in mainstream terrorism research and in the media about a phenomenon that, in reality, is much more complex (Narozhna and Knight 2016). In Western media, for example, even though women’s roles in terrorism continue to be understated, female terrorists receive disproportionate media attention compared to male terrorists, and media frames used to portray female terrorists differ from those used to cover male terrorism. They focus primarily on the personal lives and problems of these women in the context of sexuality and motherhood. For example, they explain these women’s slipping into terrorism with desperation or frustration due to infertility, loss of loved ones, or divorce or deviance due to adultery. Another media frame focuses on mental illness or instability as a cause for female terrorism, or they cast women in support roles, manipulated by a husband or lover to perpetrate violence (Brown 2011; Brunner 2005; Friedman 2008). ‘In these cases, and many more like them, female terrorists are portrayed as driven to violence because of

A feminist perspective on religion in international relations  75 a dysfunctional gender identity’ (Auer et al. 2019: 284). Similar dynamics can be found in mainstream terrorism research, which frequently draws on essentialized representations of male agency and female victimhood to render female suicide bombings intelligible (Narozhna and Knight 2016). These representations do not only deny women political motives; they also discursively reproduce gendered power relations and reinforce myths about the public/private divide. Research based on the accounts of Muslim women, by contrast, has demonstrated that it usually is religious devotion, political aspiration and a sense of solidarity and dignity that motivate them to join and support terrorist groups (Brown 2020a: 295ff; Holt 2010). But, ‘despite behaving “like men”, there is a mainstream refusal to link female participation in terrorism to self-aware and agentive political devotion to a cause, despite the fact that it is a “good enough” explanation in the case of men’s choice of terrorism’ (Brown 2020b: 14). Katherine Brown (2020b: 14) explains this refusal with underpinning liberal assumptions about agency, which deny women agency who do not act in support of emancipatory politics, such as the female terrorist participating in a terrorist group which denies women basic rights, like ISIS. Religion, and primarily Islam, is an additional variable that is used to undergird these narratives and cast female terrorists as ‘others’ and ‘outsiders’ (Brunner 2007; Narozhna and Knight 2016: 162), including in the case of converts sharing a white European heritage, such as Muriel Degauque (Brown 2011) or Samantha Lewthwaite (Auer et al. 2019).4 By emphasizing Muslim women’s domesticity, and their lack of rights, freedoms and opportunities, religion is used to further bolster narratives about women’s passivity and victimhood while erasing their status as political subjects (Narozhna and Knight 2016: 166). These essentialized understandings of femininity and masculinity in the context of religious terrorism have political implications. They inform, for example, counter-radicalization and deradicalization programmes in which governments and agencies worldwide have invested to prevent terrorism. Most of these programmes were initiated sometime after 9/11 and focus primarily, even though not exclusively, on Muslims and Muslim communities; and, as Katherine Brown (2020b) in her comprehensive study has revealed, they are highly gendered. Particularly the notion of a hyper-sexualized, protective masculinity and passive and nurturing femininity inform many of these programmes. Male radicalization is often unreflectively linked to an excessive but flawed masculinity, and women’s radicalization to orientalist stereotypes about passivity and subjugation, as women are presumed to be groomed. Solutions for male deradicalization therefore hinge on ideals of masculinity that few men can obtain; women’s deradicalization is seen as a rescue mission, that most women neither need, nor want. It also means ‘that antiradicalization programs are woefully underequipped to meet the needs of women members of radical groups seeking exit strategies’ (Brown 2020b: 10). Overall, the failure to explore and engage with the underlying notions of femininity and masculinity that shape the behaviours of female and male terrorists limits the potential of these programmes to prevent political violence (Brown 2020b). The case of religious terrorism and its prevention is a good example of the gendering of common understandings of an international religious phenomenon that does not only have implications for the women and men directly involved in political violence but for those potentially targeted by terrorist groups as well. Essentialized understandings of gender and religion inform political programmes and do not only render them less effective but also reproduce unequal gender relations in which women are perceived and treated as apolitical dependants of male agents.

76  Handbook on religion and international relations In marked contrast to these presumptions, the following case study highlights the often underexplored agency of religious women in IR. Religious Actors in International Women’s Rights Governance Religion shapes international politics primarily through state and non-state actors whose religious beliefs shape their worldviews and who use ideas about religion or religious imagery to persuade others of their policies (Fox 2018; Haynes 2013; Sandal and Fox 2013; Sheikh 2012; Toft 2013). Religious states, activists and transnational actors have also been involved in global women’s rights governance, where they have primarily been perceived as opponents of gender equality, whereas the actions of religious women’s rights activists and feminists often remain unnoticed. A cornerstone of the global women’s rights regime is CEDAW, which will serve as a focal point for the following analysis. CEDAW, adopted in 1979 and in force since 1981, is an international treaty that is binding for all state parties and aims at the elimination of discrimination against women in both public and private life. While ratified by almost all states worldwide – apart from the United States, Iran, Sudan, Somalia and a few small island states, many state parties have done so subject to reservations. By August 2020, 61 state parties still had reservations in place. Almost half of these states, and those with the most far-reaching reservations, were Muslim-majority countries or countries with plural religious personal status laws, such as India and Israel. Many of these reservations were directed against the obligation to make legal changes according to the convention (art. 2) and to realize equality in family law and marriage (art. 16), because they allegedly were not compatible with religious law. This situation has nurtured the assumption that religion, and particularly Islam, is a major opponent to women’s rights (Cole 2013). There has not been much systematic research on CEDAW in Muslim or religiously pluralist countries. The little that is there does suggest that conservative religious actors often oppose the domestic realization of international women’s rights. In Jordan and Afghanistan, for example, conservative religious authorities as well as men and women from Islamist parties have opposed the ratification and implementation of CEDAW and accused it of Western imperialism attempting to destruct the country’s religion and families (Alatiyat and Barari 2010; Farhoumand-Sims 2009). In Nigeria, religious leaders and parliamentarians, both Christian and Muslim, similarly expressed their opposition against CEDAW’s provisions on equality in the family, in marriage and inheritance as Western feminist imposition incompatible with Nigerian cultural and religious traditions (Adamu and Para-Mallam 2012: 809f). In Sudan, one of the few states that has not ratified CEDAW, female legislators from Islamist parties have regarded CEDAW as standing against Sharia law and conflicting with Islam. Interestingly, they nevertheless have advocated for women’s political participation, equal opportunities to education and work and equal pay for equal work, but as rooted in Islam and not in Western feminism. They argued, for example, that due to women’s and men’s biological differences and the need to have ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ elements represented in decision making, political measures to ensure women’s representation in parliament would be needed. Their initiative to introduce an electoral gender quota consequently did not face any counter-mobilization by conservative politicians (Tønnessen and al-Nagar 2013: 126). Even though CEDAW is supposed to further the rights of all women, in Sudan it has become a major battleground among women’s rights activists, who are divided over the issue of whether the country should ratify CEDAW or not (Tønnessen and al-Nagar 2013: 129).

A feminist perspective on religion in international relations  77 Due to the opposition from religious actors for both religious reasons and accusations of Western imperialism, scholars conducting research on CEDAW in Muslim countries argue that women’s rights struggles in these countries need to be mindful of the importance of religion for large parts of the population, including women, and therefore should draw on local religious discourses to make CEDAW resonant in these countries (El-Masri 2012; Farhoumand-Sims 2009). Levitt and Merry Engle’s (2009) concept of ‘vernacularization’ of international women’s rights is useful in this context because it emphasizes that, to be adopted and implemented locally, human rights ideas must resonate with existing ideologies. By framing women’s rights discourses according to local meanings and institutions, rights receive legitimacy and thus are less likely to be seen as external impositions. In Afghanistan, for example, women’s organizations organized trainings on CEDAW in which a close reading of the Convention led to a ‘collective and determined assessment that these principles could be applied in a culturally and religiously appropriate manner [which] served to overcome many of the initial concerns, skepticism and doubts’ (Farhoumand-Sims 2009: 148). In Iran, the Women’s Faction, a bloc of 13 reform-minded women within parliament at the beginning of the 2000s, proposed the ratification of CEDAW. They stressed the compatibility of CEDAW and Islam, invoking Islamic ideas such as egalitarianism and humanitarianism, and thus achieved both the support of some Islamic clerics and most of parliament. In the end it was the Guardian Council, tasked with ensuring the compatibility of legislation passed by parliament with Islam and the state’s constitution, which used its veto power to prevent Iran from ratifying CEDAW (Barlow and Akbarzadeh 2008: 28f). In Sudan, a small feminist movement has argued for the ratification of CEDAW, including both religious and non-religious women, employing religious arguments to champion legal reforms. As Tønnessen and al-Nagar (2013: 128) observe: ‘This is partly a pragmatic move to counter the government attempts to sideline them as “Western” and thus foreign to Sudanese culture whereby they try to abolish the distinction between opposition to the state and opposition to Islam. It is also partly an Islamic feminist project which genuinely believes that gender equality is part and parcel of the religious sources.’ Cases of women’s rights campaigns in Nigeria demonstrate how important engagement with religious actors and discourses are in the context of women’s rights. In the first half of the 2000s, women’s rights organizations advocated for a law that would have incorporated CEDAW provisions into national law. The coalition, however, was not successful because it had underestimated the opposition from different religious authorities and communities. As Adamu and Para-Mallam (2012: 810) in their research found out, even though faith-based women’s organizations were involved, ‘few attempts had been made by those involved in the campaign to investigate the views of faith communities and engage with them and their leaders to explain the content of the bill, address the contentious issues included in it, and solicit their support’. The neglect of potential religious opposition turned out to be a tactical error, because other women’s rights campaigns in which religious leaders and organizations had been involved more closely, such as against the maltreatment of widows in Anambra State, proved to be more successful (Adamu and Para-Mallam 2012). As mentioned above, religious feminist activists and organizations are important actors in these struggles. A prominent example of such a transnational organization is Musawah, a ‘Global Movement for Equality and Justice in the Muslim Family’,5 that fights for gender justice and equality from within the Islamic tradition. Musawah is modelled on the successful Malaysian organization Sisters in Islam. As one of the founders of Musawah said in an inter-

78  Handbook on religion and international relations view, their ‘ambition is to multiply and amplify this voice at an international level’ (Segran 2013: 13). Musawah’s activities are based on the claim that ‘patriarchy within Muslim countries is a result of the way male interpreters have read Islamic texts’ (Segran 2013: 13; see also Mir-Hosseini 2019). Musawah, therefore, encourages Muslim women to shape interpretations, norms and laws that affect their lives and to push for legal reforms in their countries. The organization also actively engages with the CEDAW committee by attending sessions and providing oral and written statements on different Muslim countries.6 Their strategy of bringing together international women’s rights law and feminist interpretations of religion has the potential of giving CEDAW resonance among religious women and within religious societies. Even if these religious feminist initiatives are not successful, debates around CEDAW often have more indirect effects. Despite frequent opposition by religious parties they nevertheless can contribute to their gradual opening towards more gender equality. In Jordan, for example, the official view within the Islamist movement on women’s political representation shifted from strict objection to the nomination of women for elections and the highest party bodies (Alatiyat and Barari 2010). After the debates on CEDAW, some Islamists even acknowledged that women needed access to basic civil and political rights, such as access to education, property, the right to choose their future husband and the right to inheritance, as well as the right to vote and to run for office to fulfil the ‘unique role women play in fighting all forms of normalization and westernization’ (Alatiyat and Barari 2010: 375f). In Kuwait, the ratification of CEDAW and surrounding debates have led to a change in discourse increasingly incorporating talk about the discrimination against women in the Islamist press and among Islamist politicians, which has paved the way for political women’s rights initiatives (George 2020). These examples of how religious actors shape debates about the implementation of CEDAW, the main cornerstone of the international women’s rights regime, reveal the ‘political ambivalence of religion’ (Philpott 2007) with respect to gender equality. Rather than counting religion as the main opposition to ‘secular’ women’s rights, they elucidate the importance to engage with religious supporters and to frame CEDAW in ways that are resonant with local religious discourses and traditions.

CONCLUSIONS The literature on religion and gender in comparative politics is vast. The same cannot be said about research on gender and religion on issues relevant to IR, such as international security or global governance, despite the many parallels between the development of the two concepts in the discipline. Yet, applying a feminist perspective that, on the one hand, examines the impact of international discourses on gender and religion on both policies and the relations between women and men on the ground and, on the other hand, analyses the impact of religious activists, including feminist ones, on international discourses, norms and policies is a promising way forward to closing this gap. The two cases in this chapter – transnational religious terrorism and efforts to prevent it, and religious actors, both conservative and feminist, and how they shape the implementation of CEDAW – illustrate the added value that such a perspective could bring to both research on religion and on gender in IR. It can reveal how perceptions of international phenomena relevant to the study of religion are gendered and what implications that may have both for the impact of policies designed to address these phenomena and for the lives of women (and men) involved. It also brings to the fore the varying ways in which

A feminist perspective on religion in international relations  79 religious actors of different political stripes shape international gender discourses, norms and policies both at the international level and at home. The latter does not mean that IR scholars should distinguish between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ religion – we know about the negative implications such a discourse can have on those affiliated with religion (Brown 2020b). Instead, it should make IR scholars and practitioners aware of the heterogeneity existing within religions, also with respect to views on gender equality. The main dividing line in battles about gender equality runs between patriarchal and authoritarian structures, on the one hand, and egalitarian, pluralist and democratic ideologies and forces on the other, rather than the ‘religious’ and the ‘secular’ (Bayes and Tohidi 2001; Mir-Hosseini 2019). More research is needed to develop a more systematic understanding of the feminist implications of international discourses and policies on religion and the religious contributions to the reproduction and challenging of international discourses and policies on gender. Obvious objects of study include violent conflicts, humanitarian intervention and immigration, as well as a further exploration of how religious actors shape global women’s rights governance. How, for example, have the conservative Catholic–Muslim alliance active since the United Nations World Conferences on Population in Cairo (1993) and on Women in Beijing (1995) (Bayes and Tohidi 2001; Karam 2017) and religious feminists, such as Musawah or Catholics for Choice,7 shaped debates on gender equality and women’s rights at international review conferences, and the implementation of CEDAW and the United Nations’ Women, Peace and Security agenda? These would be some obvious choices to advance a feminist agenda in the study of religion in IR. Yet, since gender and religion are, as mentioned earlier, constitutive of IR, it can be expected that there are a range of other topics that could benefit from such a perspective as well.

NOTES 1. It needs to be emphasized here that all feminists study ‘gender’ but that not all scholars who study ‘gender’ refer to themselves as feminists. 2. The term ‘sex’, by contrast, is usually used to refer to the biological differences between women and men. However, in the context of increasing recognition of the phenomenon of intersexuality, it needs to be noted that the distinction between just two sexes is based on a social construction as well. If taking biological criteria seriously, more sexes occur in nature. The belief that only two sexes are ‘normal’ is based on cultural standards placed on how a female and a male are supposed to look, not on biology (Fausto-Sterling 2012). 3. The rights of gays, lesbians, bi-, trans- and intersexuals, similar to those of women, often are at stake when religion becomes politicized internationally (Picq and Thiel 2015; Symons and Altman 2015). These dynamics would merit their own chapter. Given space constraints, this chapter focuses primarily on the relations between women and men without considering the sexual dimension in this relationship. 4. Muriel Degauque, a Belgian convert to Islam, was reported as Europe’s first female suicide bomber, who blew herself up in November 2005 against a United States military convey south of Baghdad. Samantha Lewthwaite, a British convert to Islam and wife of one of the male terrorists who perpetrated the London Underground bombings in July 2005, was allegedly involved in the terrorist attack executed by Al-Shabaab on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi in September 2013. 5. See www​.musawah​.org/​. 6. Search for CEDAW on Musawah’s website for more information (www​.musawah​.org). 7. Catholics for Choice is an organization in the United States with a network of sister organizations throughout Latin America and presence in Europe that challenges the teachings of the Catholic

80  Handbook on religion and international relations Church on sexuality and reproductive rights (more information available on their website: www​ .catholicsforchoice​.org/​).

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A feminist perspective on religion in international relations  81 George, Rachel (2020), The Impact of International Human Rights Law Ratification on Local Discourses on Rights: The Case of CEDAW in Al-Anba Reporting in Kuwait. In: Human Rights Review, 21, 43–64. Hassner, Ron E. (2011), Religion and International Affairs: The State of the Art. In: James, Patrick (ed.), Religion, Identity and Global Governance: Ideas, Evidence and Practice, University of Toronto Press, 37–56. Hawkesworth, Mary (2013), Sex, Gender, and Sexuality: From Naturalized Presumption to Analytical Categories. In: Waylen, Georgina et al. (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Gender and Politics, Oxford University Press, 31–56. Haynes, Jeffrey (2013), An Introduction to International Relations and Religion, 2nd ed., Routledge. Henold, Mary J. (2008), Catholic and Feminist: The Surprising History of the American Catholic Feminist Movement, University of North Carolina Press. Holt, Maria (2010), The Unlikely Terrorist: Women and Islamic Resistance in Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories. In: Critical Studies on Terrorism, 3(3), 365–82. Hurd, Elizabeth Shakman (2008), The Politics of Secularism in International Relations, Princeton University Press. Hurd, Elizabeth Shakman (2015), Beyond Religious Freedom: The New Global Politics of Religion, Princeton University Press. Hurd, Elizabeth Shakman (2017), Religion and Secularism. In: Devetak, Richard, Jim George and Sarah Percy (eds), An Introduction to International Relations, 3rd ed., Cambridge University Press, 356–70. Karam, Azza (2017), Positions on Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Muslim-Majority Countries and Institutions: A Telling Indication of Things to Come? In: Development in Practice, 27(5), 698–707. Kirby, Paul (2017), Gender. In: Baylis, John, Steve Smith and Patricia Owens (eds), The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations, Oxford University Press, 269–84. Lee-Koo, Katrina (2017), Feminism. In: Devetak, Richard, Jim George and Sarah Percy (eds), An Introduction to International Relations, 3rd ed., Cambridge University Press, 79–93. Levitt, Peggy, and Sally Merry Engle (2009), Vernacularization on the Ground: Local Uses of Global Women’s Rights in Peru, China, India and the United States. In: Global Networks, 9(4), 441–61. Mahmood, Saba (2005), Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject, Princeton University Press. Mir-Hosseini, Ziba (2019), The Challenges of Islamic Feminism. In: Gender a výzkum/Gender and Research, 20(2), 108–22. Moghadam, Valentine (2002), Islamic Feminism and Its Discontents. In: Signs, 27(4), 1135–71. Narozhna, Tanya, and W. Andy Knight (2016), Female Suicide Bombings: A Critical Gender Approach, University of Toronto Press. Pew Research Center (2016), The Gender Gap in Religion around the World, www​.pewforum​.org/​2016/​ 03/​22/​the​-gender​-gap​-in​-religion​-around​-the​-world/​ (accessed: 17 July 2020). Phillips, Anne (2009), Religion: Ally, Threat or Just Religion? In: UNRISD and Heinrich Böll Stiftung (eds), A Debate on the Public Role of Religion and Its Social and Gender Implications, Gender and Development Programme Paper No. 5, September, Geneva. Philpott, Daniel (2007), Explaining the Political Ambivalence of Religion. In: American Political Science Review, 101(3), 505–25. Philpott, Daniel (2009), Has the Study of Global Politics Found Religion? In: Annual Review of Political Science, 12, 183–202. Picq, Manuela Lavinas, and Markus Thiel, eds (2015), Sexualities in World Politics: How LGBTQ Claims Shape International Relations, Routledge. Sandal, Nukhet, and Jonathan Fox (2013), Religion in International Relations Theory: Interactions and Possibilities, Routledge. Segran, Elizabeth (2013), The Rise of the Islamic Feminists. In: The Nation, December 23/30, 12–18. Sheikh, Mona Kanwal (2012), How Does Religion Matter? Pathways to Religion in International Relations. In: Review of International Studies, 38(2), 365–92. Sjoberg, Laura, and J. Ann Tickner (2013), Feminist Perspectives on International Relations. In: Carlsnaes, Walter, Thomas Risse and Beth A. Simmons (eds), Handbook of International Relations, 2nd ed., Sage, 170–94. Steans, Jill (2013), Gender and International Relations: Theory, Practice, Policy, 3rd ed., Polity Press.

82  Handbook on religion and international relations Symons, Jonathan, and Dennis Altman (2015), International Norm Polarization: Sexuality as a Subject of Human Rights Protection. In: International Theory, 7(1), 61–95. Tickner, J. Ann (2001), Gendering World Politics: Issues and Approaches in the Post-Cold War Era, Columbia University Press. Toft, Monica Duffy (2013), Religion and International Relations Theory. In: Carlsnaes, Walter, Thomas Risse and Beth A. Simmons (eds), Handbook of International Relations, 2nd ed., Sage, 673–91. Tønnessen, Liv, and Samia al-Nagar (2013), The Women’s Quota in Conflict-Ridden Sudan: Ideological Battles for and against Gender Equality. In: Women’s Studies International Forum, 41, 122–31. True, Jacqui (2010), The Ethics of Feminism. In: Reus-Smit, Christian, and Duncan Snidal (eds), The Oxford Handbook of International Relations, Oxford University Press, 408–21. Whitworth, Sandra (2010), Feminism. In: Reus-Smit, Christian, and Duncan Snidal (eds), The Oxford Handbook of International Relations, Oxford University Press, 391–407. Woodhead, Linda (2008), Gendering Secularization Theory. In: Social Compass, 55(2), 187–93. Youngs, Gillian (2004), Feminist International Relations: A Contradiction in Terms? Or: Why Women and Gender Are Essential to Understanding the World ‘We’ Live In. In: International Affairs, 80(1), 75–87. Zwissler, Laurel (2018), Religious, Feminist, Activist: Cosmologies of Interconnection, University of Nebraska Press.

6. Political Islam and international relations theory Jocelyne Cesari

Scholars of political science tend to address religion as either an independent or dependent variable. The most prominent example of the former is the clash of civilizations theory which asserts that conflicts result from clashes across civilizations and religions. However, social scientists have proven that the clash of civilizations perspective fails to properly understand conflicts based on religion and culture since the most intense conflicts happen within civilizations (Fox 2019; Grim and Finke 2010). Data actually show that religious homogeneity increases conflicts and the probability of religion’s politicization. In the same vein, security studies, which dominates the study of religion in international relations, apprehends religion as the main if not the primary cause of terrorist activities worldwide without systematically taking into account the context in which radicalization of religion is happening. On the opposite end of the spectrum stands the body of literature that analyses religion as the dependent variable, most significantly social movement theories. Scholars in this group rightly point out that religion is only one aspect of political mobilization (McAdam and Snow 2010; Tarrow 1998), but they do not really address this religious dimension by reducing it to a tool at the hands of political leaders to frame their strategy. All in all such a dichotomy posits the study of religion and politics in a binary alternative that does not reflect the fluidity and the diversity of the roles of religion in politics and vice versa. If one agrees that religion is neither good nor bad, or to put it in Alfred Stepan’s (2000) term “multivocal,” the question is: when and how does religion play a role in politics? I have contended that the role of religion in politics is better understood as a continuous set of interactions between institutions, actors, and ideas in different national and international contexts. The scale to conduct this investigation on religion is not the individual but the community level. In this respect, I suggest going back to the basics of sociology to approach religion as a societal community. It is then easier to capture tensions or alliances between religious communities and the modern political community, i.e. the nation. I will apply this approach to the understanding of political Islam in international relations through the examples of Turkey and Egypt.

RELIGION AND NATION AS INTERSECTIONAL COMMUNITIES In order to apprehend the role of religion in politics and vice versa, the scale of analysis cannot be simply individuals but also the community. That is when the challenges start, because individualism and freedom of choice – as key elements of liberal democracies – have become the standard to evaluate the role of religion in society, hence marginalizing if not illegitimizing its influence on politics. 83

84  Handbook on religion and international relations It is, however, worth recalling that Emile Durkheim (1995), one of the founding fathers of sociology, considered religion as the crucial community to ensure social cohesion. In fact, he shows that in premodern times there was no clear distinction between politics and religion. The political stability of the whole group was ensured through shared symbols, taboos, and prescriptions defined as the sacred, while mundane personal matters were profane. In this perspective religious communities were in the Aristotelian sense political, meaning that the polis as the community of reference for a given group was structured by religious beliefs or institutions. With modernization, the secular versus religious divide took over the sacred/profane (Casanova 2019; Cesari 2021). In Latin, saeculum initially meant a fixed period of time around 100 years, which evolved into “century” in the Romance languages. It is only after the war of religions that it was contrasted to the world’s temporal age from God’s eternal realm (Mendieta and Beaumont 2018), hence referring to anything, including politics, that was not in this eternal realm. Though the secular/religious divide displaced the sacred/profane one, the sacred has not vanished in modern political communities. Rather, it now refers to both religious and political symbols, such as flags, national anthems, shrines, memorials, and rituals. The interplay between the secular and the religious is never-ending and shapes the modern role of religion in politics and vice versa. The issue is that the focus of scholars of politics on state–religion institutional relations often leads to the misguided perception of intrinsic and fixed religious/ secular and political/religious divides. Simultaneously, the political/religious opposition has been cemented into the various secular ideologies as the separation of church and state and state neutrality regarding religion. The secular versus religious has also reinforced the perception of the nation as the essential political community across time, while it is only the modern expression of the polis. In fact, the modern community that is the nation has reshaped the societal aspirations of religious groups and continuously intersects or competes with the religious communities, as I will discuss below. Asserting the modern character of religion does not mean, however, neglect or denial of the past. In this respect, nation as the foundational community of modern politics cannot be apprehended through the polarization that dominates the study of nationalism: with on one hand the adepts of the primordialist approach (Kedourie 2002) that emphasizes culture or bloodline and, on the other hand, the constructivists or modernists (Anderson 1983; Gellner 2006; Hobsbawm 1990) for whom nation as “imagined community” is the outcome of modernization processes. Nations, however, are neither totally inherited nor constructed. Cultural, ethnic, and religious features of groups certainly persist throughout successive historical periods. This continuity, however, does not entail sameness or perpetuation of the meanings given to symbols, rituals, or practices since the foundation of the group. In the same vein, the imagined community of the constructivist approach is not entirely satisfactory because it operates on a very “thin” conception of organic social cohesion, which is that people are brought together primarily by structural changes in material production and political power (Marx 2005). Although at first glance it seems that my position falls on the modernist side, it in fact is an attempt to move away from this polarity by adopting the historical sociology of nations created by Norbert Elias (1994). In this perspective, the nation is a collective consciousness and sets of institutions built on historical processes which continuously transform what people see as inherent and essential features which make them say “we” (Elias 1994). The nation is the modern expression of the political community because it combines two features: self-consciousness

Political Islam and international relations theory  85 and self-determination that are not found in past political communities (empires, cities, tribes). It means that equal rights of all individuals are foundational to the modern nation and cannot operate without the political sovereignty of all the people. In other words, nation is the modern political community founded on equality and popular sovereignty. Such a position cannot be dismissed as modernist since historians have shown that modern nations are not simply the outcome of material processes or constructed from scratch but instead build on inherited features which are refashioned to make the principles of equality and sovereignty meaningful. This modern meaning of nation is obscured by the fact that the term “nation” is loosely used to refer to perennial ethnic-religious groups and that the term “state” is similarly used for any form of political institution. For this reason, keeping in mind the relevance of ethnicity and shared culture is indeed a worthy enterprise, as long as we do not fall into the trap of “amalgamating different cultural or ethno-political communities across millennia which can easily lead to facile homogenization of varied phenomena.” As astutely noted by Suny (2014, 110): “For many decades (and at no time more than with the advent of the constructivist paradigm) scholars have been dedicated to characterizing what existed in ancient, medieval and pre-modern times and elaborating how it differed from nations in the age of nationalism and nation-states.” As expressed by Roger Friedland (2002, 386): “Nationalism is not merely an ideology; it is also a set of discursive practices by which the territorial identity of a state and the cultural identity of the people whose collective representation it claims are constituted as a singular fact.” Although nationalism offers a form of representation, it does not determine the context of the representation itself or the identity of the represented population, whether it be civic, liberal, ethnic, and/or religious (Pickel 2004). For that reason, the nation-state is more than the sum of its policies. While state policies and state institutions are indeed crucial to the analysis of politics and religion, they do not account for the entire spectrum of their interactions. That is why I refer to the Foucauldian concept of “governmentality,” which emphasizes the connection between techniques of individual socialization (governing of the self) and techniques of domination (governing others) (Foucault 2010). In other words, governmentality refers to different procedures for regulating human behaviors, which is not in any way limited to state actions or policies. In fact, state actions are not decipherable outside the ingrained acceptation of these societal techniques by citizens. Therefore, policies can be explained by analyzing the sets of acquired ideas, emotions, codes of behaviors, and social etiquette that people in a given territory associate with political power, political community, and religion. In this perspective, religion becomes a significant mode of power, not only through state policies but also bodies of knowledge, ideas, etiquettes, protocols, and narratives associated with religion even by people who do not believe. To sum up, how we say “We” today is the result of different layers of education and socialization within this particular space called the nation which has changed all identities, ideas, and practices, including the religious ones. These theoretical premises imply to search for changes in meanings of key conceptions of law, community, and sovereignty that inform both religious and political actions. Building on historical research, the goal is then to examine the influence of the nation-state as the modern political community that has affected these meanings. To do so, it is key to identify sequences or phases when events create new modes of interaction between religious community and national community. Changes of meaning over significant periods of time therefore shed light on the competition for power between different actors and institutions, political and religious.

86  Handbook on religion and international relations Consequently, any investigation of politics and religion entails some form of conceptual history. Research on political Islam discussed below will illustrate the use of these theories and methods.

HISTORICAL DIMENSION OF THE POLITICIZATION OF ISLAM Two main interpretations of political Islam dominate the field: one contends that it is decipherable from the tenets of the Islamic tradition, the other that it is essentially a modern phenomenon with no connection with the Islamic religion. There are two major issues with both approaches. The first issue is either the overemphasis or neglect of religion that pitches Islamicists against the political scientists, which is another iteration of the independent versus dependent variable discussed above. Interestingly, political scientists and Islamicists share the second issue: which is to dismiss or misuse history. The dismissal of history is to assert the incompatibility between past and present. For example, Wael Hallaq (2012) argues that the “modern state is a bad fit for Muslims” due to the incompatibility and contradictions between “Islamic governance” and the “Western” modern state. In his view, the European invention of a sovereign modern state goes against the “Islamic state,” which is organized “organically” around God’s sovereignty and with shari’a as the moral code. Islamic politics is therefore solely confined to “executive rulers of rotating dynasties … external to the embryonic tight embrace between jurists and community.” The organizing principle of life is the individual Muslim’s “care of the self” and adherence to the shari’a (Hallaq 2012, 272). One may object that the same assessment could be made of premodern Judaism or Catholicism while we know that both traditions have evolved to adjust or embrace the state (Taylor 2007; Yadgar 2017). This dismissal of history therefore may be relevant from the perspective of political theory but cannot address the question: How can we account for the ideological, cultural, and theological debates in Muslim societies (not to mention religious behaviors as well) that, since the eighteenth century, have tried to do exactly what Hallaq considers incompatible and have not always failed? The misuse of history, by contrast, creates a continuity between past and present. For example, Ahmet Kuru (2019) analyzes why Muslim-majority countries have higher levels of authoritarianism and lower levels of socio-economic development compared to world averages. He looks back to the eleventh century and sheds light on the alliance at the time between the ulema and “military states” which, in his view, is key to understanding contemporary Muslim politics. In this view, this alliance crippled intellectual and economic creativity in the Muslim world by marginalizing the bourgeois class. It is this “ulema–state alliance” since medieval periods that prevents creativity and authoritarianism in Muslim states to this day. In the same vein, Powell (2020) examines Islamic law states, comparing and contrasting the Islamic legal tradition with international law. She identifies the elements of “the Islamic legal tradition” which are compatible with modern international law to conclude that the two “inherently dynamic and ever-evolving legal systems share more similarities than they are given credit for by the policy world and by many scholars” (Powell 2020, 6). Both the dismissal and misuse of histories are problematic because they ignore the crucial changes brought to the Islamic legal tradition, ulemas, etc. by the national community and

Political Islam and international relations theory  87 confuse state with all forms of political power. The end result is anachronism, i.e. attributing current meanings of politics and religion to past phenomena that were not politically salient or even understood as such – for example, looking at separation of religion and politics in imperial China or the Ottoman Empire when this concept did not really exist, or referring to political power in tsarist Russia or Moghul India as “state.” Such anachronism leads to functionalist arguments such as “because there is no separation of religion and politics in Islam, Islam is by definition political,” or Hinduism is by definition tolerant. Additionally, the misuse of history allows for functionalist/teleological arguments. As Lawrence (2013, 7) puts it: “Hindsight can thus produce biased explanations. Knowledge of the outcome can lead one to erroneously believe that preferences for the outcome caused it to happen, even when the existence of such preferences has to be assumed.” For example, using authoritarianism as a concept that applies in the same way to medieval empires and modern states. Conceptual history provides an alternative to identify the significant changes in meaning and institutions that are key to the contemporary competition between national community and religious community. Although sometimes apprehended as “a style of political theorizing” (Palonen 2002), conceptual history can also be more modestly a reserve of methodological tools which allows the tracing of major changes in the meanings of terms that otherwise on the surface remain the same, such as shari’a, jihad, maslaha, etc. (Hampsher-Monk et al. 1998; Richter 1995; see also Ball 1988; Tully 1988). These transformations are part of a broader change in institutions, policies, forms of legitimacy, etc., which reveal competition for and contestation of the distribution in political power. In other words, politicization of religion is better captured through the conflictual meanings underlying narratives, institutions, and policies, i.e. when people fight and compete to impose one particular meaning of community, law, secularism, etc. over others in order to achieve dominance. Each sequence of discord ends with a temporary equilibrium on which politics from elections to public policies or mobilizations can be enacted. Political change is therefore the outcome of competition of power between different actors and ideas which operate in all social arenas including theology, religious identities and practices and not only through state actions. In this perspective, there is no such thing as two separate political and religious entities but, instead, continuous interactions between actors, ideas, and institutions to renegotiate the boundaries between the religious and the political at different historical moments. Consequently, referring to this situation as postsecularity (Abeysekara 2008; Habermas 2006) is deceiving because it implies that secularism has ended as if it were a stable and fixed entity across time. In fact, the conceptual history tells us that, since the “division of labor” between politics and religion instituted at the end of the War of Religions through the Westphalian treaty, the domain and boundaries of the secular have continuously shifted across political contexts. The issue is that we are not able to apprehend this tug of war between religious and political communities because modern political orders have been built on the idea of religion as apolitical in its essence, hence making it at best the occasional interloper or at worst the “intruder” in political affairs (Walhof 2013). The additional challenge is that this conception of religion has been exported everywhere with the expansion of the Westphalian system. It means that it has been endorsed by national elites in multiple cultural contexts and has therefore displaced what people considered their community (Cesari 2021).

88  Handbook on religion and international relations In these conditions, modern politicization of Islam is the outcome of the decisive sequence opened by Western imperialism and the ensuing adoption of the nation-state as “the” political community. I will address below the changes brought to concepts and institutions inherited from the past that are at the center of the Islamic contentions of politics today.

NATION BUILDING AS THE CRITICAL JUNCTURE OF POLITICAL ISLAM The primary role of the state is to regulate social behaviors within the national community. Such regulation may interfere with alternative collective identities and the fact that people are not only citizens, but also part of cultural, ethnic, and religious groups. As a result, conflicts can arise when their “other” collective identities challenge or do not fit within the acceptable social behaviors sanctioned by the state in the national community. On the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the building of nation-states in Muslim lands led to an unprecedented tension between Islamic belonging and national belonging, hence making the nationalization of Islam a never-ending political issue while establishing the state as a major agent of Muslimness.1 In most Muslim countries, national identity was forged by state leaders through different procedures and religious choices, to the extent that it is more relevant to speak of a “state-nation” rather than “nation-state” (Stepan et al. 2011). The preeminence of the state can be observed throughout all nation-building processes, but what is specific to the colonial and postcolonial ones is the extremely rapid changes initiated by the state elites. There was no Turkish or Pakistani nation before their independence; they were literally created “overnight.” New identities were forged in less than two generations and irremediably altered the relation of the “new” Turks or Egyptians to Islam. The changes toward the building of state-nations were put in motion in the last period of the Ottoman Empire by two events: the 1798 expedition of Bonaparte in Egypt and the 1856 Treaty of Paris. The first set the parameters for the never-ending debate among religious elites on Islam and modernity with the rise of the modernist-reformist movement (Salafism) and pan-Islamism (a political project of social cohesion based on Islamic belonging). The second event refers to the Ottoman Empire’s symbolic inclusion in the Westphalian order when, for the first time at the end of the Crimean War, a representative of the Ottoman Empire was invited to the diplomatic negotiations. In the aftermath of this symbolic inclusion, three disparate factors contributed to the adoption in Muslim lands of the Westphalian state system in the first half of the twentieth century: the fall of imperial governments in the region; the rise of local nationalist movements in urban centers such as Cairo, Tunis, Baghdad, and Damascus; and the emergence of states with demarcated territorial boundaries that pursued self-interests and experienced hostile territorial disputes with neighboring states. Pro-Western, “civilizationalism” became the dominant paradigm of the new political elites of the declining Ottoman Empire, while they also fuel internal resistance against Western political imperialism. This resistance was expressed in two different movements: pan-Islamism and pan-Arabism, which shaped the political landscape of the Middle East after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The ultimate objective of pan-Islamism was the political unity of all Muslims under Islam rather than race or nationality (Dwight 1942). Pan-Arabism, on the other hand, recognized the cultural and linguistic affinity among Arabs and aimed to establish a single state for a united Arab nation independently of religion (Reiser 1983). Despite divergent political goals, these

Political Islam and international relations theory  89 two movements developed in close proximity in the last period of the Ottoman Empire and were both influenced by European political principles. Ultimately the advocates of nationalism were able to create independent states and to subdue the pan-Islamists. Nation-building in Muslim countries resulted in the decisive reorganization of the religious community–political power interaction that had no equivalent in premodern times since, under the caliphates, Islamic institutions and clerics were not subordinated to political power. This means that the latter were financially and intellectually independent from the former (Enayat 1982; Lapidus 1988). The caliphs also acknowledged the cultural and religious diversity of the population, although this did not translate into an egalitarian legal and political status for all religions and ethnicities. The umma was at the time defined as the sum of the territories and populations under the caliphate rule, hence encompassing an extensive distribution of ethnic, cultural, and linguistic groups, including: Muslims, Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Baha’is, and Druze. Even though the caliphate represented the original community which followed the message of the Prophet Mohammad, in reality, its power was transformed by geography and historically evolved into a political dynasty overseeing multiple ethnic and religious groups (Hourani 1962). The emergence of the state as the central political institution went hand in hand with the homogenization of the populations inhabiting the nation’s territory. That is why nation-building systematically omitted and sometimes eradicated particular ethnic, religious, and linguistic groups in order to create one nation defined by one religion and one language. This homogenization process led to a politicized narrative of religion that I have called political Islam. With the rise of the nation-state, a congruence was created between Muslims of a certain religious obedience (for example, in the Sunni groups, Maleki, Shafi’i, Hanbali, and Hanafi schools) and bounded territory. Although the Westernized elites from Turkey to Iraq or Tunisia, to mention a few, were not always religious believers, they understood that they could not build a nation without including the belonging to Islam. In this building process, they channeled into policy making new meanings of traditional concepts such as umma or shari’a. The modern conception of the umma is far removed from the caliphal definition and reflects the new consensus that the umma is the global community of Muslim believers which operates as a supra-national reference. This definition is invoked today by all protagonists independently of their religious or political affiliations. In the same vein, shari’a, previously the monopoly of the ulama, was reshaped as state law and secularized with the introduction of French or British legal procedures. It was also reduced to family law (marriage, divorce, custody of children, and inheritance) while shari’a courts were abolished and replaced by secular court systems. Because of the lasting role of Islam in regulating these particular societal dimensions (family life, sexuality, freedom of speech), they are nowadays the most acutely disputed issues between secular and religious actors. In other words, the ulama lost their influence on the mundane axis and were progressively relegated into the management of “souls” or family affairs. It is worth noticing that despite their pan-Islamist origin and initial opposition to nationalism, all Islamic-based political movements have adjusted to the national frame, especially after decolonization, when the nation became the “natural” political space, instead of being perceived as “foreign” or Western. Thus, Islamist movements gradually used Islam more as an alternative to the secular nationalism promoted by state elites, and less as a way to promote the return of the caliphate. Even global forms of political Islam like al Qaeda and ISIS operate

90  Handbook on religion and international relations on the modern homogenized concepts of umma and shari’a that they carry beyond territorial borders (Cesari 2018b). In sum, the major shift brought by the modern political order has deeply transformed theological debates and doctrines. In other words, like Christianity in Europe at the time of the Reformation, the Islamic tradition has seen not only its societal influence reordered by the nation-state, but also its doctrinal content redefined to make room for state sovereignty over mundane matters. Evidently these transformations have not generated a stable consensus and are in fact a significant factor in the rise of political movements based on Islam.

HEGEMONIC ISLAM In order to adapt exterior norms into local contexts, state actors used both grafting and pruning, legitimizing external norms by infusing “traditional” concepts with new meanings. The pruning and grafting of Islam onto national identities and state institutions was enabled through three main processes: (1) the nationalization of institutions, clerics, and places of worship of one particular trend of Islam (for example Sunni over Shia); (2) the redefinition and adjustment of shari’a to the modern legal system as well as inclusion of Islamic references into civil law (marriage/divorce), criminal law, and as restriction of freedom of speech (blasphemy/ apostasy), based on the prescriptions of that particular brand of Islam; and (3) the insertion of the doctrine of that religion into the public school curriculum beyond religious instruction that is in national history textbooks and civic education. All Muslim states have put some elements of Islamic law in the secular state and have adopted Islam as the main regulator of national identity (except Indonesia, Senegal, and Tunisia post-Jasmine Revolution). It is the combination of at least two of these features or the three together that I have called hegemonic Islam (Cesari 2018b). This form of Islam cannot be explained by the use or instrumentalization of clerics or theology by the caliphs during the time of the Muslim empires. None of the past empires were founded on equality of citizens, sovereignty of people, and homogenization. These three features have driven the building of modern political communities through unprecedented techniques of centralization and regulation, hence granting to the modern political power a capacity on interference with clerics, religious thinking, and institutions that have no equivalent in the premodern periods. Even when equality and people sovereignty are not implemented by law in authoritarian regimes, they nevertheless have become the norms by which political power is rejected or accepted. Absorption of Islam into State Institutions In Egypt, Muhammad Ali (1769–1849) initiated the first transformations, which later culminated with Nasser’s 1952 reforms. Control over all Islamic foundations was given to the new Ministry of Endowments (Wizaret Al-Auqaf) (Moustafa 2010).2 Additionally, Law 103 of 1961 transferred control over the appointment of the Grand Sheikh at al-Azhar from a hierarchy of ulama over to the state, removing its authoritative legitimacy and making the position merely symbolic.3 Moreover, three state-appointed experts and representatives from the Ministries of Endowments, Education, Justice, and Treasury were merged into the High Council of al-Azhar which managed the university curriculum.4 Under Sadat, preaching

Political Islam and international relations theory  91 licenses supported by the Ministry of Endowments were required for preachers at both private mosques and state mosques. Until today, all state rulers have managed to subdue al-Azhar to their political goals. Nasser legitimized his socialist ideology under Islam by soliciting fatwas. Sadat also used fatwas in order to justify political acts, like the peace treaty with Israel and the economic liberalization, or infitah, policy. Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, used al-Azhar to combat the salafi opposition to his regime (Moustafa 2000). After Morsi was overthrown by General al-Sisi in 2013, the Shaykh of al-Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayeb, along with the Coptic archbishop and the Salafi al-Nur party leader, Pope Theodorus II and Younis Makhyoun, endorsed Sisi as the new head of state (Saeed 1994). Al-Azhar has been publicly supportive of Sisi and his brutal repression of Muslim Brotherhood supporters (Walsh 2016). Since then Sisi has multiplied initiatives to align the institution with his policies. In June 2015, Abdul Hai Azab, then President of al-Azhar, announced reforms in order to “correct Islamic concepts to keep the students from following those seeking to recruit them to serve the purposes of terrorism” (Hussein 2015). Included in the changes was curriculum reform, such as the removal of militancy concepts like the jizya tax, which was required from non-Muslims living under Islamic political rule. In July 2014, several textbooks studied at al-Azhar were seized and 15 faculty members were dismissed after the university warned that “any student or faculty member who incites, supports or joins in protests that disrupt learning or promote rioting or vandalism will be expelled or fired” (Hussein 2015). The al-Azhar deputy head, Abbas Shuman, explained that the confiscated books contained passages depicting the spoils of war and slavery topics that were pertinent to the Muslim conquests but now are outdated (Reuters 2015). This event illuminates two major features of political Islam: Islamic orthodoxy is regulated by the state, and the tradition is viewed as outdated content that needs to be authoritatively corrected. In the same vein, in July 2020, Egypt’s House of Representatives approved a draft law that would increase regulation on Dar al-Ifta’s activities, the al-Azhar-affiliated institution in charge of issuing religious edicts. The bill included changes in the mode of selection of the grand mufti and his term length. Currently, the grand mufti is elected by al-Azhar’s Council of Senior Scholars via secret ballot. If parliament passes the bill, the Council of Senior Scholars will have to nominate three ulema for the position, from which the president will choose the grand mufti. The president will also gain the power to extend the mufti’s tenure or replace him after he reaches the legal retirement age of 60. Additionally, the new law would make Dar al-Ifta a separate entity, rather than the advisory and judicial branch of al-Azhar. It would introduce a new framework for the selection and appointment of fatwa clerics and would establish a training center for jurists. Ironically, Al-Azhar has denounced the bill, asserting that it is “unconstitutional” and “an attempt to undermine al-Azhar’s independence” (Amin 2020). Although Turkey is often presented as the most “secular” Muslim country, the engineering of Islam by the state is also an exemplary case of hegemonic Islam. Kamal Ataturk believed Islam should be adjusted to the national community through reforms and Westernization. Islam became a “major resource for the rulers to educate and socialize new ‘Turks’ according to the needs of the Republic” and therefore Turkish secularization “never meant autonomy of religion” (Cesari 2018a, 6). This secularization was viewed by Ataturk as a depoliticization of Islam since the social influence of Islamic rituals and leaders was removed. However, belonging to Islam was crucial to the Turkish collective identity.

92  Handbook on religion and international relations In the state-building phase, the inclusion of clerics into the state’s administration and the appointment of laymen into positions formerly held by clerics significantly transformed Islamic institutions. In the 1930s Islamic provisions were removed from family law, and the effect of shari’a on national law became residual. Additionally, all religious movements and titles (e.g., sheikh, occultist) were abolished in 1925 (Saeed 1994). Religious property and Islamic institutions were nationalized under the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Pious Foundations. Madrasas were integrated into the state education system and religious education was eliminated from the curriculum (Earle 1925). Eight years of education became mandatory for children in 1997, “effectively delaying them from entering religious schools and therefore only offering high school education as an option” (Cesari 2018a, 7; Finkel 2012). These reforms diminished the influence of religion on societal issues and more generally community, while also legitimizing religion under state control (Findley 2010). The creation of the Diyanet, or Ministry of Religious Affairs, ensured the absorption of Sunni Hanafi religious institutions within the state system while those belonging to non-Sunni groups, like Shiites and Alevis, were not granted recognition at all.5 In other words, being a Sunni Muslim and being a Turkish national were two sides of the same coin. By the same token, Islamic signs and practices were privatized in order to build a secular public space. As a consequence, being a legitimate member of the political community depended on accepting the cultural and political meanings of Turkishness introduced by Kemalism, hence turning any identity-based claims to citizenship (religious, linguistic, ethnic) into a matter of national security. Similarly, laiklic aimed to remove religious ideology from the public space while preserving the collective identity of Turks to Islam (Özpek and Yaşar 2018). The access to power of the Islamist party, AKP, did not displace the foundational conflation between Sunni Islam, laiklik, and the nation. It has added another dimension by emphasizing social conservatism associated with societal legitimacy of Islamic dress code and attempts to moralize the public space. Shari’a as State Law When independent postcolonial rulers in the Middle East and North Africa designed their constitutions, the Ottoman Constitution of 1876 often operated as a model to emulate and expand. As a consequence, the provisions regarding Islam as the state religion and the necessity that the head of state be Muslim, which were implicit, became clearly articulated in the new constitutions. Beyond these basic provisions, shari’a is either implicitly or explicitly stated as a source of state law (Brown and Sherif 2004). In Egypt, Islamic prescriptions within state law did not follow a stringent Islamic framework and, as a result, had a minimal effect on constitutional and political practice. The exception has been civil law, which follows the prescriptions of the Hanafi Islamic jurisprudence (Bernard-Maugiron 2010). Although mixed with French and British secular legal principles, since shari’a forms the legal basis of civil law, it operates as the default legal status for non-Muslim citizens as well. In other words, when two individuals of different religions wish to marry, the Muslim Personal Status Law is applied de facto. Unsurprisingly, as there is no secular civil law, interreligious marriages are rare (Sfeir 1956). The ascent of shari’a-based state law has deeply transformed what used to be the monopoly of the fuqaha (scholars of jurisprudence). For instance, cases of apostasy, blasphemy, and heresy were, in the premodern era, addressed and treated distinctively by the clerics as per-

Political Islam and international relations theory  93 sonal religious offenses, while today they are lumped together and included in the state legal system as “blasphemy law,” hence changing the religious parameters of their evaluation and giving the upper hand to the state. Furthermore, while non-Muslims in Muslim empires were not subject to these punishments, such distinction has disappeared under state law. It is worth noting that with the exception of Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Pakistan, penal aspects of apostasy have been formally removed, though civil punishments are still enacted in most Muslim states. Turkey is the only Muslim country that removed Islamic provisions from family law in the 1930s, and since then, the influence of shari’a on national law has become residual. However, Turkey’s stance on blasphemy and freedom of speech is similar to the Egyptian case: insults against religion are included in the penal code.6 Under the ruling of the AKP, insults against religion and insults against the regime have started to blur. During his visit to Bosnia in 2012, Tayyip Erdogan called for “international legal regulations against attacks on what people deem sacred, on religion” (Harrod 2012). Additionally, he said Turkish legislators would act against blasphemous statements and defended his stance on blasphemy by asserting: “Freedom of thought and belief ends where the freedom of thought and belief of others start. You can say anything about your thoughts and beliefs, but you will have to stop when you are at the border of others’ freedoms” (Harrod 2012). National History and Islam By integrating Islam into the public education system, post-colonial states have presented themselves as the trustworthy guardian of Islamic heritage and religious guidance. The concept of national identity and Muslim identity being two sides of the same coin came about with the onset of state-run education systems. It has required a formidable apparatus of schools, curriculum, public rituals, and commemorations that have shaped the mentality and consciousness of all citizens and created the substratum on which all citizens, independently of religion and political orientations, can say “we” as a nation. It is the bedrock on which the “functionalization of religion” (Starrett 1998) occurs, i.e. when the teaching of religion into the national education system enables the state to apply social control and decide what comprises “good social behavior” (âdâb ijtimâ’îya) of “good” citizens. Although they differ in degrees of Islamic clout, my previous review of textbooks in Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan, Iraq, and Tunisia (Cesari 2014) highlighted three shared characterizations of Islam in national narratives: (1) the blurring of intra- and inter-religious diversity; (2) the development of national “uniqueness” by referencing Islamic history and civilization through the national lens; and (3) the rhetoric of Islam and the nation being under constant attack by Western powers and their allies. Concretely, this means that the state-endorsed version of Islam is the only one taught in public schools to all children, including those from other Islamic groups or non-Islamic religious minorities. The second characteristic refers to the rewriting of the Islamic past to legitimize the nation and rulers by picking and choosing episodes from the past (battles, heroic figures) as precursors of the modern nation. The most recent example is the revival of the Ottoman heritage by Erdogan. In December 2014, the National Education Council, which is staffed by pro-Erdogan members, voted to include Ottoman Turkish as a mandatory class in high schools. However, because of the virulent opposition of secular groups, Erdogan decided to make the class an elective instead.

94  Handbook on religion and international relations Along the same line, the figure of Sultan Abdulhamid II (1876–1909)7 was revived as an epitome of Turkish national identity and presented as the “Islamist alternative to Ataturk” (Akyol 2016). In July 2020, the conversion of the Hagia Sophia (which since 1934 had become a museum) back into a mosque (Fahim 2020) is another illustration of this religious nationalism. Interestingly a majority of Turks across religious and political lines support Erdogan’s initiative. A survey of 2,414 people conducted by a pro-government newspaper, Yeni Şafak, found that 73 percent of Turks are in favor of the Hagia Sophia being converted back into a mosque, while only 22 percent were not in favor and 4 percent had no opinion (Antonopoulos 2020). The third trait of national Islam is the presentation of Islam and the nation as the target of Western oppression and imperialism. The depiction of Muslims as victims of the West throughout cultural and spiritual struggles pervades Egyptian and Turkish history textbooks, supplying the foundation for nationalism by invoking a mytho-historical memory of attack on the Muslim community. By emphasizing the difficulties faced by Prophet Mohammad and by demonstrating continuity between past and present threats, Islam is portrayed as the religion of the oppressed (Doumato 2007). The United States and Israel especially are depicted as past, present, and likely future enemies. Global jihadis from al Qaeda to ISIS have inherited these features of Islam and transposed them from the nation to the Umma. In sum, hegemonic Islam as a form of governmentality is defined by three main features: (1) the conflation of Islamic belonging and national belonging and its implementation in various degrees through state laws; (2) religious differences among Muslims and between Muslims and other religious groups are erased or discounted in order to build a homogenous nation; and (3) by becoming the arbitrator of the personal behaviors of citizens, the state has taken the upper hand and profoundly transformed the moral power of the Islamic tradition. As described by Gregory Starrett (1998, 5): “Groups claiming independent authority to interpret Islamic scriptures and transmit Islamic culture undermine one of the basic foundations of the state’s moral legitimacy: its protection of the Islamic heritage, including the responsibility to provide children and youths with trustworthy religious guidance.” It is therefore not surprising that Islamic-based political movements have emerged to claim an “Islamic state” which is the expansion of the “secular” state by demanding more Islamic prescriptions within the state laws (penal law, women rights, minorities’ rights).

CONCLUSION The nation-state has construed the rules of engagement between religion and politics not only in Muslim countries but everywhere, including in the West. What is specific to all Muslim countries is the construction of Islam as the national culture and public norm. This means that civic and national belonging are tied to religious belonging and hence enforceable by law. It therefore undermines the religious and ethnic plurality of society, not because religious groups or ideas are resilient to modernity. It is, in fact, quite the opposite in the sense that modernization of religion and the building of the nation-state became intertwined. Religious references and norms were used by political elites to “localize” the nation-building process and legitimize state actors and policies. In other words, political Islam is the central element of modern political identities encased in the national communities. Therefore, it is unsurprising that the belief that Islam and the

Political Islam and international relations theory  95 nation are connected and that politics must adhere to some rules influenced by Islam are shared by most citizens of Muslim countries across the secular/religious divide. A 2013 study from the Pew Research Center found that 74 percent of Egyptians believe shari’a should be made the official law, with 74 percent agreeing it should apply to Muslims and non-Muslims alike (Wormald 2013). The study also found 72 percent of Indonesians believe shari’a should be made the official law, and 50 percent agreed it should apply to both Muslims and non-Muslims. In Senegal, 55 percent of people were in favor of making shari’a the official law. The survey also showed that Muslims have varied interpretations of shari’a, “including whether divorce and family planning are morally acceptable” (Wormald 2013). Many Muslims actually feel uncomfortable about the use of shari’a punishments in criminal cases. This unease shows the rift between Islam as political culture and Islam as ideology: the breadth of Islamic shari’a is at the center of contentious politics like those above. This political culture, however, is not viewed as incompatible with democracy. In the Pew study mentioned above, in 31 out of the 37 countries where the question was posed, at least half of Muslims believe that a democratic government can better address the problems in their country, as opposed to a leader with a strong hand. At least three-quarters of Muslims support democracy in Tunisia (75 percent) and Lebanon (81 percent), along with at least half in Egypt (55 percent), Iraq (54 percent), the Palestinian territories (55 percent), and Indonesia (61 percent) (Wormald 2013). The simultaneous references to shari’a and democracy cannot be simply dismissed as contradictory or irrational. In fact, they highlight this collective political consciousness inherited from nation building that Islam is part of public norms. This collective consciousness is the bedrock on which state actions, Islamic political movements, and secular parties can unfold. Studies have also shown that hegemonic Islam has an influence on the democratic level of Muslim countries. In other words, the presence of hegemonic traits, such as religiously based laws, the financing of religion, and religious education policy, is strongly connected to a lack of democracy (Cesari and Fox 2016). In the future, could Islamic political cultures transform into more inclusive forms of civil religion? Based on the surveys mentioned, a majority of Muslim citizens would believe so. Generally, it appears that the more independent religion is from the state, the higher possibility for a more inclusive, pluralist approach to civil society. Nonetheless, in looking at current regional and international circumstances and increased concerns about security, states and even citizens are pushed in the other direction, towards increased control and regulation of religion. More generally, the analysis presented in this chapter converges with the growing literature that looks at the mutual interactions of the domestic and international politics (Bigo and Walker 2007). The nationalization of religious communities has also transformed their international status, i.e. the globalization of religiously based politics is the dissemination of concepts framed within nations which is now spreading beyond national boundaries. No doubt that more research outside Islam is needed to expand on this perspective.

NOTES 1. This term refers to the ways believers identify to Islam in its social and collective components without limiting it to personal beliefs, but without making it a tool for political opposition to the

96  Handbook on religion and international relations state. Anthropologists prefer it to the term “post-Islamist” favored by political scientists. See White (2002). 2. This occurred also in Algeria in 1971, Libya in 1973, and the United Arab Emirates as late as 1980. See Saeed (1994) and Hallaq (2009). 3. The mufti of the Republic holds a symbolic role more than an active one. “The mufti is employed by the Ministry of Justice but is only vaguely related to the court system, primarily through the task of scrutinizing death sentences that have to be in conformity with the rules of fiqh. With the abolishment of the shari’a courts in 1955, some minor tasks, previously the preserve of the chief qadi, were transferred to the State mufti, the most important of which today is the announcement of the beginning of the Islamic lunar months based on the observation of the new moon.” See Skovgaard-Petersen (1997, 92). 4. The curriculum of Al-Azhar was also reformed with the addition of four new departments: Medicine, Agriculture, and Commerce. It is important to note the lack of any disciplines in the social sciences (Saeed 1994). 5. The Diyanet, which stands for the Presidency of Religious Affairs, was founded on 3 May 1924 as part of the Turkish constitution. Its main objective is “to execute the works concerning the beliefs, worship, and ethics of Islam, enlighten the public about their religion, and administer the sacred worshiping places.” It is responsible for drafting sermons that are delivered in mosques both in Turkey and abroad. It trains imams and teaches children Quranic education. See the Diyanet website (Presidency of the Republic 2020). 6. “Any person who openly disrespects the religious belief of a group is punished with imprisonment from six months to one year if such act causes potential risk for public peace.” See End Blasphemy Laws (2020). 7. The sultan Abdulhamid II ruled the Ottoman Empire between 1876 and 1909. He adopted pan-Islamism to counter the Western interference in the empire, and promulgated the first Ottoman constitution in 1876.

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7. Religion and international security: From confessionalization to securitization Delphine Allès

INTRODUCTION In 2008, the French Ministry of Defence’s White Paper on Defence and National Security stressed the necessity to take religion and ‘religious fanaticism’ into account among the ‘new’ globalization-induced factors of strategic uncertainty and potential sources of violence (French Ministry of Defence 2008: 27). The following year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs inaugurated a Religions Unit (Pôle religions), located within the Ministry’s Directorate for Foresight (Direction de la Prospective) and tasked with the challenge of studying religious tendencies in world politics. The move was controversial, in a department that had traditionally been dedicated to the implementation of a resolutely secular foreign policy. Yet, Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner stressed that it was the sign of a ‘modernization’ of mentalities and a necessary adaptation to an evolution prompted by globalization. In the same speech, the ‘French doctor’ turned minister referred to his humanitarian experience: ‘All the wars I have experienced involved religious matters, at various degrees’ (Le Bars 2009). The sequence is representative of the confessionalization that has penetrated international security (IS) narratives for the past 30 years, a process that intensified after 2001. Far from being the prerogative of state theocracies with traditionally influential religious forces, religion has increasingly been addressed as an autonomous explicative variable in world politics and IS, including in allegedly secular contexts (Allès 2021).1 From government-led interfaith dialogues, to programmes aimed at engaging religious leaders or policies promoting ‘moderation’, ‘pluralism’ or ‘religious freedom’, such initiatives seek to ‘analyse’, ‘mitigate’ or even ‘counter’ the potentially destabilizing effects of the global resurgence of religious identities. Most of these initiatives are publicized as efforts to adapt to new conditions. This perception has influenced much of the scholarship and political narratives on the ‘return of the sacred’ (Bell 1978), the ‘de-secularization’ (Berger 1999) of contemporary world politics, or the ‘rise of religious violence’ (Juergensmeyer 2000). While it is no longer relevant to claim that religion is understudied in international relations (IR) and IS, most scholars and practitioners share the idea that in the discipline religion’s ‘return from exile’ (Petito and Hatzopoulos 2004) calls for conceptual and policy adaptations. The rising visibility of this factor challenges two common assumptions that are at the core of predominant conceptions of IR. First, it contradicts the modernization-as-secularization thesis that has long been a paradigm in modern Western social science (Casanova 1994: 66). Second, it challenges the idea that the Treaties of Westphalia established a stable and resilient secular international order (Fox and Sandler 2006). This second observation explains that the resurgence of religious concerns in world politics was primarily addressed from an IS perspective. Because it seemingly challenged the allegedly secular pillars of the contemporary international system, this evolution was perceived as inherently destabilizing, therefore requiring conceptual and policy adaptations. 100

Religion and international security  101 The assumptions behind this reasoning, I argue in this chapter, limit our ability to fully grasp the confessionalization of IS narratives and the policy adaptations that followed. Beyond the revivalist approach, the chapter underlines the implications of the Westphalian ‘myth’ according to which secularism was institutionalized as a necessary condition for peace and security in the contemporary international system. It shows that the return of religion as an IS concern is rooted in the implicit success of the controversial ‘clash of civilizations’ (CoC) thesis and its confessionalized derivatives. This approach explains states and international organizations’2 increasing propensity to securitize religions and religious identities.

GLOBALIZATION AND THE DE-SECULARIZATION OF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY The Emergence of Religion as a Concern for International Security Studies The relative lack of interest for the religious factor in IR and IS studies, until the late twentieth century, has been attributed to three main factors: the assumption that the contemporary international system, based on the model of the unitary and secular state that emerged in Modern Europe after the 1648 Treaties of Westphalia, had brought the religious wars to an end and thus excluded religion as a significant parameter or as the object of interstate conflict; the secular bias of recent social science, strongly informed by the modernization-as-secularization paradigm, which relegated religion to a fading relic of the old world; and the development of conventional IR as a discipline during the Cold War, which favoured the focus on material factors of power as a national interest (Fox and Sandler 2006; Haynes 2013; Petito and Hatzopoulos 2004; Sandal and Fox 2013; Snyder 2011). While it is excessive to claim that religion was systematically ignored by IR scholarship, it was indeed side-lined as, at best, an instrument of states’ interests (Lovin 1995), or as one of the multiple parameters shaping individual leaders’ worldviews. From the late 1980s, the progressive reappraisal of the religious factor in IR was in line with the critique of the state-centric and materialist conceptions that emerged at the dawn of the Cold War. Stimulated by burgeoning scholarship on de-secularization and the resurgence of religious and identity politics, it progressively informed discussions on a possible post-Westphalian turn. In this context, the religious factor first re-emerged as a potential source of disruption, conflict or violence. Addressing the transformations of the international order from a transnationalist perspective, James N. Rosenau referred to religion as one of the potential ‘turbulences’ that were provoking an unprecedented transformation of the basic norms and parameters of the Westphalian international system, by affecting states’ monopoly on the regulation of world politics (Rosenau 1990, 1997). Similarly, constructivist theorist R. B. J. Walker acknowledged the artificiality of historical boundaries reconstructed a posteriori but recalled that the ‘Treaty [sic] of Westphalia of 1648 serves as a crucial demarcation between an era still dominated by competitive claims to religious universalism and hierarchical authority and an era of secular competition and cooperation among autonomous political communities’ (Walker 1993: 90). Underlining that ‘secular principles have lost their heavenly glow’ in the contemporary world (Walker 1993: 4), he implicitly validated the representation of the Westphalian system as a secular standard, as well as the potentially destabilizing effect of de-secularization.

102  Handbook on religion and international relations Narrowing the observation to middle-range theories and IS studies, religion became an object of scholarly interest from the late 1980s (Juergensmeyer 1987; Rapaport 1984), in the context of the growing concerns raised by religious-based violence and terrorism. Inevitably, this attention peaked in the post-9/11 context. Initial appraisals of religion in the context of security or warfare studies were thus informed by the connection between the increased relevance of religion as a factor or an object of study, and new types of disruption or insecurity in the post-Westphalian and post-Cold War era. Moving beyond the conventional focus on interstate wars, Mary Kaldor analysed the role of identity (including religious) politics in the transformation of warfare in the post-Cold War era (Kaldor 1999). Her work cannot be dissociated from the broader pivot of security studies’ centre of gravity, from state-based strategic studies towards critical perspectives advocating for a ‘broader’ and ‘deeper’ understanding of security, focusing on people and considering socio-economic concerns (Bourbeau 2015; Buzan 2007). In policy circles, this evolution was paralleled with the promotion of ‘non-traditional’ or ‘human’ security, whose ubiquitous definitions usually refer to several categories of human needs, from nutrition and health to political and community security (UNDP 1994). Religion’s appraisal, in this perspective, is ambiguous as it may be addressed either as a referent object of human security (when religious communities are discriminated, targeted or prevented from practising their traditions) or as a source of human insecurity (when it is mobilized as a justification for personal or group violence, or for hindering personal liberties) (Shani 2015; Wellman and Lombardi 2012). Progressively swinging from the observation of the re-emergence of religion as a parameter in international (in)security, towards promoting religions and religious identities as objects of academic interest per se, numerous studies have sought to more directly address the role of the religious factor in IR and IS (Fox and Sandler 2006; Haynes 2013; Petito and Hatzopoulos 2004; Philpott 2002, 2009; Sandal and Fox 2003; Seiple and Hoover 2004; Snyder 2011; Thomas 2005). This literature forms the backbone of a ‘restorative turn’ (Eroukhmanoff 2016), whose promoters agree on the need for new conceptual frames, although they remain divided over the nature of the resurgence of religion – whether the religious factor was always present but undeservedly marginalized from academic scrutiny, or whether the resurgence of religion in world politics forms a new and potentially disruptive parameter that requires more attention. The second approach, linking religious nationalism with new forms of conflictual behaviour (Juergensmeyer 1993) or perceiving religion as a driving force in post-Cold War conflicts and power dynamics (Huntington 1993, 1996), has had a durable influence on the study of security, warfare and violence, particularly after 9/11. Religion’s progressive ‘return from exile’ (Petito and Hatzopoulos 2004) in IR and IS literature, as well as in policy initiatives, represents a switch in the role conferred to this factor by scholars and policy makers. After years of ignorance or marginalization, religion is back as a factor and object of IS studies. This evolution is strongly informed by the idea that we have swung away from a secular and relatively stable Westphalian system, towards a de-secularized, heterogeneous and inherently unstable international system. Beyond this idea remains the broadly shared perception that the Treaties of Westphalia established secularism as the necessary condition of a sustainable peace, after centuries of religious destabilization. This narrative explains that the resurgence of religions and religious identities has primarily been addressed as a factor of insecurity.

Religion and international security  103 Normative and Empirical Consequences of the Secular Peace Assumption Several scholars have challenged the representation of the modern international order’s inherent secularism, as well as the normative assumption according to which secularism forms a necessary condition for peace (Cavanaugh 2009; Shakman Hurd 2008). This assumption rests on a simple syllogism: because the Treaties of Westphalia brought the infamous ‘religious wars’ to an end by establishing a secular international system, the de-secularization of IR is seen as a source of conflict and a threat to IS. Several wrong assumptions taint this narrative, which is rooted in a limited representation of religion’s role in the international order that emerged from the 1648 treaties (Onnekink 2013). The European wars were waged for political autonomy and territorial conquest as much as religious universalism (Nolan 2006: 708). While the treaties excluded religion from being the subject of disputes between sovereign entities, they did not completely eliminate it as an object of international politics. Several clauses specifically protected minority religions, for instance, prefiguring a distinction between the official religions of states and the private religions of citizens, whose freedom (rather than strict secularism) was established as a condition for international peace. It is also necessary to mention that in the post-Westphalian international order, religion was never entirely relegated within the confines of the states – much less to the private sphere. Even at the height of great power politics, a ‘Cold War theology’ was developed by successive United States (US) administrations, relying on religious counsellors and co-opting religious non-governmental organizations (Herzog 2011; Kirby 2000; Preston 2012). Meanwhile, the Soviet Union also encouraged the participation of co-opted and closely monitored religious leaders in oecumenical peace conferences, in an attempt to counter the image of ‘faithless communism’ and to showcase a pacifist agenda (Dobson 2017). Nonetheless, the continuous presence of religion in world politics went relatively unnoticed as long as religious actors or organizations were seen as mere auxiliaries of state power, not subverting the hierarchical superiority of the state or the hierarchy of the norms governing the international system. Despite such shortcomings, the secular representation of the Westphalian international system has had durable normative and empirical consequences, which explain that the religious resurgence was primarily seen as a threat to IS. Derived from the previous observations, we can observe that the Westphalian status quo was less about excluding religion from the sphere of IR or IS, and more about ensuring the preservation of the state (be it secular or theocratic) as the monopolistic source of legitimacy and central actor in world politics. This hierarchical model of relationship between religion and politics was established, in the context of early modern Europe, by rulers who sought to establish sovereignty as a way of affirming their autonomy from the overarching authority of the Church. The narrative according to which secularization forms a precondition for peace tends to decontextualize this model, applying it to political entities where the relationship between religion and politics had followed a different historical trajectory. This is particularly problematic in postcolonial contexts where religious identities have contributed to cement emancipative dynamics, thus playing a role in the establishment of national sovereignty rather than hindering it. In Egypt, India or Indonesia, among many others, national identities and anticolonial struggles were bolstered by groups structured around a common religious identity – although the latter was never at the centre of their claims and it was seen as one component of the nascent national identities, among many others. During the first years after independence, the presence of religious-based political forces was thus relatively commonplace in postco-

104  Handbook on religion and international relations lonial politics. There, the promotion of secularism as a condition for emancipation and the political marginalization of religious-based political forces stood in contradiction to the history of national construction and emancipation. Nonetheless, the representation of secularism as a cure for the violence inherent in irrational religious-based politics, as well as the secularization as modernization thesis, were integrated by many postcolonial leaders as a standard of civilization and the only option for postcolonial states seeking to gain recognition within international society. Often, transposing this narrative was also a way of marginalizing opposition forces that had the potential to contest postcolonial leaders’ legitimacy. In Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser rapidly side-lined the Muslim Brotherhood despite its instrumental role in the anticolonial struggle and initial inclusion in negotiations with the secular nationalist parties, progressively demoting and demonizing the Brotherhood as a security threat. Similarly, in Sukarno’s Indonesia, the Islam-based party, Masjumi, was outlawed in 1960 on the grounds of an alleged collusion with the US’s Central Intelligence Agency, leading to the prosecution of its leaders and their exclusion from the public sphere (Madinier 2015). The marginalization of religious-based political forces and agendas set the context for the self-fulfilling prophecy of their re-emergence as essentially contentious forces, potentially disruptive for IS. Increasingly contentious narratives and actions were galvanized by their ability to capture the rising critiques of postcolonial nationalist regimes, as they substituted the fading attractivity of nationalist discourses with transnational calls for religious solidarity. Such trajectories were further stimulated by external circumstances: the oil shocks of the 1970s provided Islamist movements with new material resources, as the Gulf monarchies subsidized them in an attempt to strengthen their own geopolitical posture; the Islamic revolution in Shia-majority Iran in 1979, as the first successful Islamic political revolution, also had an emulative incidence far beyond Shi’a communities. The superposition of religious and contentious agendas also fuelled a new wave of religious-based terrorism, which acquired new capabilities, visibility and attractiveness from the 1990s, reaching unprecedented levels of violence and resonance with the 9/11 attacks and, more recently, Daesh/Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s attempt at combining religious fundamentalism with a territorialized political objective. Religious interventions in world politics are, obviously, far from limited to violence and disruption. But the durable influence of the secularization paradigm was reinforced by postcolonial leaders’ assimilation of secularism as a standard, both because of its authoritativeness and for opportunistic reasons when it seemed to meet their domestic political agendas. This approach, combined with religion’s long exclusion from IR studies unless it contested the primacy of state legitimacy, has favoured the perception of the religious resurgence as inherently destabilizing for IS, rather than as an ordinary international phenomenon.

THE IMPULSE OF CONFESSIONALIZED CIVILIZATIONISM From Misguided Assumptions to Religion as Focus in International Security Studies From the late 1970s, a succession of events – most prominently, the Islamic revolution in Iran, the anti-Soviet struggle in Afghanistan, and the Algerian civil war – demonstrated the ability of religious and particularly Islam-based political movements to provide an alternative source

Religion and international security  105 of legitimation and mobilization, capable of undermining national and international security. But, a few exceptions aside, it was not until the 1990s and most importantly the post-9/11 context that religion emerged as a core interest for IS studies. This evolution marked academic analyses as well as IS initiatives of states or international governmental actors considered to be traditionally secular. The latter often took the further step to address religion not only as an important factor to consider, but rather as an IS concern per se. This logic reveals the implicit success of the controversial CoC thesis, favoured in the post-bipolar conceptual vacuum. The failure of rationalist and power-based approaches of IR to provide a relevant account of the post-Cold War situation did not end the aspiration to elaborate grand narratives on IS. Criticizing the excessive materialism of the previous paradigms, Huntington (1993, 1996) proposed a culturalist appraisal of world politics that also relied on a perception that de-secularization was inherently disruptive. Conflicts in the new world order, he argued, would be increasingly determined by the substitution of state-based IR with new alignments fostered by economic and political regionalization, the de-Westernization of postcolonial elites and a resurgence of civilizational (de facto, religious) identities. In his view, this evolution was bound to transform threat perceptions and to increase the importance of civilizational alterity as a source of mistrust – especially in the relationships between ‘Western civilization’ on the one hand, and ‘Sinic’ and ‘Islamic civilizations’ on the other. The adverse relationship of religion and IS, while it is not Huntington’s explicit focus, is a central claim of his thesis: without providing a straightforward definition of civilizations, the author argues that ‘the major civilizations in human history have been closely identified with the world’s great religions’ (Huntington 1996: 47). Reifying religion as a primary factor for the definition of collective identities and threat perceptions, the success of the book thus conferred it with unprecedented visibility and a new status: that of an independent variable, deemed to form the basis of a new global narrative on international (in)security. The underlying assumptions were met with immediate criticism, as countless studies underlined the reductionism of Huntington’s argument as well as its epistemological and methodological shortcomings (Marsden 2019; Shahi 2017). Notwithstanding, the CoC has framed the appraisal of religion in IR since the 1990s, with many authors seeking to provide alternative accounts on the nature of a modernity marked by cosmopolitanism and the continuous relevance of public religions (Casanova 2011), or to propose a ‘dialogue of civilizations’ as an alternative paradigm founded on interreligious dialogue rather than as a necessarily conflictual appraisal of religious difference (Petito 2009). Others have striven to nuance religion’s predominant approach as a threat to IS, underlining the ‘ambivalence’ of this factor as a potential source of either violence or appeasement (Appleby 2000; Maregere 2011); showing that it has alternatively been mobilized alongside various other factors in terrorist engagement or disengagement (Chernov Hwang 2017; Chernov Hwang and Schulze 2018); or underlining various religious traditions’ contribution to peace making or peace building (Marsden 2019; Smock 2006). Against this backdrop, the CoC narrative has also fuelled numerous IS studies which strove empirically to test – and often nuance – the relevance of its assumptions. Jonathan Fox, while stressing that ‘civilizations’ and ‘religions’ are not the same despite considerable overlap, shows that neither are the primary cause of ethnic conflicts (Fox 2001). Monica Duffy Toft (2007) and Jonathan Fox (2002a, 2002b, 2012) have also statistically addressed the relevance of religion in civil wars and domestic conflicts, as a component of the belligerents’ identity or as a finality (Toft 2007). Their work has shown that religious differences were involved in 31

106  Handbook on religion and international relations per cent (Toft 2007) or 39 per cent (Fox 2002a) of the conflicts they identified, a proportion which, according to Toft, grew to 50 per cent in the twentieth century. Despite also observing a rise in the proportion of domestic religious conflicts from 1960 to 2009, Fox disputes the accuracy of Huntington’s predictions as these conflicts were not primarily situated on ‘civilizational fault lines’ (Fox 2012). Other empirical analyses have confirmed that states belonging to different civilizations are not likely to fight each other more than states within the same civilizational boundaries (Henderson and Tucker 2001), as most post-Cold War conflicts are within rather than across civilizations (Henderson 2005). Other studies have questioned the singularities of religious-based violence. In the footsteps of the critiques on the alleged secularism of the contemporary world order, Gunning and Jackson suggest that the religious and secular motivations of terrorist violence are indistinguishable, advocating against such a distinction which they see as a conceptually misleading instrument mobilized to legitimize contentious counter-terrorist practices (Gunning and Jackson 2011). Moving the critical perspective to more rationalist grounds, Isaacs (2016) argues that religious narratives are mainly instrumental as they tend to be more intensely mobilized by actors who were previously involved in violent conflicts. Others, by contrast, have highlighted the singularities of religious-based violence, reinvestigating René Girard’s point on the centrality of sacrifice in religious tradition and the performativity of its presentation as a divine duty (Girard 1972; Juergensmeyer 1991; Rapaport 1984). Such scholars insist on the mobilizing capacity of a referential that offers afterlife retributions or compensations for the efforts and frustrations experienced in this world; on the more intangible nature of long-lasting conflicts or ‘cosmic wars’ involving essentially non-negotiable religious claims (Juergensmeyer 1991, 2000; Stern 2003); and on the escalating potential of such conflicts centred on values rather than interests (Hasenclever and Rittberger 2000). These characteristics have been mobilized to explain the more violent or intense nature of religious-based conflicts (Fox 2004; Toft 2007) and their tendency to last longer (Svensson 2012). Nevertheless, these observations have been nuanced by Susanna Pearce, who suggested that the relationship between religion and conflict intensity disappears when the relevance of religion is considered (Pearce 2005). Rather than solely focusing on the positive impact of religion on armed violence, other studies have also qualitatively unpacked the specific constraints deriving from the involvement of a religious referential in armed conflict, by circumscribing topological objects of conflict (sacred sites), shaping combatants and communities’ attitudes and thus impacting the conduct of war itself (Hassner 2009, 2016). While many of these works were established as responses, nuances or empirical assessments of the CoC thesis and its confessionalized avatars, they did not prevent the mainstreaming of the clash/dialogue dichotomy (Haynes 2019), which has grown to form the implicit context within which the religion–IS nexus is commonly framed in academic studies. This observation is further reinforced in the political and policy spheres, where the religious referential has been increasingly mobilized at the core of security or peace initiatives, favouring its increasing implementation as a self-fulfilling prophecy (Bottici and Challand 2006). The Empirical Success of Confessionalized Conceptions of International (In)security The CoC’s reverberation among IS actors was as instantaneous as in academia. Policy spheres swiftly warned against the potential performative effects of the thesis and the risk it posed from an IS perspective. In August 1993, just a few weeks after the publication of Huntington’s

Religion and international security  107 first article, a cable from the US embassy in Jakarta observed that the CoC thesis had ‘caught in Asia like wildfire’. In a premonitory critical approach, the authors analysed the reasons of its success and warned against the risk of a self-fulfilling prophecy ‘as more people believe and act on it’, particularly ‘in the Muslim world where anti-Western paranoia is already at a high pitch’. To counter these risks, they recommended public diplomacy efforts ‘to counter Huntingtonism’ and the ‘“we versus they” mentality’, for instance by further advocating US cooperation with the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and Muslim countries (US Embassy in Jakarta 1993). Notwithstanding the warnings, the confessional dimensions of the CoC narrative have acquired considerable influence by framing debates and initiatives related to religion and IS. Adopting the CoC as a new framework of analysis was, in a way, comforting for policy actors as it fit in with the conceptual continuity that de-secularization is one of the central explanations of global tensions in the post-Cold War context. With loose characteristics that make it applicable to very diverse situations, the CoC provides an easily adaptable rationale for complex conflictual situations that are not clearly elucidated by materialist and state-based approaches. It thus simultaneously appears to answer the call for more localization and singularization of security and peace-related analyses and policies, and to the temptation of maintaining a transposable grand narrative on the sources of global tensions. The CoC narrative also presents a reassuring dimension for IS practitioners, as it provides a depoliticized interpretation of global tensions and the apparently simple policy solutions it calls for. The latter can be ranged on a broad spectrum: from culturalist or confessionalist approaches transposing the notion of sovereignty at the civilizational or religious level and cautioning external interferences in ‘civilizational’ blocs, in parallel with interreligious initiatives to foster ‘mutual understanding’; to liberal conceptions advocating for religious pluralism, ‘moderation’ and the promotion of common values. The first approach, favoured by Huntington, has been advocated by religious entrepreneurs and conservative regimes in various contexts, from Russia to Iran; the second has been at the core of the US’s promotion of religious pluralism as well as policy discourses in favour of tolerance against radicalism. The first conception explains the convergence of Iranian and Russian diplomacies over a civilizationist and confessionalized IS narrative, implemented through multiple interfaith initiatives (Therme 2014: 103). Particularly visible during Mohamad Khatami’s presidency, the approach was founded on the idea that intercivilizational (understand, interreligious) cohabitation, rather than ‘Western-centric’ universalism, was essential for the stability of a post-Western world order (Dallmayr and Manoochehri 2007). In a similar vein, Russian orthodox Patriarch Kirill has often shared his views on ‘Russia’s spiritual mission’, warning against the potentially conflictual consequences of an interference of religiously defined civilizations on one another, while promoting interreligious dialogue as a solution to stabilize these interactions. Invited to share his worldview in front of a panel of prominent politicians and diplomats at the Collegium of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Kirill thus affirmed in 2011 that ‘By positing the prospect of eternity, religion can bring stability and predictability to a situation of uncertainty and conflict’ (Kirill 2011: 3), illustrating the renewed role of Orthodoxy in Russia’s strategic narrative as well as its role in establishing a conception of world politics in contrast with the secular international order. Similar representations have acquired increasing prominence, at various degrees, as they have infused the worldviews of conservative leaders such as – among other examples – India’s Narendra Modi, Hungary’s Victor Orban and, to some extent, Donald Trump in the US.

108  Handbook on religion and international relations Liberal perspectives have also re-established the religious factor at the core of IS concerns and conflict-mitigating initiatives, promoting conceptions of religion that are compatible with the primacy of political institutions over religious concerns in the public sphere, advocating for pluralism, ‘moderation’ and freedom as core values that are essential to overcome religious-based tensions. Elisabeth Shakman Hurd has underlined the new centrality of the ‘international politics of religious freedom’ in North American and European governments’ international initiatives (Shakman Hurd 2017), through institutions such as the US Office of International Religious Freedom, under the Department of State, or the European Parliament Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Religious Tolerance. Particularly representative of liberals’ confessionalized take on IS was former British prime minister Tony Blair’s affirmation, underlined by Shakman Hurd, that there are ‘two faces of faith’ in world politics, as it may both be a source of conflict and part of the solution. Beyond the artificial divide between these two perspectives, they share a common perception: embracing religious concerns is essential to grasp and mitigate IS issues. This convergence explains the ambiguous enthusiasm of their tenants for interfaith initiatives, invested with a different finality as liberals see them as a way of fostering common values, while confessionalists address them as instances of regulation of a divided world. The banalization of confessionalized IS narratives has often been attributed to the 9/11 attacks. While it is undeniable that they have increased the frequency and prominence of such initiatives, it should not minimize the fact that a confessionalized understanding of IS was present well before it was propelled to the top of IS agendas by Al Qaeda’s anti-Western narrative and the initial US response to 9/11 (Shahi 2017). In a 1999 decision, the United Nations General Assembly established 2001 as the United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations, paving the way for a series of annual resolutions and initiatives fostering intercivilizational and interreligious dialogue and understanding as the key to international peace and security. Claiming leadership on an issue that had previously been on UNESCO’s agenda since the late 1970s, the United Nations thus institutionalized the consideration of religious and ‘civilizational’ diversity as an IS concern requiring preventive and mitigating policy initiatives. The 2005 foundation of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, initially promoted by Spain and Turkey, also forms one of the most visible institutional incarnations of this conception according to which religious or civilizational diversity requires policy engineering in order not to hinder IS (Allès 2021). Such initiatives have contributed to spread and reify the CoC and its confessionalized avatars as one of the frames of ordinary conceptions of IS. Moving from grand narrative and global initiatives to concrete policies, this approach has also fostered national and local initiatives resting on a dualist approach of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ religious conceptions, prompting various forms of securitization of religion and religious actors.

FROM DE-SECULARIZATION AS A THREAT TO THE SECURITIZATION OF RELIGIOUS IDENTITIES The mainstreaming of a confessionalized understanding of IS has favoured dualist conceptions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ religions or religious practices. Hurd sees this binary approach as a consequence of the narrative according to which religion forms both ‘the problem’ and ‘the solution’, which implies that ‘once religious moderates are understood, engaged and empow-

Religion and international security  109 ered and religious fundamentalists identified, side-lined or reformed, the problem posed by religion will lessen and religious freedom will spread across the globe’ (Shakman Hurd 2012: 946). Such classification has been at the core of securitizing moves. Securitization, coined as a concept in the 1990s (Buzan et al. 1998), refers to the designation of a specific issue as an essential threat, therefore placing it outside the realm of ordinary politics and investing securitizing actors (mainly states) with the legitimacy to suspend the course of regular democratic processes or the constraints of commonly accepted international norms and conventions on human rights. Securitization processes can involve religion in three main ways, identified by Lausten and Waever as ‘1. A religious group is considered to be a threat to the survival of the state. 2. Faith is seen as threatened by whoever or whatever “non-religious” actor or process (states, technology, industrialism, modernism, etc.). 3. Faith is seen as threatened by another religious discourse or actor’ (Lausten and Waever 2000: 720). Such phenomena concern both secular and theocratic regimes, albeit in various forms. They have resulted in certain religious labels or identities being addressed as essentially security threats, and the categorization of other religious identities or practices as essentially threatened and therefore requiring extraordinary protective measures. While the dual approach of religion and religious identities was latent in previously mentioned attempts at promoting pluralism and religious freedom, without necessarily being associated with securitizing moves, this connexion is more obvious in the narratives behind the promotion of ‘moderation’ against ‘radicalism’. In the post-9/11 context, the political approach towards Islam and the ‘Muslim world’, on the part of Western governments and public opinions, has increasingly been driven by the perception ‘whereby Islam and Muslims are said to represent both a serious security concern and a threat to the survival of Western culture and values’ (Haynes 2019). At the domestic level in Western democracies, this has prompted an increased securitization of Islam and Muslims, leading to higher levels of religious discrimination in comparison with other religious minorities (Fox and Akbaba 2015). Domestic securitizing moves, according to Bosco (2014), have been counterproductive in France and the United Kingdom where their governments have attempted to regiment the organization of Islamic representativity, as attempts at favouring ‘moderates’ over ‘fundamentalists’ provoked reactions of counter-stigmatization within Muslim communities. This author has also underlined that international securitizing moves have sought to promote ‘moderation’ abroad, for instance in the case of the US in Jordan or Indonesia, where the US government has sought to support governmental efforts at fostering local ‘moderate’ groups. Such narratives have effectively been appropriated by national elites, sometimes to the detriment of an effective understanding of complex local situations. In Indonesia, it has contributed to the securitization of ‘foreign’ influences, associated with radicalism and violence, while ‘local’ Islam was reconstructed as inherently ‘moderate’ – leaving in the dark the complexity of the interactions between different religious influences, as well as local forms of religious-based violence (Allès 2021). Inconsistent definitions of ‘radicalism’, ‘fundamentalism’ or ‘moderation’ are often due to governmental actors’ definition of religious legitimacy, seen through the criteria of its compatibility with the perennial nature of national structures. Revivalist narratives about the comeback of religion as an IS concern have facilitated various attempts at legitimating the promotion of a religious norm for security purposes, as well as the securitization and othering of certain religious conceptions, with a broad range of consequences. Mamdani (2005) has unveiled the artificial construction of ‘good Muslims’ and ‘bad Muslims’ in the context of the

110  Handbook on religion and international relations US ‘war on terror’, which most strikingly led to the essentialization of inherently moderate or pacific ‘Sufi’ Islam seen as inherently moderate and pacific. By contrast, Salafism is regularly associated with terrorism despite the absence of homogeneity in this religious stream whose followers tend to share a similar unease towards political institutions but embrace modalities that range from political quietism to violent action (Bonnefoy 2011). As the dividing line is particularly thin between securitization of ‘fundamentalism’ and exclusion or stigmatization of religious-based oppositions, the global securitization of ‘radical’ or ‘fundamentalist’ Islam has also favoured opportunistic narrative adaptations. In various authoritarian contexts, political leaders have appropriated the securitization of religious concerns in order to exclude actors from the political sphere – or, in certain contexts, from society itself – by associating them with terrorism. Such episodes, characterized by attempts at excluding a group identified by its religious identity, have been studied in the context of the Syrian crisis (Darwich and Fakhoury 2016) and the Egyptian ‘revolution’ (Pratt and Rezk 2019; Saleh and Kraetzschmar 2015). A similar strategy, combined with the expectation that oppression disguised as counter-terrorism or deradicalization would escape international scrutiny, has been at the basis of the narratives developed against Rohingya Muslims by the Myanmar government (Win 2019) and against Uighurs by the Chinese government (Finley 2019). The repression of both groups has been justified as ‘preventive’ by governmental authorities, assimilating them with global terrorism and essential threats posed to, respectively, Buddhism in Myanmar, secular nationalism in China as well as the integrity of the state in both cases.

CONCLUSION Once seen as a remnant of a fading old world, religion has acquired a new visibility in IS analyses. In various forms, it has also penetrated the worldviews, narratives and policies of governmental actors, in secular and theocratic contexts. Often perceived as an independent variable, religion is thus at the core of concerns and solutions aimed at favouring international peace and/or security, from engaging religious actors to securitizing religious identities. The relevance of the study of religion and IS, as articulated by Daniel Philpott (2018), is here to stay as long as the relationship between religion and politics remains significant. The resilience of the interaction between religion and IS is also favoured by the convergence of governmental and intergovernmental actors on ambiguous policy solutions aimed at countering the supposedly destabilizing effects of the ‘religious revival’. Interfaith dialogue, for instance, satisfies liberals’ hope for convergence around common values, moderation and pluralism, as well as sectarians and civilizationists’ preference for a rearrangement of the international system around non-interfering blocs primarily defined by a predominantly religious identity. Such initiatives have also favoured dualistic approaches of religious identities, categorized in ‘moderate’ streams to be fostered, versus ‘fundamentalist’ or ‘radical’ approaches to be targeted as security threats. The performative consequences of these dualistic approaches offer a promising avenue for further research, as they call for investigations on the interweaving between confessionalized global IS narratives and their appraisal by national and local political and social actors. This interplay may take various forms: from the reinforcement of individual and collective actors’ self-definition according to primarily religious lenses, to adverse reactions on the uniformization and securitization of religious categories, to the strategic mobilization of these categories in order to raise attention and support. While it is

Religion and international security  111 undeniable that religion has attracted increased interest as an IS concern, the variety of its appraisals remains, nevertheless, a permanent demonstration that political and social history are neither finished or unidirectional.

NOTES 1. This chapter refers to a contemporary understanding of ‘confessionalization’, distinct from the confessions building process that was defined as the elaboration of religious categories and their use for the identification of social groups in early modern Europe. 2. As space is limited, the scope of this chapter is restricted to the evolution of governmental actors’ references to religion in their international security narratives and policies. The chapter will thus only indirectly assess religious non-state actors’ challenges to peace and international security (addressed in Chapters 8 and 12 of this volume); nor will it develop the various theological conceptions of IR and security (on this matter, see Paipais 2019; Bain 2020; Seiple et al. 2013).

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Religion and international security  113 Kirill, P. (2011). Russia’s Spiritual Mission. International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations, 27(2), pp. 3–5. Lausten, B. C. and Waever, O. (2000). In Defence of Religion: Sacred Referent Objects for Securitization. Millennium, 29(3), pp. 705–39. Le Bars, S. (2009). Bernard Kouchner vient de créer un pôle religions au Quai d’Orsay, une première en France. Le Monde, 28 July. Lovin, R. W. (1995). Reinhold Niebuhr and Christian Realism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Madinier, R. (2015). Islam and Politics in Indonesia: The Masyumi Party between Democracy and Integralism. Singapore: NUS Press. Mamdani, M. (2005). Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War, and the Roots of Terror. New York: Three Rivers Press. Maregere, T. P. (2011). Religion: A Source of Conflict and a Resource for Peace. Conflict Trends, 1, pp. 17–23. Marsden, L. (2019). Religion and International Security. Cambridge: Policy Press. Nolan, C. J. (2006). The Age of Wars of Religion, 1000–1650: An Encyclopedia of Global Warfare and Civilization, Volume 2. London: Greenwood. Onnekink, D. (2013). War and Religion after Westphalia, 1648–1713. Burlington, VT: Ashgate. Paipais, V. (2019). Introduction. Political Theologies of the International: The Continued Relevance of Theology in International Relations. Journal of International Relations and Development, 22, pp. 269–77. Pearce, S. (2005). Religious Rage: A Quantitative Analysis of the Intensity of Religious Conflicts. Terrorism and Political Violence, 17(3), pp. 333–52. Petito, F. (2009). Dialogue of Civilizations as an Alternative Model for World Order. In: M. S. Michael and F. Petito (eds), Civilizational Dialogue and World Order: Culture and Religion in International Relations. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Petito, F. and Hatzopoulos, P. (eds) (2004). Religion in International Relations: The Return from Exile. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Philpott, D. (2002). The Challenge of September 11 to Secularism in International Relations. World Politics, 55(11), pp. 66–95. Philpott, D. (2009). Has the Study of Global Politics Found Religion? In: M. Levi, S. Jackman, and R. Rosenblum (eds), Annual Review of Political Science, 12. Palo Alto, CA: Annual Reviews. Philpott, D. (2018). Religion and International Security. In: A. Gheciu and W. C. Wohlforth (eds), The Oxford Handbook of International Security. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pratt, N. and Rezk, D. (2019). Securitizing the Muslim Brotherhood: State Violence and Authoritarianism in Egypt after the Arab Spring. Security Dialogue, 50(3), pp. 239–56. Preston, A. (2012). Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith: Religion in American War and Diplomacy. New York: Anchor. Rapaport, D. (1984). Fear and Trembling: Terrorism in Three Religious Traditions. American Political Science Review, 78(3), 658–77. Rosenau, J. N. (1990). Turbulence in World Politics: A Theory of Change and Continuity. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Rosenau, J. N. (1997). Along the Domestic Foreign Frontier: Exploring Governance in a Turbulent World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Saleh, A. and Kraetzschmar, H. (2015). Politicized Identities, Securitized Politics: Sunni-Shi’a Politics in Egypt. Middle East Journal, 69(4), pp. 545–62. Sandal, N. and Fox, J. (2003). Religion and International Relations Theory. London: Routledge. Seiple, C., Hoover, D. R. and Otis, P. (eds) (2013). The Routledge Handbook of Religion and Security. New York: Routledge. Seiple, R. A. and Hoover, D. (eds) (2004). Religion and Security: The New Nexus in International Relations. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield. Shahi, D. (2017). Understanding Post-9/11 Afghanistan: A Critical Insight into Huntington’s Civilizational Approach. Bristol: E-International Relations. Shakman Hurd, E. (2008). The Politics of Secularism in International Relations. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

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8. International religious terrorism Gus Martin

INTRODUCTION International terrorism became a common feature of the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Reasons for terrorism in the international realm are quite understandable. This is because: [i]n the modern era of immediate media attention, small and relatively weak movements have concluded that worldwide exposure can be achieved by committing acts of political violence against international symbols. These groups have discovered that politically motivated hijackings, bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, extortion, and other criminal acts can be quite effective when conducted under an international spotlight. (Martin 2021, p. 212)

The promise of immediate attention enhances the likelihood that dedicated international insurgents will successfully exercise some degree of influence over the targeted interest’s political and social environment. Furthermore, the symbolism of selected targets can have significant transnational implications. Domestic attacks against victims symbolizing an international interest can be as effective as terrorist operations in foreign countries. This explains why: terrorist violence frequently occurs beyond the borders of the countries that are the targets of such violence. Those who engage in political violence on an international scale do so with the expectation that it will have a positive effect on their cause at home – thus reasoning that international exposure will bring about compensation for perceived domestic injustices. Using this logic, terrorists will either go abroad to strike at targets or remain at home to strike internationally symbolic targets. (Martin 2021, p. 215)

THE MODERN ERA OF GLOBALIZED RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM International terrorism is a strategy by insurgents that is intended to force world attention on their grievances. The rationale is that absent allowing the conflict to “spill over” into the global arena, the insurgency would be confined to a domestic, and hence ignored, battle space. Terrorists redefine the legitimacy of who can be defined as an enemy, and thus attack selected symbolic targets, often resulting in civilian mass casualties. Attention by a global audience is achieved through this strategy. International terrorism has challenged the international community since the late 1960s and early 1970s, when the concept of globalized revolution was at high tide. Revolutionaries began to grasp that maximum political influence could be achieved by fighting and collaborating in the international realm. Additionally, maximum propaganda value was secured with minimal cost to the insurgents. Since the dawn of modern international terrorism, terrorists, insurgents, and international revolutionaries have successfully communicated their motivations to the global community. As Charles Kegley observed, “international terrorism represents one of the defining elements of politics on the world’s stage today” (Kegley 1990, p. 3). 115

116  Handbook on religion and international relations Terrorism in the name of religion has become the predominant model for political violence in the modern world. This is not to suggest that it is the only model, because nationalism and ideology remain as potent catalysts for extremist behavior. However, religious extremism has become a central issue for the global community. In the modern era, religious terrorism has increased in its frequency, scale of violence, and global reach. At the same time, a relative decline has occurred in secular – nonreligious – terrorism. The old ideologies of class conflict, anti-colonial liberation, and secular nationalism have been challenged by a new and vigorous infusion of sectarian (religious) ideologies (Martin 2021, p. 135). Bruce Hoffman cogently explicated the genesis of this new environment: it is perhaps not surprising that religion should become a far more popular motivation for terrorism in the post-Cold War era as old ideologies lie discredited by the collapse of the Soviet Union and communist ideology, while the promise of munificent benefits from the liberal-democratic, capitalist state … fails to materialize in many countries throughout the world. (Hoffman 1998, p. 92)

Religious Asymmetric Insurgency Asymmetric insurgency refers to the unpredictable, unconventional, and unexpected prosecution of war or political violence. In the era of New Terrorism, asymmetric insurgency has become a central strategy for religious terrorists, and international terrorism represents an effective implementation of asymmetric insurgency. It is a historically old strategy, but in the modern era religious terrorists possess an unprecedented capacity to cause mass casualties by striking soft targets using a variety of weapons, including common conveyances such as motorized vehicles. Religious terrorists have become adept at applying the tactics of asymmetric insurgency internationally. Asymmetric practice is attractive to insurgencies seeking to defeat well-established socio-political orders. Religious dissidents usually begin their activism when they are qualitatively and operationally weaker than the security establishment of their opponents. Violent extremists in the modern era are therefore adept at waging asymmetric insurgencies because asymmetric methods allow the qualitatively inferior forces to wage a type of total warfare against every layer of society. Their endgame is to rupture the enemy’s resolve to continue the conflict. Religious insurgents regularly employ this strategy by encouraging their operatives and supporters to attack adversaries in other regions and nations. The Modern Environment and the Centrality of Islamist Activism The term Islamist refers to politicized religious activism premised on self-defined Muslim principles. It is a faith-based ideology that is motivated by the goal of creating a new social order based on interpreted precepts of correct Islamic governance and behavior. Islamist revolutionary movements advocate violent holy war to form a purist Muslim state, and to resist Western and Zionist (i.e. Israeli) influences. They also provide a vehicle for those seeking deliverance from perceived repression. In this regard: Many of these themes resonate among young religious activists. For some, the Islamist analysis provides answers to their questions and discontent about political repression, poverty, exploitation, and the role of religious faith in remedying these conditions. Thus, whereas non-Islamists decry the

International religious terrorism  117 violence of radical movements such as Al Qa’ida, Islamist intellectuals and activists feel championed by these movements. (Martin 2007, p. 655)

Paul Pillar (2001) summarized the progression of international terrorism in the postwar era as a series of general phases. He noted that by the end of the twentieth century, the most prominent practitioners of international terrorism are religious extremists. Although Islamist movements such as Al-Qa’ida-like groups are the most prolific international religious terrorists, extremists from every major religion operate on the international stage. During the early decades of the twenty-first century, religious international terrorism firmly eclipsed international practitioners espousing other extremist causes. ISIS and Al-Qa’ida operatives conduct high-profile mass casualty attacks internationally, and these movements encourage lone wolf and small-cell attacks in Western countries. In the twenty-first century, extremist religious ideologies inspire followers via the Internet and other technologies. The Internet and social networking media provide robust resources for extremists to promulgate messages and to facilitate the recruitment of new adherents to their cause. No longer must movements directly communicate with sympathizers to advocate direct action; Internet and social media communiqués allow them to do so safely and remotely (Pillar 2001).

CONCEPTUAL CONSIDERATIONS: UNDERSTANDING INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS INSURGENCY International religious insurgency in the modern era originated from the sequential evolution of Arab activism after the end of the Second World War. This progression involved several intellectual phases that included secular socialist and nationalist activist environments, eventually culminating in Islamist activism. Secular phases began with nationalist resistance against European colonial occupation. Pan-Arab nationalism followed the anti-colonial phase, led by Egypt’s president Gamel Abdel-Nasser, who promoted the formation of a single pan-Arab United Arab Republic (UAR). This ideology, known as Nasserism, did not successfully create a UAR and was followed by secular socialist-inspired leftist activism and the advocation of Marxism or other socialist philosophies. Resistance and Insurgency in the Middle East Neither Nasserism nor leftist radicalism resulted in desired socio-political reforms, international respect, or economic prosperity for the broader populace. As a result, many intellectuals and activists became disenchanted with these tendencies. Significantly, Arab regimes suffered several humiliating military reversals in conflict with the Israelis, and were unable to deliver on their avowed promise to successfully aid the Palestinian people. Within this environment, many Arab nationalists, who had devoted their lives to opposing Western influence and exploitation in general – and Western support for Israel in particular – began to reinterpret the overall struggle as one against non-Muslim influences and values. Islamist movements gained ascendency and eventually surpassed the nationalist and secular leftist ideologies of the older generation. Islamist intellectual momentum alarmed regime leaders throughout the region, who were often adherents of the previous generation’s ideologies. These regimes had failed to achieve prosperity for their people and had made little

118  Handbook on religion and international relations headway against Western influence and Israel. Thus, Islamist sentiment and radical interpretations of Islam seemingly promised deliverance in the wake of failure by secular ideologies. Islamist sentiment was a logical intellectual option for the younger generation. Pillar notes: the discrediting of leftist ideologies within the Muslim world, like the earlier loss of respect for Nasserite pan-Arabism … has … meant that political Islam has become the main vehicle there for expression … of strongly held dissent. A young man in a Muslim country who wants to make a forceful statement against the existing order has few avenues for doing so except through membership in a radical Islamic group. (Pillar 2001, pp. 45–6)

The modern Islamist movement is transnational. Not all Islamists are in agreement, but in general the movement transcends cultural and ethnic distinctions and is a worldwide phenomenon. Symbolic Warfare: Western Imperialism and the Zionist Enemy International terrorism is directed against transnational interests considered by insurgents as symbols of exploitation or oppression. From the perspective of violent extremists, these enemy interests may be attacked wherever they are found. Thus, international attacks against symbols of Western interests and Zionism are rationalized as morally acceptable. Within the context of transnational insurgencies and international terrorism, the West is often targeted because Western nations historically engaged in empire building (imperialism) as an acceptable assertion of global dominance and stature. Imperial expansion and consolidation occurred for centuries until the resolution of anti-colonial wars at the conclusion of the twentieth century. Neocolonialism is a concomitant concept that captured the perceived economic exploitation of the developing world. In this context, neocolonialism is defined as Western economic exploitation in the developing world, symbolized by the actions of multinational corporations. Thus, during wars in the developing world in the Cold War era, Western civilians and interests were attacked as symbols of imperial exploitation. Indigenous insurgents viewed Western interests as being responsible for exploiting the wealth of the developing world. Therefore, multinational corporations and other symbols of exploitation were fair game for insurgent violence, even if the targeted interests were attacked far from the affected nation or region. International terrorism and insurgency were completely justifiable from the perspective of insurgents. Zionism is an intellectual movement that historically advocated the creation of the proper timing, means, and conditions for the return of the Jewish diaspora to Palestine. On November 2, 1917, the British government sanctioned the Zionist concept in the Balfour Declaration. The Balfour Declaration also recognized the eventual establishment of a Jewish nation in Palestine, as well as the protection of the rights of non-Jewish residents. In the modern era, anti-Zionist violence and terrorism is justified in the same manner as anti-imperialist violence and terrorism. Zionist targets have also been attacked internationally, although frequently the targets are Jewish civilians who have no connection to Israel. In essence, anti-Zionist violence is often directed against Jewish civilians as symbols of Zionism.

International religious terrorism  119 Civilizational Fault Lines Samuel P. Huntington (1993) wrote in his influential article “The clash of civilizations?” that the decline of the centrality of religious and ethnic identities, as well as the decline of traditional ideologies, would cease to represent the central features of the international system. He argued that such cultural identities are transnational “fault lines” that would result in civilizational conflicts in the future rather than ideological violence. Huntington argued that social and economic change and modernization have transformed cultural identities into transnational attributes. Thus, the transnational cultural identities will cause civilizational fault lines to create competition, friction, and conflict. Literature on this issue has debated whether the fault lines between Islamic and Western countries have fractured, and whether the modern era represents a civilizational conflict between Islamic societies and the West. Benjamin Barber (2001) in Jihad vs. McWorld posited whether “parochial hatreds” found in tribalistic and religious perspectives, and “universalist” processes found in Western commercialism, will inevitably threaten the preeminence of nations and democracy (Martin 2007, p. 647). Barber observes, “the collision between the forces of disintegral tribalism and reactionary fundamentalism … and the forces of integrative modernization and aggressive economic and cultural globalization … has been brutally exacerbated by the dialectical interdependence of these two seemingly oppositional sets of forces” (Barber 2001, p. xii). One further civilizational perspective is relevant for consideration. Mustafa Al Sayyid (2002) noted that the concept of terrorism is often defined differently by experts and civilians in the Muslim world and the West. By implication, there have been important differences in evaluation and communication on the interpretation of political violence between the Muslim world and Westerners. David C. Rapoport (2004) separately proposed a theory that is relevant for elucidating the civilizational fault lines analysis and its implications for faith-motivated terrorism. Rapoport’s argument is that terrorism in the modern era progressed through three waves, each lasting approximately 40 years. Rapoport further holds that the global community is now challenged by a fourth wave. These waves are the anarchist wave, from the 1880s to the end of the First World War; the anti-colonial wave, from the end of the First World War to the late 1960s; the New Left wave, from the late 1960s to the near present; and the religious wave, from about 1980 until the present. Terrorism motivated by religion is a global problem exacerbated by civilizational fault lines. Sectarian conflict and terrorism grew during the 1980s and proliferated in subsequent decades to become the predominant motivation for international terrorism during the 1990s through the 2010s. Significant destruction and mass casualties became the principal features of religious terrorism, and religious extremists became proficient recruiters of sympathetic cadres in nations and regions far from the central areas of conflict. National boundaries ceased being lines of demarcation for dedicated religious insurgents. Conflict continued to be waged among religious and ethnic groups who shared some degree of civilizational commonality, such as ethnicity, but these commonalities often break down along other fault lines such as religion (Hoffman 2002). At the end of the twentieth century, religious extremism became the predominant feature of terrorism, and continued to be the central model well into the twenty-first century. Religious terrorists from many nations regularly engage in violence internationally against symbols of enemy interests, often in the home countries of perceived enemies. Religious terrorists such as

120  Handbook on religion and international relations Al-Qa’ida, ISIS, and other movements intentionally engage in mass casualty operations, resulting in scales of lethality that were relatively uncommon in previous terrorist environments. Transnational Religious Identity In the modern era, extremists who advocate transnational revolutionary agendas are usually inspired by religious zeal; it is the principal impetus for international terrorism. ISIS, Al-Qa’ida, and other movements are typical models for movements that aggressively assert fundamentalist faith as the common motivation for their transnational insurgencies. Among dedicated Islamists, a worldwide sense of common purpose has inspired terrorist attacks in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, North America, and Asia. Lone-wolf extremists and cells of religious revolutionaries have been operational in each of these regions. In the modern era, many indigenous ethno-nationalist insurgencies and revolutionaries have redefined their nationalist agendas and identities to religion, in a similar manner as previous insurgencies linked their agendas and identities to Marxism and radical socialism. Although many nationalists continue to be mainly secular in their global view, in the modern era there has been an increasing number of examples of nationalists who have strategically adapted religious precepts as the fundamental identity of their movements. This is evidenced by religion-based insurgencies in Israel, Kashmir, Chechnya, and Indonesia. Because of these trends, religious terrorism has become the epitome of international terrorist trends from the 1990s to the present. Religion-motivated international violence is the direct result of the rapid growth in radical Islamist ideologies. This renaissance in religious centrality reflects the widespread rejection of previously dominant secular ideologies such as Marxism. It is also a reflection of general disenchantment with pan-Arab nationalist sentiment. New generations of activists were inspired by the examples of the Iranian Revolution and the international mujahideen in Afghanistan. New insurgencies and movements arose in predominantly Muslim countries and led to an infusion of new international volunteers in Syria, Iraq, and other conflicts; these battle spaces served as a forge for molding a new generation of dedicated fighters. There exists a new and vigorous transnational revolutionary consciousness that feeds promoting a strong camaraderie and feeling of common cause among comrades-in-arms worldwide. Significantly, pan-Islamic transnational movements and networks such as ISIS and Al-Qa’ida have fundamentally impelled the formation of new transnational Islamist terrorist cells and lone-wolf operatives. The fundamentalist Islamist ideal Mujahideen (“holy warriors”) are Islamic fighters who live according to a code of self-sacrifice that requires a bond of commitment to take up arms to defend the faith. Their code is defined as a defensive vow of sacrifice, essentially an acceptance that the faith is under attack and must be defended. Mujahideen usually are adherents of fundamentalist interpretations of Islam who have redefined their personal jihad, or internal religious and moral struggle, to be one of defending, fighting, and possibly dying on behalf of the faith. Reasons for making a vow to become a member of the mujahideen can be cultural or personal, depending on national or personal contexts. Some choosing to join the mujahideen do so in response calls for defensive holy war from religious leaders and scholars who typically declare that Islam is being exploited or suppressed by the West. Similarly, many declare their commitment in response to immediate identifiable threats to their nation or people, such as the United States-led

International religious terrorism  121 occupation of Iraq, the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, or the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Others become mujahideen to support the cause of fellow Muslims who are perceived as being repressed by non-Muslim adversaries, such as the wars fought by Algerian rebels or Bosnian Muslims. Most mujahideen, regardless of their personal motivation for accepting their vow, are distinguished by their commitment in several faith-based values. The moral foundation for mujahideen is absolute selfless commitment to defend the faith. When one accepts the code of the mujahideen, one becomes committed to live, fight, and eventually die in compliance with religious principles and teachings. Mujahideen also believe that victory is inevitable because the underlying cause is being conducted in the name of God and on behalf of the faith; both God and the faith will be victorious. When one adopts this code to defend the faith, ordeals and trials must be endured selflessly and without complaint; any pain suffered in the corporeal world will be repaid in the afterlife. Correct living as a defender of the faith is a righteous and holy commitment, and in the afterlife one can enjoy proscribed earthly pleasures. As applied to those who correctly perform the duties of the code of the mujahideen, and one sacrifices oneself defending the faith against the unfaithful, death is martyrdom and through martyrdom paradise will be achieved. Religious nihilism Revolutionary nihilism refers to political agendas that advocate the destruction of an existing order without clear direction toward a defined post-revolutionary society. There is only a vague and generalized vision of the post-revolutionary environment. The actions and goals of Al-Qa’ida and other Islamist movements are arguably nihilistic for two reasons: first, their followers are dedicated to defeating what they perceive as exploitative or infidel threats to the pan-Islamic nation, and second, they present vague notions about what kind of new civilization will be constructed after the downfall of the old. “Adherents vaguely refer to creating a post-revolutionary religious society governed under the precepts of the Holy Quran, with secular governments giving way to sectarian fundamentalist leadership. However, such vision is of secondary importance to the immediate concern of waging a globalized holy war” (Martin 2007, p. 655). In this regard, Al-Qa’ida and similar movements and networks represent religious nihilist insurgencies. It is true that Al-Qa’ida has a generalized goal of defending Islam and fomenting a pan-Islamic revival, but the group offers no specific model for how the post-revolution world would be shaped, and its long-term goals are not clearly defined. In contrast to Al-Qa’ida, ISIS did attempt to establish a governable caliphate. The prototypical caliphate was founded as a governed entity, with administrative institutions and a shari’a-based legal system, and therefore ISIS represents a non-nihilist Islamist movement.

RELIGIOUS TERRORISM IN THE AGE OF GLOBALIZATION Catalysts for Religious Terrorism The New Terrorism and the rise of religious insurgencies The New Terrorism is characterized by loosely unstructured cell-based networks that deliberately create minimal lines of command and control. The New Terrorism also represents ideologies that possess politically vague, religious, or mystical motivations. It utilizes asymmetrical

122  Handbook on religion and international relations strategies and methods that maximize casualties, and it has adapted modern technology so that adherents skillfully use the Internet and social networking media, and manipulate the mass media. In essence, the New Terrorism is distinguishable from past patterns of political violence because it attempts to achieve maximum psycholog­ical and social disruption; engages in indiscriminate attacks; presents the threatened use of weapons of mass destruction; and exhibits vaguely articulated political objectives. There is also an emphasis on establishing horizontally configured, semiautonomous cell-based arrangements. Religious insurgencies routinely expand the definitions and justifications for who an enemy is, what a legitimate target may be, and which weapons to deploy. This restructuring of who con­stitutes a legitimate target, and what can be appropriate means to attack that target, led to an incrementally more destructive use of political violence. When applied, the new terrorist morality can be unconstrained and quite horrific. For example, ISIS regularly recorded and promulgated graphic executions, including beheadings and public burnings of prisoners. These actions were chronicled and uploaded on the Internet and social media. Thus, “[w]hen terrorists combine this new morality with the ever-increasing lethality of modern weapons, the potential for high casualty rates and terror on an unprecedented scale is very real” (Martin 2021, p. 127). Blowback: Implications of foreign interventions Foreign interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere resulted in unforeseen implications. For example, the series of wars in Afghanistan, which began with the 1979 Soviet invasion, produced a large cadre of hardened Islamist fighters. At the outset, the invasion and occupation by Soviet forces led to a sustained guerrilla insurgency that eventually forced the Soviet army to withdraw after losing 15,000 of its men. The war was considered by the insurgents to be a jihad, and they declared themselves to be mujahideen in a holy war against nonbelievers. Muslims from around the world volunteered to fight alongside or otherwise support the Afghani mujahideen. This created a transnational Islamic consciousness that led to the creation of the Al-Qa’ida network and domestic Islamist movements as far afield as Algeria, Malaysia, Central Asia, and the Philippines. These foreign Islamist volunteers – termed the “Afghan Arabs” – became a legendary fighting force among Muslim activists. It is not known exactly how many Afghan Arabs fought in Afghanistan during the anti-Soviet jihad. However, reasonable estimates have been calculated. After the Soviet phase of the war, many of the Afghan Arabs carried on their jihad in other countries, becoming international mujahideen. For example, some fought in Bosnia and gained a reputa­tion for their fervor, fighting skills, and brutality. Many Algerian Afghan Arabs returned home to fight on the side of Muslim rebels in the brutal Algerian insurgency during the 1990s. Other Afghan Arabs traveled to Muslim com­munities in Asia and Africa, assisting indigenous Muslim groups in their causes. They provided technical assistance and other resources to these groups. For example, Filipino and Indonesian jihadis had frequent interaction with the Al-Qa’ida network and Afghan Arabs. Afghan Arabs also fought in Chechnya, and some Chechens subsequently fought on behalf of the Taliban in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Afghan Arabs symbolize a transnational Islamist phenomenon that carried on well into the second decade of the twenty-first century. They represent the “first generation” of international Islamist fighters who inspired younger “second-generation” mujahideen recruits to join the cause, a process that con­tinued in the post-2011 Arab Spring conflicts. Significantly, many

International religious terrorism  123 younger successors to the Afghan Arabs have been sympathizers from Western countries. In effect, new generations of Afghan Arabs were born from the insurgency in Iraq and elsewhere (Bergen 2004). International Religious Terrorism: State and Dissident Cases The revolutionary spark: Proxy warfare by Iran Proxy warfare was a common feature of the Cold War era, in which rival global powers supported their respective national and insurgent proxies against the interest of their adversaries. In the post-Cold War era, Iran waged its own version of proxy war, becoming a preeminent state sponsor of religious terrorism after the overthrow of the mon­archy of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in 1979 and the creation of the theocratic Islamic Republic of Iran. Iran has been responsible for the sponsorship of Islamist groups that have repeatedly initiated terrorist violence, making Iran a perennial entry on the United States Department of State’s list of state sponsors of terrorism. The elite Revolutionary Guards Corps has a special unit – the Qods (Jerusalem) Force – that promotes Islamic revolution abroad and the “liberation” of Jerusalem from non-Muslims. Members of the Qods Force and Revolutionary Guards have an internationalist presence, appearing in Lebanon, Sudan, and Syria. Because of these and other transnational incidents, the United States labelled the entire Revolutionary Guards Corps a terrorist group in August 2007. As noted by Ali Alfoneh (2007), Iran has regularly advocated the recruitment of “martyrdom” volunteers who could be deployed to engage in suicide attacks against Israeli and American interests. An example of Iranian support for proxy groups is the support given by Iran to Lebanon’s Hezbollah. The Iran–Hezbollah relationship is important because of the central role Hezbollah has played in the region’s political environment from the 1980s to the present. Hezbollah (“Party of God”) is a Shi’a movement in Lebanon that avowedly champions the country’s Shi’a population and Lebanese independence. Hezbollah was responsible for hundreds of incidents of political violence during the 1980s and 1990s, operating under various names such as Revolutionary Justice Organization and Islamic Jihad. Hezbollah is closely linked to Iran, and its leaders have overtly stated that they support the ideals of the Iranian Revolution. It has a relationship of mentorship from Iran for its movement. This close affiliation allows Iran’s support to be projected beyond mere ideological collaboration toward overtly operational sponsorship. The long history of sponsorship extends to the 1980s, when Iran deployed members of its Revolutionary Guards Corps into Lebanon’s Beka’a Valley – then occupied by Syria – to mold Hezbollah into a quality fighting force. Iran sponsored funding, training, and other logistical support. This collaboration occurred with the agreement of the Alawite regime in Syria, with the implication that Hezbollah also serves as a pro-Syrian movement. During the post-2011 Syrian civil war, both Hezbollah and Iran supported the Syrian war effort, providing military and logistical assistance. Hezbollah also actively engaged in combat on the side of the Syrian regime. Iran’s strategy of proxy warfare against Israel has promoted Islamist movements that directly confront Israeli interests and personnel in the West Bank, Gaza, and within Israel’s borders. From the immediate aftermath of the Iranian Revolution, Iranian leaders overtly advocated the goal of “liberating” Jerusalem. Toward that end, Iran has overtly supported Palestinian organizations that eschew negotiations and dialogue with Israel. Iran has provided sig­nificant materiel and financial support to the Palestinian cause. The regime actively

124  Handbook on religion and international relations promotes operations by Islamist Palestinian movements such as Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement) – both receive important support from Iran. For example, Iran’s Fund for the Martyrs has disbursed millions of dollars to Hamas. PIJ and Hamas are responsible for many acts of terrorism, including bombings, rocket attacks, shootings, suicide attacks, and other actions. The Al-Qa’ida archetype The Al-Qa’ida archetype represents a revolutionary movement that is stateless, receiving little or no sponsorship from a state. It has created a loose quasi-military organizational arrangement, claims no defined national territory or home region, champions only those who agree with them, and is unreservedly motivated by its own version of religious fundamentalism. Al-Qa’ida has become a globalized phenomenon, a network inspired by Osama bin Laden’s vision of pan-Islamist transnational revolution. A number of Islamist insurgencies and movements have pledged fealty as Al-Qa’ida affiliates, so that the network has arguably become an ideology of religious revolution. Because of these factors, it represents an archetypal revolutionary model for the modern global political environment. The Al-Qa’ida archetype has been accepted and adapted by similar movements and networks, inspiring many Sunni Islamist fundamentalist revolutionaries and insurgencies in a number of regions and countries. Al-Qa’ida is a nonstate facilitator for inspiring transnational solidarity and collaboration among religious radicals and insurgents. Al-Qa’ida represents a new paradigm for international religious terrorism. It is not a conventionally hierarchical revolutionary movement or insurgency, and does not require adherents of its Islamist ideology to do much more than accept sacrifice as mujahideen and participate in revolutionary and terrorist violence in the name of the faith. Furthermore: Al-Qa’ida is best described as a cell-based movement or a loose network of like-minded Sunni Islamist revolutionaries. Compared to other movements in the postwar era, it is a differ­ent kind of network because central Al-Qa’ida holds no territory; does not champion the aspirations of an ethnonational group; has no top-down organizational structure; has virtually nonexistent state sponsorship; promulgates political demands that are vague; and is completely religious in its worldview. (Martin 2021, p. 153)

The Al-Qa’ida archetype is a transnational model comprised of supporters and cadres found throughout the Muslim world. Al-Qa’ida is fundamentally a transnational revolutionary movement and ideology that employs terrorism and insurgency as its core operational modality. Its goals are vague but appealing: to expel non-Muslim values and influences from Islamic nations and territory, and to join together like-minded Islamist groups throughout the world for fomenting pan-Islamic revolution. Al-Qa’ida has inspired fealty from a number of affiliated insurgencies. For example, Al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) became operational in western North Africa, and during its original operational phase in the early 2000s it was named the Salafist Group for Call and Combat (in French, Le Groupe Salafiste Pour la Predication et le Combat), or GSPC. GSPC declared allegiance toward, and common cause with, central Al-Qa’ida in 2006, and redesignated itself as AQIM. Unlike Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) global operational mission, AQIM’s operational mission is primarily confined to the West African region. Similar to Al-Qa’ida, its ideology calls for the establishment of an Islamic state and actively opposes “apostate” African regimes. From its inception, AQIM’s propaganda has

International religious terrorism  125 promulgated a consistently anti-Western message. Similarly, AQAP was founded in 2009 when Al-Qa’ida in Yemen and the Saudi branch of Al-Qa’ida declared that they were uniting to create a caliphate in the Arabian Peninsula governed under shari’a law. The ISIS model In addition to the Al-Qa’ida archetype, which has been very influential in promoting transnational Islamist sentiment, another model arose in the wake of the aggressive momentum of the Islamic State insurgency. The movement is the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS (in Arabic the acronym is Daesh). It came to the attention of the international community in early 2014 when ISIS overran large portions of territory in northern Iraq. The insurgents seized major population centers in Iraq – particularly the cities of Tikrit (home of Saddam Hussein) and Mosul – as the Iraqi security forces and army were routed, causing the international community to become fully alerted to the new challenge to regional security posed by the movement. The origin of ISIS is from an insurgency waged in Iraq in 2005–2006 by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s Islamist movement Al-Qa’ida Organization for Holy War in Iraq (AQI). AQI waged an intensive Islamist insurgency against United States-led occupation forces, the Iraqi army, and the Shi’a Badr Brigade. After al-Zarqawi’s death in 2006, AQI renamed itself the Islamic State in Iraq. In April 2013, Islamic State in Iraq subsequently announced the formation of the Islamic State. In effect, ISIS was founded as the de facto successor to AQI, which had expanded its operations, establishing a transnational presence and model, during the Syrian civil war that began in the aftermath of the 2011 Arab Spring protests. With the escalation of internecine warfare in Syria and Iraq, ISIS explicitly declared that the new operational scope and battle space of the movement would go beyond, and cease recognizing, the borders of neighboring countries. In effect, the fundamental propositions of ISIS hold that it is necessary to wage war to achieve the avowed goal of establishing a renewed caliphate, transcending these borders and eventually encompassing the Muslim world. ISIS declared the creation of a caliphate in June 2014, which ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announced as the formation of a new Islamic state, with himself at its head as the new caliph. The newly established caliphate would henceforth be governed in accordance with their interpretation of Islamic shari’a law, essentially a harsh fundamentalist approach. Interestingly, ISIS’s extraordinary violence and pronouncements brought the movement into conceptual and political conflict with central Al-Qa’ida’s leadership, particularly with leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who denounced ISIS when the movement rejected calls to limit its insurgency to Syria. This denunciation had no effect on ISIS’s operations in its Syrian and Iraqi battle spaces. From its founding, the Islamic State caliphate carried out a campaign of brutality in how it governed its territory and how it waged war. In occupied territories, captured security officers and soldiers were routinely executed, civilians were tortured and imprisoned for minor violations, and Western civilians were abused and killed. These abuses were recorded and promulgated, so the global community observed ISIS-initiated massacres, beheadings, immolations, and crucifixions, all broadcast via social media. Declared enemy groups were repressed in the extreme, including religious and ethnic groups such as Shi’a Muslims, Christians, and Yazidis. Enslavement of children and women attained legal justification with the enactment of ISIS-instituted laws and regulations. Nevertheless, ISIS adeptly recruited thousands of foreign volunteers to join the movement in Syria and Iraq. Many volunteers were from Central Asia, Chechnya, the United States, and Europe. A stated stratagem by ISIS was for these volunteers

126  Handbook on religion and international relations to return to their home regions and countries to continue their jihad domestically. ISIS and affiliated groups also embedded operatives with refugees migrating to Western countries. ISIS’s momentum slowly began to be reversed, and it lost the initiative in 2016 and 2017, when counterattacks in Syria and Iraq overran ISIS-occupied regions and cities during heavy fighting. Territory previously occupied by ISIS had been recaptured by 2019, and the self-proclaimed caliph al-Baghdadi was killed in Idlib, Syria, in October 2019. Nevertheless, the ISIS model evolved into a transnational identity, similar to the transnational presence of Al-Qaida. ISIS operatives, sympathizers, and radicalized lone-wolf operators allowed ISIS to continue to demonstrate its viability by claiming responsibility for attacks in the region and elsewhere, regardless of whether such attacks were centrally planned. For example, ISIS claimed responsibility for a coordinated series of suicide bombings at churches and other sites in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019. Like Al-Qa’ida, ISIS also inspired fealty from a number of affiliated insurgencies. For example, the Philippines has been home to Abu Sayyaf (Islamic State-Philippines), a Muslim insurgency on the island of Basilan with ideological and other links initially to Al-Qa’ida, and later ISIS. ISIS’s avowed goal of creating a new caliphate eventually inspired loyalty from Abu Sayyaf’s leadership.

CONCLUSION The end of the Cold War heralded a decline in ideological and nationalist motives for political violence, and a concomitant rise in the frequency and intensity of religious political violence. There also occurred a decline in secular ideological and nationalist violence on the global stage, so that international religious terrorism became the predominant model for transnational political violence. Islamist extremism became a transnational movement accelerated by the examples of networks such as Al-Qa’ida and ISIS, and unlike the prior era of international terrorism, religious extremists have expanded the definition of acceptable target designations. The result has been repeated incidents in distant nations, as well as an underlying strategy of carrying out intentional mass casualty incidents against civilian targets. Islamist insurgencies have declared fealty across broad regions to the Al-Qa’ida archetype and ISIS model, creating a true transnational sense of solidarity. With the creation of this sentiment, international religious terrorism has become an endemic model for waging asymmetric war by Islamist insurgents.

REFERENCES Al Sayyid, M. 2002. “Mixed message: Arab and Muslim response to ‘terrorism.’” Washington Quarterly, 25:2 (Spring) 177–90. Alfoneh, A. 2007. “Iran’s suicide brigades.” Middle Eastern Quarterly, 14:1. Barber, B. R. 2001. Jihad vs. Mcworld. New York: Ballantine Books. Bergen, P. 2004. “Backdraft: How the war in Iraq has fueled Al Qaeda and ignited its dream of global jihad.” Mother Jones (July/August) 41–5. Hoffman, B. 1998. Inside Terrorism. New York: Columbia University Press. Hoffman, S. 2002. “Clash of globalizations.” Foreign Affairs, 81:3 (July–August) 104–15. Huntington, S. P. 1993. “The clash of civilizations?” Foreign Affairs 72:3 (Summer) 22–49. Kegley, C. 1990. “The characteristics, causes, and controls of international terrorism.” In Kegley, C., ed., International Terrorism: Characteristics, Causes, and Controls, New York: St. Martin’s.

International religious terrorism  127 Martin, G. 2007. “Globalization and international terrorism.” In Ritzer, G., ed., The Blackwell Companion to Globalization, Malden, MA: Blackwell. Martin, G. 2021. Understanding Terrorism: Challenges, Perspectives, and Issues. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Pillar, P. 2001. Terrorism and US Foreign Policy. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution. Rapoport, D. C. 2004. “The four waves of modern terrorism.” In Cronin, A. K. and Lodes, J. M., eds, Attacking Terrorism: Elements of a Grand Strategy. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 46–73.


9. The clash of civilizations, then and now Jonathan Fox

Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations (CoC) theory is among the most well known and most controversial theories in relation to religion in international relations. The debate over the theory began with Huntington’s 1993 “The Clash of Civilizations?” article in Foreign Affairs. The debate ensued immediately, beginning in the pages of Foreign Affairs and quickly spreading throughout the fields of international relations, comparative politics, and religion and politics, among many others. Huntington expanded his arguments into a 1996 book entitled The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order which only lent fuel to the debate which continues today. This chapter provides a general description of Huntington’s arguments and those of his critics. As this debate includes thousands, if not tens of thousands, of contributions in the peer-review literature alone, it is not possible to discuss all of Huntington’s critics. Nor is it feasible to do more than summarize the core elements of Huntington’s arguments in this forum. Nevertheless, Huntington’s basic arguments are simple. Similarly, despite the number of critics, there are a limited number of general critiques of the CoC theory. Thus, it is possible to describe the broad strokes of the CoC debate in this context.

CIVILIZATION VERSUS RELIGION Huntington’s (1993a, 1996a) basic argument is that when the Cold War ended, the ideological conflicts between the East and the West were replaced by identity-based conflicts between groupings that he calls civilizations. Huntington (1993a) defines a civilization as: the highest cultural grouping of people and the broadest level of cultural identity people have short of what distinguishes humans from other species. It is defined by both common language, history, religion, customs, institutions and by the subjective self identification of people.

This definition is similar to that used for ethnicity in that both are based on a sense of identity that is linked to inscriptive traits. These common traits create the perception within a group that they are a group and give them shared identity. The key difference between these two concepts is that civilizational groups are more broadly defined than ethnic groups. That is, most civilizations combine multiple more narrowly defined ethnic and national identities into a broader identity group based on more generally defined common traits. Huntington’s list of civilizations includes Western, Sino-Confucian, Japanese, Islamic, Hindu, Slavic-Orthodox, Latin American, and “possibly” African civilizations. In his book he also adds a Buddhist civilization. Most of these civilizations include some element of religion in their definition. The Islamic and Hindu civilizations are defined entirely by religion (Huntington, 1996a: 45).


130  Handbook on religion and international relations However, the other civilizations include both religious and non-religious components in their definitions. The Western civilization, as a result of the Reformation, uniquely combines Catholic and Protestant culture and adheres to the concept of separation of church and state. Its non-religious traits include its classical legacy, adherence to the rule of law, near-universal acceptance of representative government, a multiplicity of languages, social pluralism, and sense of individualism (Huntington, 1996a: 46, 68–72). The Slavic-Orthodox civilization is based in part on membership in Orthodox Christianity. But it is also based on Slavic descent, “200 years of Tatar rule” and “bureaucratic despotism,” and limited exposure to the Renaissance, Enlightenment, and “other central Western experiences” (Huntington, 1996a: 45–6). The Latin American civilization is primarily Catholic and had limited exposure to the Reformation combined with non-religious elements like a corporatist authoritarian culture and the inclusion of indigenous elements into the culture (Huntington, 1996a: 46). The Sino-Confucian civilization includes Confucianism as a major component. Huntington also indicates the presence of other common cultural elements but never describes them. He is unclear as to whether Buddhist groups are included in the civilization or constitute a separate civilization and in some places treats it as one but in others as part of the Sino-Confucian civilization (Huntington, 1996a: 26–7, 45, 48, 257). The Japanese civilization is distinguished from the Sino-Confucian civilization by its adherence to Shintoism as well as its long separation from the Chinese mainland (Huntington, 1993a, 1996a: 45). Only the African civilization includes no obvious religious component and is based simply on a sense of common identity (Huntington, 1996a: 47). Perhaps this lack of a religious component is why Huntington is unsure whether this civilization is truly a separate civilization. Huntington’s writings provide additional evidence for a link between his concept of civilization and religious identity. First, he argues that local identities have weakened due to political and social modernization. There is a similar ideological vacuum created by the failure of communism, socialism, and other Western (economic) ideas. Huntington argues that religion is filling these gaps. Also, while Huntington’s core statements on his theory mostly shy away from using the term religion, it can be found in the details, in statements throughout his writings. “The major civilizations of human history have been closely identified with the world’s great religions” (Huntington, 1996a: 42). “Religion is a central characteristic in defining civilizations” (Huntington, 1996a: 47). When people are in crisis they “rally to those with similar ancestry, religion, language, values, and institutions, and distance themselves from those with different ones” (Huntington, 1996a: 123). “Since religion … is the principle [sic] defining characteristic of civilizations, fault line wars are almost always between peoples of different religions” (Huntington, 1996a: 253).

HUNTINGTON’S PREDICTIONS The CoC theory’s central prediction is that in the post-Cold War era conflict will increase between these civilizations and conflicts within these civilizations will decline. Huntington describes three types of civilizational conflicts. Core state conflicts are international conflicts between the most powerful within each civilizational bloc. First, Huntington argues that most civilizations have states which lead their civilization because they are the most powerful and central. He predicts increased conflict between these “core” states such as the United States

The clash of civilizations, then and now  131 and China. Second, international fault-line conflicts occur between states from different civilizations which happen to share a border. He predicts that there is likely to be increased tension between states along these “fault lines” such as India and Pakistan. Third, domestic fault-line conflicts occur where civilizational “fault lines” are located within a state, that is, in states with civilzationally heterogeneous populations. These include the civil wars in the former Yugoslavia and between the Chechens and Russians. Huntington argues that this is the most common type of post-Cold War conflict (Huntington, 2000: 609–10). Huntington’s second prediction is the decline of Western (American) power in the post-Cold War era. This requires rethinking Western foreign policy necessary because: as Western power recedes, so too does the appeal of Western values and culture, and the West faces the need to accommodate itself to its declining ability to impose its values on non-Western societies. In many fundamental ways, much of the world is becoming more modern and less Western. (Huntington, 1996b: 38)

For Huntington (1996b) the West’s conceit takes two forms. The first is the Coca-Colonization thesis. The West, especially the United States, seeks to dominate world culture through its media and consumer goods. Yet culture’s core is founded on language, religion, values, traditions, and customs. In these areas non-Western cultures have successfully resisted Western incursions. Second, the West believes that modernization outside the West will mirror the West’s modernization processes. “It does not necessarily follow … that societies with modern cultures should be any more similar than are societies with traditional cultures” (Huntington, 1996b: 29). Huntington’s final set of predictions look at which civilizations will be most often in conflict. His best known and most controversial prediction among these is that the Islamic civilization will be the most violent civilization and, in particular, a threat to the West in the post-Cold War era as it is: more conflict-prone than others. At the micro level, the most violent fault lines are between Islam and its … neighbors. At the macro level, the dominant division is between “the West and the rest,” with the most intense conflicts occurring between Muslim and Asian societies on one hand, and the West on the other. The dangerous clashes of the future are likely to arise from the interaction of Western arrogance, Islamic intolerance, and Sinic assertiveness. (Huntington, 1996a: 183)

This Western “arrogance” involves the belief that Western values like democracy and capitalism are universally valid combined with the Western policy of asserting these interests and values internationally. It also involves the Western belief that as it modernized first, it is in a position to lead the world. While these values tend to be shared by non-Western Christian states, other civilizations tend to resist them. In addition, non-Western immigrants are not integrating well into the West which increases intercivilizational tensions (Huntington, 1996a: 183–206, 1996b: 28–9). The Western–Islamic clash is also rooted in the Islamic civilization’s rejection of Western culture and chooses to search for the answers to modernity’s challenges in Islam. He argues that the failure of governments guided by Western ideologies to successfully address social problems caused a return to Islam and rejection of the West.1 Furthermore, Islam and the West have a history of war and mutual animosity. This is exacerbated by the fact that both civilizations consider themselves superior to other civilizations (Huntington, 1996a: 32, 109–20,

132  Handbook on religion and international relations 185, 209–18). Huntington also predicts an alliance between the Islamic and Sino-Confucian civilizations against the West. Looking beyond conflict, the CoC theory predicts a new world order politics that is no longer based on ethnic identities or the state, but rather civilizations. That is, the most important identity is larger than a single state or ethnic group. Conflict, diplomacy, trade, treaties, and alliances will all be between civilizations. If correct, this predicts a revolutionary change that has existed since the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia which defined an international order based on modern sovereign nation-states.

HUNTINGTON’S CRITICS Immediately after Huntington’s (1993a) Foreign Affairs article, a tidal wave of critics emerged. Within the first decade hundreds, if not thousands, of articles and books critiquing the CoC theory were published. The sheer volume makes it impossible to list all of them in this context. About the one thing Huntington’s critics can agree upon is that the CoC theory is wrong. The proposed reasons for this vary and often contradict each other. Accordingly, I discuss the general categories of critique and reference a representative sample of Huntington’s critics. First is the argument that the factors driving politics during the Cold War continue to drive politics in the post-Cold War era. There is little agreement as to the nature of exactly what this means. Realists argue that traditional realpolitik theories are still the best explanation for international conflict. The state remains the basic unit for international relations which is driven by material interests, power, and the balance of power (Ajami, 1993: 6; Gray, 1998; Pfaff, 1997). Marxists continue to argue that politics is driven by unequal distribution of wealth and power (Hunter, 1998). Others are less theoretically doctrinal but argue that conflict within civilizations will remain as common as it was during the Cold War and will be mostly between states or ethnic and national groups (Borntrager, 1999: 61–2; Gurr, 1994; Heilbrunn, 1998; Kader, 1998; Kirkpatrick, 1993: 23; Kirth, 1994; Rosecrance, 1998; Tipson, 1997; Walt, 1997). Cultures are not homogeneous entities and have within them varying interpretations and subdivisions (Halliday, 1997; McTernan, 2003). Even small differences and disputes can differentiate one state from another and civilizations are too loose and untidy to behave like states (Beedham, 1999). Yamazaki (1996) argues that in Asia conflicts will be regional but not civilizational because Asia can be broken up into several regions based on political, cultural, and religious structures. The second type of critique argues the opposite of the first. That is, the world is becoming more interdependent and united which will reduce or eliminate conflict and political division. Typically this argument focuses on factors like economic interdependence, communications, and world integration (Anwar, 1998; Tipson, 1997). Perhaps the best known of these arguments which actually preceded Huntington’s CoC argument is Fukayama’s (1989) argument that the collapse of Soviet communism will result in the “end of history” and the universal­ization of Western liberal democracy. Ikenberry (1997) argues that the bar to achieve globalization is not particularly high. Specifically, “belief in universalism and global cultural homogenization is not necessary to pursue an order that goes beyond the West. All that is needed are states with commitments to democracy, free markets and the rule of law.” Halliday (1997) notes that historically there has already been some cultural unification due to borrowing and mixing among

The clash of civilizations, then and now  133 cultures. Some focus on the normative argument that only a common human culture ought to occupy the world (Ahari, 1997). The third set of critics argue that Huntington ignored an important post-Cold War phenomenon that is so critical that it renders the CoC theory irrelevant. These factors include improved conflict management institutions and techniques (Viorst, 1997), that most ethnopolitical conflicts result from protracted discrimination rather than cultural roots (Senghass, 1998), that military and economic power will continue to be more important than civilizations (Hunter, 1998; Nussbaum, 1997; Rosencrance, 1998), and that modernity and secularism will focus people’s interests in economic prosperity rather than their cultural traditions (Ajami, 1993). Others argue that transnational issues and factors will dominate world politics. These include environmental and population issues (Viorst, 1997) as well as information technology (Barber, 1997/98). Fourth, many critics argue that the facts do not fit Huntington’s theory (Anwar, 1998; Hassner, 1997a; Heilbrunn, 1998; Kader, 1998; Neckermann, 1998; Walt, 1997). Some take this a bit further and accuse Huntington of purposefully ignoring facts (Pfaff, 1997). Others like bending the facts to fit his theory (Hassner, 1997b). The fifth category is critiques of Huntington’s methodology, although there is little agreement over what is wrong with his methodology. For example, many argue that his methodology is wholly anecdotal and contains too little systematic analysis and recommend more formal quantitative studies (Senghass, 1998; Rosecrance, 1998; Walt, 1997). In addition, his reliance on anecdotes leaves room for critics to cite anecdotes proving the opposite, which are readily available (Gurr, 1994; Halliday, 1997). Others argue that Huntington’s analysis is too quantitative and behaviorist (Pfaff, 1997). Other critiques of Huntington’s methodology are that it is oversimplified (Hassner, 1997a; Pfaff, 1997), self-contradictory (Fox, 2004; Heilbrunn, 1998), and too reliant on English-language sources (Naff, 1998). Finally, many critique his list of civilizations but do not agree on what should be the proper list (Beedham, 1999; Pfaff, 1997; Smith, 1997; Tipson, 1997). Ikenberry (1997) similarly argues that what Huntington feels makes the West unique is not unique to the West. Sixth, many argue that the CoC theory’s popularity among policy makers makes it a self-fulfilling prophecy (Hassner, 1997a; Pfaff, 1997; Singhua, 1997; Smith, 1997; Tipson, 1997; Walt, 1997). Others accuse Huntington of making unwarranted doomsday predictions (Anwar, 1998; Gungwu, 1997a). Haynes (1998: 213) argues that Huntington’s predictions that Islam, en masse, will rise up against the West “has more to do with the bigotry of some Western analysts than with the threat of Islam per se.” Seventh, Aysha (2003) accuses Huntington of fabricating a theory that Huntington himself does not believe in order to achieve four policy objectives. First, Huntington sees multiculturalism as a threat to America’s commitment to individualistic liberalism. Second, after the collapse of communism, the United States suffered an identity crisis and needed an enemy to shore up its identity. Third, Huntington wanted to increase unity in the United States to counter a rising tide of anti-federalism. Finally, he wanted to counter the erosion of United States nationalism caused by economic globalization. Eighth, many focus their critiques on Huntington’s predictions of Islamic violence. While I discuss several of these critiques in the previous categories, this aspect of the debate has been sufficiently significant to deserve its own category. One prominent argument is that any Islamic challenge of the West is due to non-civilizational factors. For example, Ajami (1993) argues that any Confucian–Islam alliance is economic rather than civilizational. Similarly,

134  Handbook on religion and international relations Bartley (1993) argues that economic development rather than culture and civilization explain different levels of democracy. Fuller and Lesser (1995) and Monshipouri (1998) attribute clashes between Islam and the West to secular causes including economic, national, political, cultural, psychological, postcolonial, and strategic issues. Others focus on conflicts within Islam. Secularization and fundamentalism are dividing rather than uniting Muslims (Esposito, 1995; Fuller and Lesser, 1995; Halliday, 1996; Pfaff, 1997; Monshipouri, 1998). Hunter (1998) combines these arguments and others as a more comprehensive critique of Huntington’s predictions on Islam. She argues that the Islamic civilization is not monolithic. The civilization is divided by nationalism and Islamic fundamentalism. This causes a large amount of violence between Muslims and Muslim-majority states often have better relations with non-Muslim-majority states. Finally, a number of quantitative studies tested the CoC theory. These studies have produced underwhelming support for the theory. Studies based on lists of conflicts across the world found intercivilizational conflicts to be less common than conflicts within civilizations (Chiozza, 2002; Fox, 2004, 2005, 2007; Gurr, 1994; Russett et al., 2000; Svensson, 2007; Tusicisny, 2004), that variables based on civilization are at best poor at predicting conflict (Bolks and Stoll, 2003; Ellingsen, 2002; Fox, 2004; Henderson, 1997, 1998, 2004, 2005; Henderson and Tucker, 2001; Sørli et al., 2005; Tol and Akbaba, 2014), that political factors predict conflict better than cultural factors (Henderson and Singer, 2000; Sambinas, 2001), and that most violence by Muslims is directed against other Muslims. This is consistent with studies of religion and conflict which find that intra-religious conflict is more common than inter-religious conflict (Fox, 2004, 2012; Gleditsch and Rudolfsen, 2016; Tusicisny, 2004). Studies which compare religion and Huntington’s civilization formulations find religion to be a better predictor of conflict (Fox, 2004; Roeder, 2003). Finally, Regan (2002) finds that intra-Muslim conflicts are less likely to be successfully mediated than conflicts between Muslims and other civilizations. There are a few exceptions. Charron (2010) finds that civilization does predict violent international conflict. Studies which focus on terrorism often find that much of post-Cold War terrorism is perpetrated by Muslims (Bouks, 2016; Weinberg and Eubank, 1998; Weinberg et al., 2002), but terror is one tactic among many which are available to those engaged in violent conflict. In the larger context of conflict in general, this suggests a tendency of Muslim groups which use violence to select terrorism as a tactic but not that they are more violent. A series of survey-based studies finds mixed support for significant differences between civilizations. On one hand, they find numerous differences between Muslims and Christians or Westerners. This includes issues like religiosity, support for religion in politics, and attitudes toward gender equality, homosexuality, abortion, and divorce. On the other hand, the differences on issues like social capital and democracy are small (Breznau et al., 2011; Esmer, 2002; Norris and Inglehart, 2002). However, it is not unexpected that there will be differences across cultures, and there is little evidence that these differences will lead to more violent conflict. Similarly, some studies find that democracy is less common in Muslim-majority states (Midlarsky, 1998). Others find that this is driven by Arab culture and is not general to Islam (Stepan and Robinson, 2003). However, while this addresses Huntington’s conception of civilizational characteristics, it does not address his core predictions regarding conflict. The volume of quantitative studies directly testing Huntington’s CoC theory was high at the beginning and then began to dissipate over time. This is likely because the close to unanimous

The clash of civilizations, then and now  135 lack of support for the theory made further studies uninteresting to empirical researchers and more difficult to publish since they were producing no findings which were essentially new. Despite all this, Huntington, from the beginning, has had many supporters who use the CoC theory to make policy prescriptions (e.g. Gregg, 1997; Gungwu, 1997a, 1997b; Hardjono, 1997; Harris, 1996; Marshall, 1998; Murphey, 1998; Naff, 1998; Seamon, 1998). A remarkable aspect of the debate, especially in its first decade, is that although Huntington’s civilizations are largely based on religion, much of the debate ignores religion. This is likely due to a tendency in international relations theory to ignore religion that was dominant until at least after the 9/11 2001 attacks (Fox and Sandler, 2004; Sandal and Fox, 2013). Many dominant international relations theories including realism, liberalism, and globalism emphasize military and economic factors as well as rational calculations, all of which leave little room for religion. Philpott (2002: 69) documents that between 1980 and 1999 major international relations journals rarely published articles which addressed religion as a primary explanation for international phenomena. He also argues that at its foundation the academic study of international relations included the belief that the era of religious wars was over (Laustsen and Waever, 2000: 706; Philpott, 2002). There is also some support for Huntington’s predictions on Islam. Lewis (1993), for example, argues that both Christianity and Islam are exclusive rather than universal religions. This practically guarantees a clash between them. Even some of Huntington’s critics like Hassner (1997a, 1997b) agree with Huntington’s predictions of Western–Islamic clashes. It is important to note that civilization and religion are distinct in that many critics of the CoC theory oppose Huntington’s civilization formulations but make arguments compatible with the contention that religion is an important factor in conflict. For example, those that argue that conflict and identity will remain subcivilizational do not claim that these conflicts will not be religious. However, this view is not unanimous. For example, supporters of the one world thesis expect religion to be less salient. Also, realists have traditionally denied the importance of religion in politics and conflict.

HUNTINGTON’S REPLY In the earlier stages of the debate, Huntington (1993b, 1996a: 21–39, 58–78) actively defended his CoC theory. The thrust of his defense is perhaps best summed up by his statement: “Got a better idea?” He argues that a theory need only be better than its competitors to be valid. By their nature theories are simplifications of reality and, therefore, never provide full explanations. The Cold War paradigm which was dominant in international relations theory for 40 years was for this reason imperfect at explaining events and often blinded scholars to important events such as the Sino-Soviet split. Yet, it more successfully explained world events than its competitors. He also critiques alternate theories. First, Cold War-era paradigms, he argues, are no longer useful. The two most prominent such theories divide the world into either East versus West or the rich versus the poor. These dichotomies are too simple to explain complex events. However, CoC can explain world events including the rise of world fundamentalism, the fragmentation of the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, numerous domestic conflicts over identity issues, trade conflicts between the United States and China and the increasing activity

136  Handbook on religion and international relations of China and Islamic states on the world scene. He also correctly predicted the failure of the then prominent peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. The events of September 11, 2001 and their aftermath arguably strengthened his case. The source of the new terrorist threat to the United States is clearly from the Islamic civilization. Many Western politicians seized upon Huntington’s civilizational framework to understand and address the new threat. Huntington (2002: 5) makes this point when he argues that “undeniably, the terrorist actions of Osama bin Laden have reinvigorated civilizational identity. Just as bin Laden sought to rally Muslims by declaring war on the West, he gave back to the West its sense of common identity in defending itself.” The second theory Huntington critiques is the realist arguments that power remains the primary driving force in international relations and that states are the primary units in world politics. He argues that while power is always relevant, states include other considerations in their calculus. Based on pure balance of power reasoning, Western Europe would have joined forces with the former Soviet Union in order to balance the power of the United States in the late 1940s. They did not because values and culture can be more important. In the post-Cold War era, the values calculus leads to civilizational alliances. He does not expect that nation-states will disappear. They will remain the principal actors in world affairs. However, their alliances will be civilizational and the civilizational nature of these alliances will dominate world politics. Third, Huntington critiques the “one world paradigm.” While people have always had common factors which bind them, this never precluded the existence of conflict and different and opposing cultures. There is no reason to believe this will change. The collapse of communism would only lead to universal democracy if communism was the only possible alternative to democracy, which it is not. Also, while increased communication can lead to a common culture it can also lead to the mutual reinforcement of different cultures. Similarly, while modernization does have some uniform influences, it can manifest very differently and is unlikely to lead to universal Westernization. Finally, Huntington addresses a few of the earlier quantitative studies which contradict his theory, but he limits himself to methodological critiques of a few specific studies and does not really address their larger critiques (Huntington, 2000).

HUNTINGTON’S CONTINUED INFLUENCE On a policy level, CoC remains present, though it is difficult to say whether it remains influential. On one hand the theory or at least its civilizational terminology tends to be invoked by Western political actors who support anti-Muslim policies both domestically and within the context of foreign policy (Haynes, 2019). However, it is difficult to determine whether these policy views are influenced by Huntington or whether civilization is a convenient language to justify existing policy preferences. It is also clear that in many cases, the theory is used to justify actions incompatible with the theory. For example, Saiya points out that the theory is popular with United States neoconservatives who wish to spread democracy and support US hegemony. However, “whereas Huntington urged caution about attempting to impose one civilization’s values upon another, neoconservatives believed that, just as Western-style democracy was the best antidote to com-

The clash of civilizations, then and now  137 munism during the Cold War, it is the best weapon against Islamist extremism today” (Saiya, 2018: 85). In other cases it has resulted in efforts to counter the predicted civilizational conflict. For example, the United Nations has made multiple efforts to improve intercivilizational dialogue among its member states (Haynes, 2019). Huntington’s views on civilization remain influential in the academic literature but not in their original formulation. That is, over time an academic consensus has emerged that the specific CoC formulation is not correct but the influence of the theory has not diminished. Rather, it has evolved. Huntington’s theories still influence discussion over a wide range of issues and are continually raised. At times CoC is presented as a straw man for another preferred theory (e.g. Grim and Finke, 2007, 2011; Haynes, 2016: 271). In others, elements of the theory are deemed a useful part of the discussion but are usually used toward justifying arguments that are outside the direct realm of the formal CoC theory. Finally, some continue to raise his theory in order to critique it. One common theme is authors who dismiss the specifics of the CoC argument but use Huntington to discuss whether identity is important in politics. For example, Cesari (2015: 1331) argues that “the ‘Huntingtonian’ position is based on a premise that cannot be simply dismissed: that identity and culture play a decisive role in international relations.” However, the specific formulation is reductionist and ignores divisions within Islam. In a similar vein, many credit Huntington for focusing more attention on religions’ role in conflict even if he was wrong on the specifics (Hassner, 2011: 44; Henne, 2019). Similarly Joustra (2018) uses Huntington to delve into the relationship between religion and culture. He argues that while Huntington’s specific formulations are incorrect, Huntington was correct that the issue of multiculturalism will remain a significant issue into the twenty-first century. Warner and Walker (2011: 119) argues based on Huntington: religion may have a role in international conflicts, even if it is not the determining or dominant factor. Extrapolating from a milder version of the “clash of civilizations” thesis, one might expect that religion could lead a country to relate differently to other countries depending on whether they have the same or a different religion.

Another common theme is to raise Huntington in discussions of religious identity conflict. For example, it is used to explain the identity politics of right-wing populism. However, these discussions tend to argue that identity alone is rarely a cause of religious conflict. Haynes (2019) argues that these identity issues are driven by the political aspirations of right-wing Western politicians and jihadists, among others. Saiya (2019: 28) argues that “the mere presence of different faith traditions is rarely enough to spark conflict on its own.” Fox (2018: 32) argues that “theories which focus on religious identity are among the most common found in the political science literature. They are also among the most problematic.” Yet, if Huntington’s claims of identity driving conflict “are toned down to the claims that civilizational identity can be an important aspect of conflict – that is, it has an impact but not necessarily the most important and prominent impact – they can be supported by the evidence” (Fox, 2018: 44). Sheikh (2012: 368) argues that this focus on identity is unhelpful because it: never led to any form of systematic thinking on different aspects of religion other than those related to identity or culture, nor on the methods for approaching religion or its implications for the research

138  Handbook on religion and international relations areas of the field, that is, how religion matters and how it can affect state behaviour or issues of peace, order, security, conflict, and war.

Even those who use Huntington mostly as a straw man still gain some insight from the reference. For example, Grim and Finke (2011: 212) find that “whereas Huntington points to the clash of civilizations and the dangers of multiculturalism, our work implies that multiculturalism does not lead to violence, but the attempt to prevent multiculturalism does.” Similarly, Minkenberg (2007) argues that Huntington’s arguments that democracy is incompatible with Islam is wrong for the same reasons that nineteenth-century arguments that Catholic beliefs and institutions are deeply incompatible with democracy were wrong. He uses this as a springboard to argue that there is no determinism in the link between religion and democracy and the link is dependent upon how religions are mobilized. Some remain overtly critical not only of Huntington’s theory but also of how it influenced subsequent scholarship. For example, Hassner (2013: 69) argues that: in reducing religious movements to (a distorted version of) their formal beliefs, Huntington encouraged a generation of scholars to dismiss the role of informal religious beliefs, practices, symbols, and social structures as irrelevant to the study of international conflict … In these often rationalist analyses, religion is seen as a proxy or cover for some other set of identities, interests, or strategies.

In sum, what has been Huntington’s influence on the study of religion and politics? I posit that it has been mixed. On one hand his work stimulated discussion on the topic. On the other it likely distorted this discussion. Yet the CoC theory is inescapable. By that I mean, the literature on religion and politics, at least at the time of this writing, is unable to avoid discussing Huntington’s theory in some form. His work remains widely cited in this literature, as well as others. Yet how it is perceived and used in this discussion is evolving. What was once a topic of hot debate with polarized camps has now become a component in the discussion of a wide range of topics where participants both find useful elements of the theory and find it useful to use those aspects they deem incorrect as a catalyst for discussion. Given this, there is little doubt that Huntington’s CoC theory continues to have considerable influence.


For similar arguments see Deeb (1992: 53–4), Juergensmeyer (1993), Layachi and Halreche (1992: 70), and Piscatori (1994: 361–3).

REFERENCES Ahari, M.E. “The Clash of Civilizations: An Old Story or New Truth,” New Perspectives Quarterly, 14 (2), 1997, 56–61. Ajami, Faoud. “The Summoning,” Foreign Affairs, 72 (4), 1993, 2–9. Anwar, Said Tariq. “Civilizations versus Civilizations in a New Multipolar World,” Journal of Marketing, 62 (2), 1998, 125–8. Aysha, Emad El Din. “Samuel Huntington and the Geopolitics of American Identity: The Function of Foreign Policy in America’s Domestic Clash of Civilizations,” International Studies Perspectives, 4 (2), 2003, 113–32. Barber, Benjamin R. “Fantasy of Fear,” Harvard International Review, 20 (1), Winter 1997/98, 66–71.

The clash of civilizations, then and now  139 Bartley, Robert L. “The Case for Optimism,” Foreign Affairs, 72 (4), 1993, 15–18. Beedham, Brian. “The New Geopolitics: A Fading Hell,” The Economist, July 31, 1999, s10. Bolks, Sean and Richard Stoll. “Examining Conflict Escalation within the Civilizations Context,” Conflict Management and Peace Science, 20 (1), 2003. Borntrager, Ekkehard W. Borders, Ethnicity, and National Self-Determination, Vienna: Braumuller, 1999. Bouks, Barak. “Is Religious Terror More Violent: A Quantitative Analysis of Religion and Terror” PhD Dissertation, Department of Political Studies, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel, 2016. Breznau, Nate, Valarie A. Lykes, Jonathan Kelley, and M.D.R. Evans. “A Clash of Civilizations? Preferences for Religious Political Leaders in 86 Nations,” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 50 (4), 2011, 671–91. Cesari, Jocelyne. “Religion and Politics: What Does God Have to Do with It?” Religions, 6 (4), 2015, 1330–44. Charron, Nicholas. “Deja Vu All over Again: A Post-Cold War Empirical Analysis of Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations Theory,” Cooperation and Conflict, 45 (1), 2010, 107–27. Chiozza, Giacomo. “Is There a Clash of Civilizations? Evidence from Patterns of International Conflict Involvement, 1946–97,” Journal of Peace Research, 39 (6), 2002, 711–34. Deeb, Mary J. “Militant Islam and the Politics of Redemption,” Annals, AAPSS, 524, 1992, 52–65. Ellingsen, Tanja. “The Relevance of Culture in UN Voting Behavior,” Paper presented at the International Studies Association 43rd Annual Conference in New Orleans, March 2002. Esmer, Yilmaz. “Is There an Islamic Civilization?” Comparative Sociology, 1 (3–4), 2002, 265–98. Esposito, John L. The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality?, 2nd ed., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995. Fox, Jonathan. Religion, Civilization and Civil War: 1945 through the New Millennium, Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2004. Fox, Jonathan. “Paradigm Lost: Huntington’s Unfulfilled Clash of Civilizations Prediction into the 21st Century,” International Politics, 42 (4), 2005, 428–57. Fox, Jonathan. “The Increasing Role of Religion in State Failure: 1960–2004,” Terrorism and Political Violence, 19 (3), 2007, 395–414. Fox, Jonathan. “The Religious Wave: Religion and Domestic Conflict, 1960 to 2009,” Civil Wars, 14 (2), 2012, 141–58. Fox, Jonathan. An Introduction to Religion and Politics: Theory and Practice, 2nd ed., New York: Routledge, 2018. Fox, Jonathan and Shmuel Sandler. Bringing Religion into International Relations, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004. Fukayama, Francis. “The End of History,” The National Interest, 16 (4), 1989. Fuller, Graham E. and Ian O. Lesser. A Sense of Siege: The Geopolitics of Islam and the West, Boulder, CO: Westview, 1995. Gleditsch, Nils P. and Ida Rudolfsen. “Are Muslim Countries More Prone to Violence,” Research and Politics, 2016, DOI: 10.1177/2053168016646392. Gray, John. “Global Utopias and Clashing Civilizations: Misunderstanding the Prosperity,” International Affairs, 74 (1), 1998, 149–64. Gregg, Donald P. “A Case for Continued US Engagement,” Orbis, 41 (3) 1997, 375–84. Grim, Brian J. and Roger Finke. “Religious Persecution on Cross-National Context: Clashing Civilizations or Regulating Religious Economies,” American Sociological Review, 72 (4), 2007, 633–58. Grim, Brian J. and Roger Finke. The Price of Freedom Denied, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011. Gungwu, Wang. “A Machiavelli for Our Times,” The National Interest, 46, 1997a, 69–73. Gungwu, Wang. “Learn from the Past,” Far Eastern Economic Review, 160 (18), May 1 1997b, 37–8. Gurr, Ted R. “Peoples against the State: Ethnopolitical Conflict and the Changing World System,” International Studies Quarterly, 1994, 38 (3), 347–77. Halliday, Fred. Islam and the Myth of Confrontation: Religion and Politics in the Middle East, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1996. Halliday, Fred. “A New World Myth,” New Statesman, 10 (447), 1997, 42–3. Hardjono, Ratih. “The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order,” Nieman Reports, 51 (1), 1997, 87–8.

140  Handbook on religion and international relations Harris, Robin. “War of the World Views,” National Review, 48 (20), 1996, 69. Hassner, Pierre. “Morally Objectionable, Politically Dangerous,” The National Interest, 46, Winter 1997a, 63–9. Hassner, Pierre. “Clashing On,” The National Interest, 48, Summer 1997b, 105–11. Hassner, Ron E. “Religion and International Affairs: The State of the Art,” in Patrick James, ed., Religion, Identity, and Global Governance: Ideas, Evidence, and Practice, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2011, pp. 37–56. Hassner, Ron. “Religion as a Variable,” in Michael C. Desch and Daniel Philpott, eds, Religion and International Relations: A Primer for Research, Mellon Initiative on Religion across the Disciplines, Notre Dame University, 2013, pp. 68–77. Haynes, Jeffrey. “Religion and Democratization: What Do We Now Know?” Journal of Religious and political Practice, 2 (2), 2016, 267–72. Haynes, Jeffrey. From Huntington to Trump: Thirty Years of the Clash of Civilizations, Lanham, MD: Lexington University Press, 2019. Heilbrunn, Jacob. “The Clash of Samuel Huntingtons,” The American Prospect, 39, 1998, 22–8. Henderson, Errol A. “Culture or Contiguity: Ethnic Conflict, the Similarity of States, and the Onset of War, 1820–1989,” Journal of Conflict Resolution, 41 (5), October 1997, 649–68. Henderson, Errol A. “The Democratic Peace through the Lens of Culture, 1820–1989,” International Studies Quarterly, 42 (3), September 1998, 461–84. Henderson, Errol A. “Mistaken Identity: Testing the Clash of Civilizations Thesis in Light of Democratic Peace Claims,” British Journal of Political Science, 34, 2004, 539–63. Henderson, Errol A. “Not Letting the Evidence Get in the Way of Assumptions: Testing the Clash of Civilizations with More Data,” International Politics, 42 (4), 2005, 458–69. Henderson, Errol A. and J. David Singer. “Civil War in the Post-Colonial World, 1946–92,” Journal of Peace Research, 37 (3), 2000, 275–99. Henderson, Errol A. and Richard Tucker. “Clear and Present Strangers: The Clash of Civilizations and International Conflict,” International Studies Quarterly, 45 (2), 2001, 317–38. Henne, Peter. “Terrorism and Region: An Overview,” in William R. Thompson, ed., Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019, 1–21. Hunter, Shirleen T. The Future of Islam and the West: Clash of Civilizations or Peaceful Coexistence?, Westport, CT: Praeger; with Washington, DC: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1998. Huntington, Samuel P. “The Clash of Civilizations?” Foreign Affairs, 72 (3), 1993a, 22–49. Huntington, Samuel P. “If Not Civilizations, What? Paradigms of the Post-Cold War,” Foreign Affairs, 72 (5), 1993b, 186–94. Huntington, Samuel P. The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996a. Huntington, Samuel P. “The West: Unique, Not Universal,” Foreign Affairs, 1996b, 75 (6), 28–46. Huntington, Samuel P. “Try Again: A Reply to Russett, Oneal, and Cox,” Journal of Peace Research, 37 (5), 2000, 609–10. Huntington, Samuel P. “Osama bin Laden Has Given Common Identity Back to the West,” New Perspectives Quarterly, 19 (1), 2002, 5–8. Ikenberry, John G. “Just Like the Rest,” Foreign Affairs, 76 (2), 1997, 162–3. Joustra, Robert. The Religious Problem with Religious Freedom: Why Foreign Policy Needs Political Theology, New York: Routledge, 2018. Juergensmeyer, Mark. The New Cold War?, Berkeley, CA: University of Califor­nia, 1993. Kader, Zerougui A. “The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order,” Arab Studies Quarterly, 20 (1),1998, 89–92. Kirkpatrick, Lee A. “Fundamentalism, Christian Orthodoxy, and Intrinsic Religious Orientation as Predictors of Discriminatory Attitudes,” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 32 (3), 1993, 256–68. Kirth, James. “The Real Clash,” The National Interest, 37, Fall 1994, 3–14. Laustsen, Carsten B. and Ole Waever. “In Defense of Religion: Sacred Referent Objects for Securitization,” Millennium, 29 (3), 2000, 705–39. Layachi, Azzedine and Abdel-Kader Halreche. “National Development and Political Protest: Islamists in the Maghreb Countries,” Arab Studies Quarterly, 14 (2–3), 1992, 69–92.

The clash of civilizations, then and now  141 Lewis, Bernard. Islam and the West, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993. Marshall, Paul. “Religion and Global Affairs: Disregarding Religion,” SAIS Review, Summer–Fall, 1998, 13–18. McTernan, Oliver. Violence in God’s Name: Religion in an Age of Conflict, New York: Orbis, 2003. Midlarsky, Manus I. “Democracy and Islam: Implications for Civilizational Conflict and the Democratic Peace,” International Studies Quarterly, 42 (3), 1998, 458–511. Minkenberg, Michael. “Democracy and Religion: Theoretical and Empirical Observations on the Relationship between Christianity, Islam and Democracy,” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 33 (6), 2007, 887–909. Monshipouri, Mahmood. “The West’s Modern Encounter with Islam: From Discourse to Reality,” Journal of Church and State, 40 (1), 1998, 25–56. Murphey, Dwight C. “The Clash of Civilizations,” Journal of Social, Political, and Economic Studies, 23 (2), 1998, 215–16. Naff, William E. “The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 556, 1998, 198–9. Neckermann, Peter. “The Promise of Globalization or the Clash of Civilizations,” The World and I, 13 (12), 1998. Norris, Pippa and Ronald Inglehart. “Islamic Culture and Democracy: Testing the ‘Clash of Civilizations’ Thesis,” Comparative Sociology, 1 (3–4), 2002, 235–63. Nussbaum, Bruce. “Capital, Not Culture,” Foreign Affairs, 76 (2), 1997, 165. Pfaff, William. “The Reality of Human Affairs,” World Policy Journal, 14 (2), 1997, 89–96. Philpott, Daniel. “The Challenge of September 11 to Secularism in International Relations,” World Politics, 55 (1), 2002, 66–95. Piscatori, James. “Accounting for Islamic Fundamentalisms” in Martin E. Marty and R. Scott Appleby, eds, Accounting for Fundamentalisms: The Dynamic Character of Movements, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1994, 361–73. Regan, Patrick M. “Third-Party Interventions and the Duration of Intrastate Conflicts,” Journal of Conflict Resolution, 46 (1), 2002, 55–73. Roeder, Philip G. “Clash of Civilizations and Escalation of Domestic Ethnopolitical Conflicts,” Comparative Political Studies, 36 (5), 2003, 509–40. Rosecrance, Richard. “The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order,” American Political Science Review, 92 (4), 1998, 978–80. Russett, Bruce, John R. Oneal, and Michalene Cox. “Clash of Civilizations, or Realism and Liberalism Deja Vu? Some Evidence,” Journal of Peace Research, 37 (5), 2000, 583–608. Saiya, Nilay. “Confronting Apocalyptic Terrorism: Lessons from France and Japan,” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 2018, doi​.org/​10​.1080/​1057610X​.2018​.1499694. Saiya, Nilay. Weapons of Peace: How Religious Liberty Combats Terrorism, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2019. Sambanis, Nicholas. “Do Ethnic and Nonethnic Civil Wars Have the Same Causes?” Journal of Conflict Resolution, 45 (3), 2001, 259–82. Sandal, Nukhet and Jonathan Fox. Religion in International Relations Theory: Interactions and Possibilities, New York: Routledge, 2013. Seamon, Richard. “The Clash of Civilizations: And the Remaking of World Order,” United States Naval Institute: Proceedings, 124 (3), 1998, 116–18. Senghass, Dieter. “A Clash of Civilizations – an Idea Fixe?” Journal of Peace Research, 35 (1), 1998, 127–32. Sheikh, Mona K. “How Does Religion Matter? Pathways to Religion in International Relations,” Review of International Studies, 38 (2), 2012, 365–92. Singhua, Liu. “History as Antagonism,” Far Eastern Economic Review, 160 (18), May 1 1997, 37. Smith, Tony. “Dangerous Conjecture,” Foreign Affairs, 76 (2), 1997, 163–4. Sørli, Mirjam E., Nils Petter Gleditsch, and Håvard Strand. “Why Is There so Much Conflict in the Middle East?” Journal of Conflict Resolution, 49 (1), 2005, 141–65. Stepan, Alfred and Graeme B. Robinson. “An ‘Arab’ More Than ‘Muslim’ Electoral Gap,” Journal of Democracy, 14 (3), 2003, 30–44.

142  Handbook on religion and international relations Svensson, Isak. “Fighting with Faith: Religion and Conflict Resolution in Civil Wars,” Journal of Conflict Resolution, 51 (6), 2007, 930–49. Tipson, Frederick S. “Culture Clash-ification: A Verse to Huntington’s Curse,” Foreign Affairs, 76 (2), 1997, 166–9. Tol, Gonul and Yasemin Akbaba. “Minorities on ‘Civilizational’ Fault lines: An Assessment of Religious Discrimination,” Politics, Religion and Ideology, 2014, doi​.org/​10​.1080/​21567689​.2014​.888347. Tusicisny, Andrej. “Civilizational Conflicts: More Frequent, Longer, and Bloodier?” Journal of Peace Research, 41 (4), 2004, 485–98. Viorst, Milton. “The Coming Instability,” The Washington Quarterly, 20 (4) 1997, 153–67. Walt, Stephen N. “Building Up New Bogeymen,” Foreign Policy, 106, 1997, 177–89. Warner, Carolyn M. and Stephen G. Walker. “Thinking about the Role of Religion in Foreign Policy: A Framework for Analysis,” Foreign Policy Analysis, 7 (1), 2011, 113–35. Weinberg, Leonard B. and William L. Eubank. “Terrorism and Democracy: What Recent Events Disclose,” Terrorism and Political Violence, 10 (1), 1998, 108–18. Weinberg, Leonard, William Eubank, and Ami Pedahzur. “Characteristics of Terrorist Organizations 1910–2000,” Presented at the 25th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology in Berlin, Germany, July 2002. Yamazaki, Masakazu. “Asia: A Civilization in the Making,” Foreign Affairs, 75 (4), 1996, 106–28.

10. Religion and the international politics of climate change Katharina Glaab

INTRODUCTION Climate change is arguably one of the biggest challenges of our times. Impacts of human-induced climate change can be seen and felt all over the world: in 2020, new record high temperatures were measured, rising sea levels put islands and coastal towns at risk, deforestation and rising temperatures endangered the livelihoods of indigenous communities worldwide and heatwaves and wildfires have devastated Australia, the Western United States and Brazil alike. No wonder the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres calls climate change the defining issue of our time. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned in their 2018 report that the world had to cut carbon emissions considerably before 2030 in order to limit the increase of global average temperatures to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels (IPCC 2018). As an issue with global impact, climate change poses a prime example of a problem that transcends state boundaries and needs to be addressed through transnational governance. Over nearly 30 years, international politics has engaged with the question of how to limit climate change and has shown an increasing sense of urgency in communication and political action. While there is a general conviction that collective efforts and changes are needed on the national, local and individual level to address this problem, the international arena is still seen as the key site to set political ambition and develop a legally binding framework to facilitate and further necessary political changes on all levels. The role of religion and religious actors in international climate politics has recently received more attention from policymakers and scholarship: in preparation for the important 2015 Paris Climate Conference, which would replace the Kyoto Protocol, then Executive Secretary Christina Figueres of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) urged faith groups and religious organizations to assist in reaching an ambitious climate agreement (Figueres 2014). Similarly, the publication of Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si, before the Paris conference in 2015, in which he called for action against climate change, has been recognized as an important and authoritative call for action by faith groups, the broader public, science and political leaders alike. The contribution of religion to the fight against the climate crisis is usually seen as bringing ethical and moral foundations to the political discussion that can facilitate the changes in human–environment relationships that are needed (Bergmann 2010). As environmental governance is fundamentally concerned with questions of equity and fairness (Pattberg and Widerberg 2015), it is important to understand what answers religions and religious actors could provide to those questions and with what kind of political impact. Or as Mike Hulme (2017, 14), a leading climate scientist, puts it, ‘[i]gnoring the role and influence of religion in responses to climate change might be … another form of denialism’. There are ample theological discussions on the relationship between religion and ecology and increasingly on religious environmentalism 143

144  Handbook on religion and international relations more broadly. However, there is still little empirical research studying religious responses to climate change (Haluza-DeLay 2014; Veldman et al. 2014b) and studies that focus on the role of religion in climate change politics, particularly in international relations. Considering the increasing urgency of the ecological crisis, the fact that religion has taken a more prominent role in international climate politics and that the potential contribution of faith-based organizations (FBOs) in halting the climate crisis has been highlighted by science, politicians and scholars alike over the last years, it seems all the more important to address religion in international climate politics with the seriousness that the issue deserves. This contribution aims to give an overview of the state of the debate on religion and the international politics of climate change. First, it will discuss the contribution of religion to discussions on climate change and how religion can make a difference in international climate change politics. Second, it will introduce how climate change has become an issue of international politics and how religion has been involved in these political processes. For that purpose, it will situate the discussion on religion and climate politics within the debate on post-secularism in international relations and outline how boundaries between the secular and religious still appear to be politically relevant. Third, it will discuss how faith-based engagement is set within fragmented climate politics which happens across scales. Fourth, it will show the diverse ways how religion plays a role at the UNFCCC and how FBOs have contributed to debates on justice. Lastly, the chapter will conclude with an outlook and potential avenues for further research.

THE CONTRIBUTION OF A RELIGIOUS PERSPECTIVE TO CLIMATE CHANGE POLITICS Deliberations about human–environment relations and how religions value nature are central to all religious and spiritual belief systems. In theology and religious studies, scholars have contributed to the debate on religion and ecology, including discussions as to whether religions can be a transformative resource in environmental politics. The rise of climate change as a serious issue in international politics coincided with an increasing understanding that religions can contribute to more environmental sustainability and the emergence of a religious environmental movement (Gottlieb 2006). Religions are seen to have entered their ‘ecological phase’ and they may transform the foundational values of their respective faith traditions into action for the environment (Tucker 2003). While different faiths provide different answers to how human–environment relationships are perceived, religious ecologists would nevertheless highlight that most religions share an attitude of care and respect for the environment (Tucker and Grim 2001, 2–3). This enables them to play a supporting role in the fight for a sustainable and climate-friendly future. The ‘greening of religion’ hypothesis might lead one to assume that religions necessarily make a positive contribution to environmental politics. This assumption is however contested, and religious traditional practices and values can also be at odds with the normative goals of environmentalism (Kalland 2005). Lynn White’s (1967) widely cited article observed this ambiguity and argued that the Judeo-Christian anthropocentric worldview is largely responsible for the ecological crisis and has contributed to environmental destruction rather than environmental protection. In addition, more recent studies have shown that belief systems in some religions hinder environmental mobilization and that religions are not becoming more

Religion and the international politics of climate change  145 environmentally friendly (Taylor et al. 2016). Some evangelicals in the United States have for instance promoted a sceptical view on the existence of anthropogenic climate change (Carr et al. 2012; Jones et al. 2014). Aligned with views of the anti-environmental ‘wise use’ movement that understands nature as serving human needs, some advocates of the Christian right in the United States have supported a political position that is against strict environmental regulations as it is seen to hurt free markets and the possibility of the poor to profit from economic growth, hence situating themselves against the scientific claim that climate change will disproportionately impact the global poor (Gould and Kearns 2018, 22). Therefore, ‘blanket claims for environmental purity’ (Tucker 2003, 25) of religious environmental ethics need to be scrutinized and set in their specific socio-political context. Despite this mixed account of the religious contribution to environmentalism, scholars have shown that there is empirical evidence for the argument that religions are more and more engaged in climate change politics (Veldman et al. 2014a). Religions are most often seen as providing value frameworks that enable a change in individual human–environment relationships. This may motivate transformations of individual behaviour towards more sustainable collective practices (Gottlieb 2006; Johnston 2014). But religion does not only inspire individual practices, it is also seen to hold considerable political power to influence and support sustainable politics. Gardner (2002) argues that this is due to five main assets that religions hold: their capacity to shape worldviews, their moral authority, a large base of adherents, material and financial resources, and community-building capacity (see also Haluza-DeLay 2014). This highlights the material and normative aspects of religion’s potential contribution to climate change politics. Material aspects matter as land ownership and economic resources can be used to meet sustainability goals. The global divestment movement, which aims to pressurize institutions to remove assets and investments from companies supporting fossil fuel extraction and divert them to renewable and clean energy, has for instance gained considerable support from some religious institutions. The decision of the Catholic Church to divest from coal, oil, and gas, and consider sustainability ethics in their investment decisions has potentially significant political impact as it is a large financial investor with considerable material leverage (Neslen 2017). Most often the contribution of religion is seen to be a normative one. It starts from the assumption that religion can provide a normative foundation for global governance (Falk 2001) and contribute to debates on the ethical and moral challenges of climate change. Religious values and practices do not only shape mobilization and identity of a social movement (Thomas 2005), they also offer thick accounts of moral reasoning for acting in response to climate change, and can provide the stories and narratives for imaginary sustainable futures (Hulme 2017). And as Litfin observes, ‘[i]f the story implicit in modern secularism is ecologically unsustainable, there is an enormous need to move to a new story’ (Litfin 2003, 33). This can include the greater emphasis of FBOs on justice in climate politics and a more holistic perspective on non-material dimensions of a ‘good life’ (Glaab and Fuchs 2018). The key contribution of religions to climate debates is connected to the presumably high potential leverage that religious figures have due to their perceived moral authority. With the increasing urgency of the ecological crisis and the parallel challenges to find a political solution, there is hope that ‘if people won’t listen to scientists, perhaps they will listen to religious figures of authority’, as the editor of Nature puts its (Kearns 2011, 418). The Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who has been called the ‘green patriarch’ due to his engagement for the environment, and Catholic Popes have been prominent advocates for rethinking our relationship to the environment and highlighting people’s moral responsibility

146  Handbook on religion and international relations to act. With the publication of the papal encyclical it is then no wonder that the scientific community hoped that Pope Francis’s moral authority might lead to his words travelling ‘farther than sober scientific reports of bodies such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’ (Campbell 2015, 391). However, even a moral religious authority such as the Pope will not be able to reach all adherents and convince them of the necessity to act for the climate. Li et al. (2016) found that the papal encyclical was well received among the general public and liberal Catholics, but stood in conflict with conservative Catholics’ views on climate change when it did not fit their political views leading them to devalue the Pope’s credibility on the issue. Hence, religious discourses and their moral authority do not necessarily lead to more sustainable practices among adherents and congregations but need to be evaluated in their specific political contexts.

‘SECULAR’ INTERNATIONAL CLIMATE POLITICS AND THE ROLE OF RELIGION Since the 1960s there has been increasing awareness and attentiveness to environmental problems and their consequences to ecosystems, biodiversity and human health. Yet, it was only at the end of the twentieth century that these issues were taken more seriously by states and became part of international political debates. The UN Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm Conference) in 1972 and the subsequently created United Nations Environment Programme put environmental issues high on the agenda of multilateral politics for the first time. Subsequently, the Brundtland report ‘Our Common Future’ by the World Commission on Environment and Development in 1987 aimed to raise further awareness and suggested solutions to global environmental problems (WCED 1987). It paved the way to address the environment at the intersection of development issues and raise awareness for increasing climatic changes and their impacts. Climate change became part of the global environmental politics architecture with the foundation of the UNFCCC. Opened for signature at the so-called ‘Earth Summit’ of the UN in 1992 with the proposed aim of preventing anthropogenic climate change through a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the UNFCCC now has 197 parties. The establishment of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 established the first legal framework for developed countries to curb their emissions and was superseded by the Paris Agreement in 2015 where parties agreed to limit global warming to less than two degrees Celsius relative to pre-industrial levels. Climate change as an issue of international politics has a relatively short history but has risen quickly to become a major issue of global debate. With the rise of global environmental politics, religious environmental organizations emerged that aimed at influencing climate politics through grassroots activism and advocacy on the local and national levels (Ellingson et al. 2012; Gould and Kearns 2018; Johnston 2014; Kidwell 2020). Religious environmental activism similarly developed in international environmental politics settings: FBOs had a strong presence at the 1992 Rio Summit and even more so at the bigger and parallel running civil society-led Global Forum. The World Council of Churches (WCC) started its work on climate change in 1988 in preparation for the Rio Summit highlighting the role of climate justice (Kerber 2014). The Alliance of Religion and Conservation – a secular environmental organization launched by the WorldWide Fund for Nature to support faith-based environmental initiatives worldwide – published an interreligious statement at the Windsor Conference

Religion and the international politics of climate change  147 in 2009 on the verge of the Copenhagen Climate Conference, and the Interfaith Summit on Climate Change (2014) presented an interfaith statement before the Paris climate conference. Furthermore, various environmental organizations and programmes at the UN such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, the United Nations Environment Programme or the UNFCCC have established partnerships with religious organizations as part of an effort to culturally embed projects tackling environmental problems, with FBOs having been actively involved in the UNFCCC since its foundation. This development has been paralleled by increasing participation of civil society in global governance structures in general and international climate politics more specifically. The number of climate-related non-governmental organizations (NGOs) has skyrocketed over the last years and the number of participants and non-state actors taking part in the annual UN climate change conferences has risen steadily over the last 20 years, peaking at more than 28,000 accredited participants of which 8,000 were non-state actors at the Climate Summit in Paris in 2015 (Lövbrand et al. 2017). It is within this more general context of rising civil society involvement that global governance has created an ‘ideational opportunity structure’ (Baumgart-Ochse 2018, 5) for FBOs to participate and engage in global political decision-making processes with climate change politics being one important aspect of it. International relations and its global governance institutions such as the UN and the UNFCCC are however often seen as particularly ‘secular’ spaces as secularization theory would postulate (Berger 1999). Particularly multilateral organizations as well as the civil society organizations that work in them are seen to be represented by a cosmopolitan transnational elite, which acts predominantly according to secular reference frames (Bush 2007, 2646), leaving potentially little space for religion to take advantage of the ideational opportunity structure. Post-secular theorizing, however, has questioned the seemingly clear separation of religious and secular spheres that prioritizes secular reasoning as the most rational way to discuss public political issues (Kubálková 2000). It shows the entanglement of secular and religious ideas in the foundation of international relations (Asad 2003) and probes whether values and norms should be negotiated within an exclusively secular framework (Mavelli and Pepito 2012). This is all the more relevant as secularist assumptions are usually deemed to originate in a Western European context not taking account of the fact that actually most of the world is religious (Gardner 2002). Global governance institutions have been opening up to include FBOs into their decision-making processes (Bush 2007). Hence, the UN is often described as a rather ‘secular institution, but not an aggressive secularist one … the UN has generally been neutral and open towards the public participation of religious groups and communities in its debates and activities’ (Bettiza and Dionigi 2015, 629). This leads to the UN having what Carette and Miall (2017) call a ‘paradoxical relationship with religion’: although it is formally a secular organization, religious perspectives are represented by FBOs that are involved in political decision-making processes. Nevertheless, FBOs often struggle ‘to be taken seriously’ within international institutions (Haynes 2014, 23), opening up questions as to whether faith-based practices and views are adequately represented in global politics. In the field of global climate politics this observation is of particular relevance as natural scientists have historically set the agenda in the formation of multilateral environmental regimes (Frank et al. 2000), and scientific knowledge and technical expertise play an important role in political deliberations on the environment (Glaab 2018). Discussions on climate change are predominantly science-based: future climate scenarios, carbon emission or finance models

148  Handbook on religion and international relations are developed and advocated by technical experts and scientific expert committees such as the IPCC. Even the papal encyclical acknowledges the important role of climatic sciences, when it spends the first part of the publication on establishing the scientific knowledge base, making broad references to IPCC reports and other knowledge generated within the scientific community. Unsurprisingly, the negotiations at the UNFCCC tend to be very technical and require specialized knowledge of processes, legal frameworks and political provisions. Hulme even argues that nowhere are scientific accounts of climate change more important than at the UNFCCC Conferences of the Parties (COPs), leading to religion being excluded from accounts of climate change sciences or activism (Hulme 2017, 14). While civil society at large has taken on the role as ‘knowledge broker’, taking part in expert meetings and mediating between scientific knowledge and policymakers (Litfin 1995), the contributing role of FBOs to climate policy making processes is less clear. From the outset, they do not appear to provide technical or scientific knowledge and do not act as mediators between science and policy. Religious knowledge is seen to be different from scientific knowledge as it is value- and not goal-oriented (Sandal 2011), therefore emphasizing the normative and ethical perspectives that religions can bring to the table. After all, religions ‘have a special power to articulate moral intuitions, especially with regard to vulnerable forms of communal life’ (Habermas 2006, 10). The contribution of FBOs to climate change debates is therefore often seen to be a normative one, which highlights fundamental values and a holistic approach to development that incorporates spiritual and religious dimensions of development (Glaab and Fuchs 2018). This shows for instance in an emphasis of climate justice or the acknowledgement of the poor and most marginalized in the political advocacy of FBOs.

RELIGIOUS ENGAGEMENT IN FRAGMENTED CLIMATE POLITICS Notably, climate politics happens across scales. Although the UNFCCC and the climate negotiations at its COPs are the central sites of international climate politics that set the legal framework and ambition for national politics, climate change governance is not contained within that international institutional setting, but it is fragmented and shows an increasing overlap with other institutions of global governance (Zelli and van Asselt 2013). In addition, climate governance has been described by scholars of global environmental politics as moving from a monocentric to a polycentric governance form, in which a myriad of actors has the authority to take part in various sectors and action is dispersed across multiple levels (Jordan et al. 2018). Within this governance framework, in which international climate change politics manifests in different forms and different settings, faith-based climate engagement is distributed across scales (Kidwell 2020). FBOs participate inside institutions of global climate governance through diplomacy, lobbying and agenda setting, and outside of those institutions through advocacy, national policy initiatives, and climate projects and programmes, as well as local grassroots movements, environmental demonstrations and concrete sustainability transitions such as renewable energy initiatives in local communities. The fragmentation of climate politics within and outside of institutions often plays out across international, domestic and local levels. The global climate regime has always combined top-down and bottom-up mechanisms – although the 2015 Paris Agreement shows the increasing importance of bottom-up governance (van Asselt and Zelli 2018). Since the 2010s,

Religion and the international politics of climate change  149 important bottom-up climate movements have emerged, for example the youth-led ‘Fridays for Future’ or the ‘Extinction Rebellion’ movement in both the global North and global South. They are two of the most recent social protests adding to the climate justice movements’ call for action. Many of the climate protests that are happening outside the formal negotiations are also critical towards the current political system, which is seen to be ineffective in finding solutions to climate change (Bedall and Görg 2014; Hadden 2014). Religious actors participate in these environmental protests and demonstrations. The People’s Climate March in September 2014 in New York was for instance an organized interfaith event, which happened alongside the Interfaith Summit on Climate Change and in preparation of the Paris climate conference (Kidwell 2019). Similarly, faith groups have participated in climate pilgrimages or organized fasting events for the climate to mobilize constituents, gain media attention and therewith pressure governments to raise ambition and consider justice as a key principle in climate politics (Glaab 2017). Participation at events of ‘Extinction Rebellion’, which aims to disrupt through non-violence and civil disobedience, represents, however, another form of religious environmental protest characterized through a presence of religious groups performing rituals and ceremonies facilitating ‘a meeting point of spirituality and rebellion’ (Skrimshire 2019; see also Skrimshire 2020). Many of these activities appear unconnected and show that religious climate activism in international negotiations is characterized by different sets of actors which follow distinct interests and logics that can be differentiated from those involved in domestic and local sites. The role of religion in local energy transitions for instance is partially shaped by its social local contexts (Köhrsen 2015), and one cannot assume that global climate goals are contextualized, interpreted and implemented in the same way. However, despite the fragmented nature of global climate politics which is also represented in faith-based climate activism, the politics across different scales are linked. International climate negotiations can be affected from outside the institutional setting through shifts in public opinion that pressure state governments to take on broader societal concerns. This way, new narratives and discourses transcend the different settings of climate politics and can shape agendas and policies. For instance, the papal encyclical has been taken up in high-level events in global governance settings and was presented at the Congress of the United States, the General Assembly of the UN and at the UNFCCC before the Paris conference, but it was similarly discussed by scientists and the general public, and has also inspired local energy transition projects and national policy initiatives (Glaab 2018). Within polycentric climate architecture, FBOs have a unique position as they have the capacity to relate and connect activism across different scales. Unlike other civil society organizations, many FBOs have strong ties to local communities through church congregations and their constituents. Many FBOs see themselves as mediators that have the possibility to act between the global and the local levels by representing these perspectives within international negotiations (Glaab 2017). As many of these communities are within the global South, where the impact of climatic change can already be experienced today, FBOs can act as witnesses of these climatic changes and bring the reality of climate change as it is experienced on the ground closer to policymakers at the UNFCCC. The papal encyclical also includes many references to bishop conferences in the global South when it discusses the relationship between climate change and global inequality, thereby linking local experience-based knowledge with global scientific discussions on climate change (Glaab 2018).

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FAITH-BASED ADVOCACY AT THE UNFCCC While global climate governance is fragmented, the UNFCCC still poses the key site for international climate politics. It is the site where legally binding agreements are reached, and implementation mechanisms and rulebook of the Paris Agreement are negotiated. As it is supposed to set the broader norms and rules which influence national climate policies, it is therefore pertinent for states and non-state actors alike to participate in the COPs, workshops and sessions to shape the agenda. FBOs are usually conceptualized as non-state actors and their participation is seen to be part of broader civil society engagement. Like other non-state actors, FBOs are observers to the UNFCCC process and participate as representatives of their organizations. But while UN institutions have established mechanisms that allow FBOs to participate and get access to the UN, FBOs do not have their own representation at the UN. As the UNFCCC mirrors the ‘main groups’ of the UN system, faith groups do not have their own constituency. There are currently nine constituencies at the UNFCCC which assemble and represent the diverse interests of more than 2000 admitted non-state observer groups: business and industry NGOs, environmental NGOs, farmers, indigenous peoples organizations, local government and municipal authorities, research and independent NGOs, trade union NGOs, women, and youth NGOs (UNFCCC 2020a). However, since 2016 FBOs have been recognized as one of the ‘informal NGO groups’ at the UNFCCC (UNFCCC 2020b). While this allows for closer liaising with the Climate Secretariat through the creation of an Interfaith Liaison Committee which brings FBOs registered with the UNFCCC together and enables closer communication with the Secretariat, this position does not give the same privileges as constituencies. FBOs are for instance not allowed to make formal statements as input to ongoing debates and processes or speak for the group of FBOs in the plenary meetings (Glaab 2017). It has been noted before that it is difficult to pinpoint the number of FBOs active at the UN (Berger 2003; Petersen 2010), and the same is true for the UNFCCC. Some organizations cannot clearly be identified as religious through the mission statement of their organization. Other organizations listed such as the WCC or Action of Churches Together (ACT Alliance) are actually representing a large number of diverse churches or FBOs. The WCC for instance represents over 500 million people from almost 350 member churches in over 100 different countries (WCC 2020). Membership at the Interfaith Liaison Committee gives indication that about 30–50 FBOs actively take part in faith-related work at the UNFCCC (Glaab et al. 2018). Those groups can be small organizations or larger conglomerates, and comprise faith-based development organizations, churches or representatives of other faith-based civil society organizations. The religious organizations that participate at the UNFCCC mirror the general picture of religious involvement at the UN, where Haynes (2014) concluded that of the more than 300 registered religious NGOs at the UN, Christian and Northern organizations make up between 58 and 75 per cent.1 However, at the UNFCCC, in contrast to many secular NGOs, FBOs have a stronger representation from Southern organizations. 75 per cent of the members in the ACT Alliance, for example, come from the global South (Glaab et al. 2018). There has also been increasing participation and engagement of non-Christian organizations over the last years showing a larger representation of Islamic, Buddhist or other faith groups. In preparation of the Paris climate convention in 2015, various faiths arranged for instance conferences and workshops, and published statements on climate change referring to their respective religious

Religion and the international politics of climate change  151 values such as the Islamic Declaration on Climate Change (IFEES 2015), but also a prominent interfaith alliance with an Interfaith Statement on Climate Change (Interfaith Summit of Climate Change 2014). Faith-based activism at the UNFCCC is shaped by the institutional structure and its presumably secular context. As part of larger civil society, FBO practices oscillate between adjusting their activities and language to the practices of other secular civil society organizations on the one hand and emphasizing their religious identity in religious language and practices on the other (Glaab 2018). At the UNFCCC, the role of civil society is to observe the negotiations. NGOs aim to influence policy outcomes through lobbying, networking or expert advice and they are typically seen as giving legitimacy to international negotiations and political decision-making processes through representation of marginalized groups and enhancing transparency as custodians of public interest (Nasiritousi et al. 2015). Yet, actors do not only come to the annual meetings to influence the negotiation of a climate treaty; most of them participate to network and build relationships and foster mutual learning and a sense of community (Lövbrand et al. 2017). In many ways, FBOs take a similar approach as other civil society organizations and work closely with established civil society networks such as the Climate Action Network at the UNFCCC. In those collaborations, FBO work emulates that of large civil society, as they bring in their technical expertise and develop campaigns and processes that resonate both with secular and religious audiences (Glaab et al. 2018). At the same time, this close collaboration is seen critically by many FBOs at the UNFCCC as they fear losing their unique religious contribution and voice (Glaab 2017). These actors would highlight the ethical challenges of climate change and emphasize their role as mediators and representatives of the most vulnerable that are already affected by climatic changes. Their actions would therefore also be embedded in the practices of their respective faiths, refer to a religious language and aim to appeal on an emotional level to the public and political decision makers (Glaab 2017).

CONCLUSION AND OUTLOOK: WHAT ROLE FOR RELIGION IN INTERNATIONAL CLIMATE POLITICS? With the rising urgency of the ecological crisis and the likely devastating impact of climatic changes on both human and natural worlds, the role of religion in international climate politics has become more pronounced over the last decade, receiving increased attention from both policymakers and scholars. The latter have shown theoretically the religious contributions to (re)imagining human–environment relationships and empirically the various forms that religious environmentalism can take. By now, it should be clear that the role of FBOs in international climate change politics is complex and shows in varied representations of faiths, activism across international, national and local contexts, and different FBO practices and goals. As Haluza DeLay (2014, 266) points out, there is no simple answer to how the world religions are responding to the challenges of climate change as they are doing this in very different ways and the same is true for their engagement in international climate politics. The apparent distinction between secular and religious engagement in environmental politics is increasingly challenged by religious climate activism. The way that for instance the papal encyclical was discussed in public gives reason to believe that there is the possibility to generate a dialogue between science, politics and religion, which might lead to a fruitful and

152  Handbook on religion and international relations constructive engagement as to how to make climate politics more approachable and legitimate. In order to better understand how religion can contribute to international climate politics, more conceptual and particularly empirical work is needed that might help to show the ambivalences, contributions and possibilities for cooperation.

NOTE 1. Jenkins et al. (2018) argue, however, that Christianity is more entangled than other religions with the history of fossil fuel industrialism and therefore also requires more scrutiny as to how it addresses its responsibility for negative climate impacts.

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Religion and the international politics of climate change  153 Glaab, Katharina. 2017. A Climate for Justice? Faith-Based Advocacy on Climate Change at the United Nations. Globalizations 14 (7), 1110–24. Glaab, Katharina. 2018. Faithful Translation? Shifting the Boundaries of the Religious and the Secular in the Global Climate Change Debate. In World Politics in Translation: Power, Relationality, and Difference in Global Cooperation, edited by Tobias Berger and Alejandro Esguerra, 175–90. London: Routledge. Glaab, Katharina, and Fuchs, Doris. 2018. Green Faith? The Role of Faith-Based Actors in the Global Sustainable Development Discourse. Environmental Values 27 (3), 289–312. Glaab, Katharina, Fuchs, Doris, and Friederich, Johannes. 2018. Religious NGOs at the UNFCCC: A Specific Contribution to Global Climate Politics? In Religious NGOs at the UN: Polarizers or Mediators?, edited by Claudia Baumgart-Ochse and Klaus-Dieter Wolf, 47–63. London: Routledge. Gottlieb, Roger S. 2006. A Greener Faith: Religious Environmentalism and Our Planet’s Future. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Gould, Rebecca Kneale, and Kearns, Laurel. 2018. Ecology and Religious Environmentalism in the United States. Oxford Research Encyclopedias. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Habermas, Jürgen. 2006. Religion in the Public Sphere. Journal of Philosophy 14 (1), 1–25. Hadden, Jennifer. 2014. Explaining Variation in Transnational Climate Change Activism: The Role of Inter-Movement Spillover. Global Environmental Politics 14 (2), 7–25. Haluza-DeLay, Randolph. 2014. Religion and Climate Change: Varieties in Viewpoints and Practices. WIREs Climate Change 5 (2), 261–79. Haynes, Jeffrey. 2014. Faith-Based Organizations at the United Nations. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Hulme, Mike. 2017. Climate Change and the Significance of Religion. Economic and Political Weekly 52 (28), 14–17. Interfaith Summit of Climate Change. 2014. Climate, Faith and Hope: Faith Traditions Together for a Common Future. Retrieved from http://​interfaithclimate​.org/​the​-statement/​(Accessed 20 October 2020). Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 2018. Global Warming of 1.5°C. An IPCC Special Report on the Impacts of Global Warming of 1.5°C above Pre-Industrial Levels and Related Global Greenhouse Gas Emission Pathways, in the Context of Strengthening the Global Response to the Threat of Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Efforts to Eradicate Poverty. Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environment Sciences (IFEES). 2015. Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change. Retrieved from www​.ifees​.org​.uk/​declaration/​(Accessed 20 October 2020). Jenkins, Willis, Berry, Evan, and Beck Kreider, Luke. 2018. Religion and Climate Change. Annual Review of Environment and Resources 43, 86–108. Johnston, Lucas F. 2014. Religion and Sustainability: Social Movements and the Politics of the Environment. New York: Routledge. Jones, Robert P., Cox, Daniel, and Navarro-Rivera, Juhem. 2014. Believers, Sympathizers, and Skeptics: Why Americans are Conflicted about Climate Change, Environmental Policy, and Science. Washington, DC: Public Research Religion Institute. Retrieved from www​.prri​.org/​research/​ believers​-sympathizers​-skeptics​-americans​-conflicted​-climate​-change​-environmental​-policy​-science/​ (Accessed 20 October 2020). Jordan, Andrew, Huitema, Dave, van Asselt, Harro, and Forster, Johanna (eds). 2018. Governing Climate Change. Polycentricity in Action? Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Kalland, Arne. 2005. The Religious Environmentalist Paradigm. In Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature, edited by Bron Taylor, 1367–71. London: Continuum. Kearns, Laurel. 2011. The Role of Religions in Activism. In The Oxford Handbook on Climate Change and Society, edited by John Dryzek, Richard Norgaard and David Schlosberg, 414–28. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Kerber, Guillermo. 2014. International Advocacy for Climate Justice. In How the World’s Religions are Responding to Climate Change, edited by Robin G. Veldman, Andrew Szasz and Randolph Haluza-DeLay, 278–93. Milton Park: Routledge. Kidwell, Jeremy. 2019. Re-enchanting Political Theology. Religions 10 (550), 1–14. Kidwell, Jeremy. 2020. Mapping the Field of Religious Environmental Politics. International Affairs 96 (2), 343–63.

154  Handbook on religion and international relations Köhrsen, Jens. 2015. Does Religion Promote Environmental Sustainability? Exploring the Role of Religion in Local Energy Transitions. Social Compass 62 (3), 296–310. Kubálková, Vendulka. 2000. Towards an International Political Theology. Millennium – Journal of International Studies 29 (3), 675–704. Li, Nan, Hilgard, Joseph, Scheufele, Dietram A., Winneg, Kenneth, M., and Hall Jamieson, Kathleen. 2016. Cross-Pressuring Conservative Catholics? Effects of Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the US Public Opinion on Climate Change. Climatic Change 139, 367–80. Litfin, Karen. 1995. Ozone Discourses: Science and Politics in Global Environmental Cooperation. New York: Columbia University Press. Litfin, Karen. 2003. Toward an Integral Perspective on World Politics. Millennium – Journal of International Studies 32 (1), 29–56. Lövbrand, Eva, Hjerpe, Mattias, and Linnér, Björn-Ola. 2017. Making Climate Governance Global: How UN Climate Summitry Comes to Matter in a Complex Climate Regime. Environmental Politics 26 (4), 580–99. Mavelli, Luca, and Petito, Fabio. 2012. The Postsecular in International Relations: An Overview. Review of International Studies 38 (5), 931–42. Nasiritousi, Naghmeh, Hjerpe, Mattias, and Bäckstrand, Karin. 2015. Normative Arguments for Non-State Actor Participation in International Policymaking Processes: Functionalism, Neocorporatism or Democratic Pluralism? European Journal of International Relations 22 (4), 920–43. Neslen, Arthur. 2017. Catholic Church to Make Record Divestment from Fossil Fuels. Retrieved from www​.theguardian​.com/​environment/​2017/​oct/​03/​catholic​-church​-to​-make​-record​-divestment​-from​ -fossil​-fuels (Accessed 21 October 2020). Pattberg, Philipp, and Widerberg, Oscar. 2015. Theorising Global Environmental Governance: Key Findings and Future Questions. Millennium 43 (2), 684–705. Petersen, Marie Juul. 2010. International Religious NGOs at the United Nations: A Study of a Group of Religious Organizations. Journal of Humanitarian Assistance. Retrieved from https://​sites​.tufts​.edu/​ jha/​archives/​847 (Accessed 29 October 2020). Pope Francis. 2015. Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ of the Holy Father Francis on the Care for Our Common Home. 24 May. Retrieved from http://​w2​.vatican​.va/​content/​francesco/​en/​encyclicals/​ documents/​papa​-francesco​_20150524​_enciclica​-laudato​-si​.html (Accessed 20 October 2020). Sandal, Nuket Ahu. 2011. Religious Actors as Epistemic Communities in Conflict Transformation: The Cases of South Africa and Northern Ireland. Review of International Studies 37, 929–49. Skrimshire, Stefan D. 2019. Extinction Rebellion and the New Visibility of Religious Protest. Open Democracy. Retrieved from www​.opendemocracy​.net/​en/​transformation/​extinction​-rebellion​-and​ -new​-visibility​-religious​-protest/​ (Accessed 27 October 2020). Skrimshire, Stefan D. 2020. F&A Series: The Religion of Extinction Rebellion. Religion in Public. Retrieved from https://​religioninpublic​.com/​2020/​01/​23/​fa​-series​-the​-religion​-of​-extinction​-rebellion/​ (Accessed 27 October 2020). Taylor, Bron, van Wieren, Gretel, and Zaleha, Bernard D. 2016. Lynn White, Jr. and the Greening-of-Religion Hypothesis. Conservation Biology 30 (5), 1000–9. Thomas, Scott. 2005. The Global Resurgence of Religion and the Transformation of International Relations. London: Palgrave Macmillan. Tucker, Mary E. 2003. Worldly Wonder: Religions Enter Their Ecological Phase. The Second Master Hsüan Hua Memorial Lecture. Chicago, IL: Open Court. Tucker, Mary E., and Grim, John A. 2001. Introduction. The Emerging Alliance of World Religions and Ecology. Daedalus, Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Science 130 (4), 1–22. UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 2020a. Statistics on Admission. Retrieved from https://​unfccc​.int/​process​-and​-meetings/​parties​-non​-party​-stakeholders/​non​-party​-stakeholders/​ statistics​-on​-non​-party​-stakeholders/​statistics​-on​-admission (Accessed 10 September 2020). UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 2020b. Admitted NGOs. Available from: https://​unfccc​.int/​process​-and​-meetings/​parties​-non​-party​-stakeholders/​non​-party​-stakeholders/​ information​-by​-category​-of​-observer/​admitted​-ngos​#eq​-2 (Accessed 10 September 2020). Van Asselt, Harro, and Zelli, Fariborz. 2018. International Governance Polycentric Governing by and beyond the UNFCCC. In Governing Climate Change: Polycentricity in Action?, edited by Andrew

Religion and the international politics of climate change  155 Jordan, Dave Huitema, Harro van Asselt and Johanna Forster, 29–46. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Veldman, Robin G., Szasz, Andrew, and Haluza-DeLay, Randolph (eds). 2014a. How the World’s Religions Are Responding to Climate Change: Social Scientific Investigations. Milton Park: Routledge. Veldman, Robin G., Szasz, Andrew, and Haluza-DeLay, Randolph. 2014b. Social Science, Religions, and Climate Change. In How the World’s Religions are Responding to Climate Change, edited by Robin G. Veldman, Andrew Szasz and Randolph Haluza-DeLay, 3–19. Milton Park: Routledge. White, Lynn. 1967. The Historical Roots of Our Ecologic Crisis. Science 155 (3767), 1203–7. World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED). 1987. Our Common Future. Oxford: Oxford University Press. World Council of Churches (WCC). 2020. Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved from www​ .oikoumene​.org/​en/​about​-us/​faq​#how​-many​-member​-churches​-does​-the​-wcc​-have​-now​- (Accessed 30 October 2020). Zelli, Fariborz, and van Asselt, Harro. 2013. The Institutional Fragmentation of Global Environmental Governance: Causes, Consequences, and Responses. Global Environmental Politics 13 (3), 1–13.

11. Religion and international migration Ayhan Kaya

INTRODUCTION This chapter is an attempt to contribute to analysis of the complex relationship between religion and international migration. As it is impossible to cover the whole issue of religion and international migration in one chapter, this chapter is selective in the sense that only a few dimensions will be discussed in order to shed light on this intricate relationship. The chapter is composed of the following sections: reification of religion in migrancy; religious roots of the discourse of hospitality vis-à-vis refugees; and the sources of Islamic radicalization and the politics of honour in migration among Muslims residing in Europe. The chapter’s background, mainly based on secondary literature, also lies in the findings of my empirical research that I have been conducting since the late 1990s in European countries among Muslim-origin residents as well as the native populations. The chapter commences with a summary of the relevant literature in migration studies, diaspora studies and theology to address the relationship between religion and international migration. The current state of the art will be followed by the depiction of the ways in which religion is reified in migrants’ everyday lives. Afterwards, there will be a discussion on the religious roots of the politics of hospitality that has been a common practice in Europe and beyond, at least temporarily, vis-à-vis refugees and asylum seekers originating from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Eritrea, Senegal and elsewhere. The last section of the chapter is also based on another current debate, which is Islamic radicalization and the revival of honour among diasporic Muslim communities. The work will also benefit from information gained by various European Union (EU)-funded projects conducted by the author over the last decade. The first project that needs to be noted is the ongoing European Research Council Advanced Grant called Islam-ophob-ism, which focuses on the sources of radicalization among European youth with both native and Muslim backgrounds. In addition, there are two other Horizon 2020 research projects funded by the EU: CoHERE, Critical Heritages, analysing the use of the past by right-wing populist individuals; and RESPOND, Multilevel Governance of Mass Migration in Europe and Beyond, investigating the asylum and refugee policies, practices and responses of the European countries as well as Turkey, Iraq and Lebanon.

A CONCISE OVERVIEW OF THE STATE OF THE ART Religion has always been a prevalent matter of discussion in migrancy (Saunders et al. 2016). However, Paul Bramadat and Matthias Koenig (2009) drew our attention to an intriguing fact about the absence of religious literacy in Western publics, resulting from two primary factors: a lack of public funding given over to dispassionate education about religion, and the prevalence of the secularization hypothesis among Western elites, including academics and 156

Religion and international migration  157 policy makers. Despite this fact, the relationship between religion and international migration has been discussed by migration scholars, especially since the 1990s. Migration scholars have examined the intersections between religion and migration from different theoretical, methodological and religious perspectives (see for example Cesari 2003; Levitt 2007; Meyer and Sunier 1997; Warner and Wittner 1998). In addition, scholars of religion and theologians have studied the complexities of religion and migration (see for example Ahn 2013; Houston 2015; Juergensmeyer 2008; Padilla and Phan 2014; Ruiz 2011; Snyder 2012). Before World War II, conventional countries of immigration such as the United States, Australia, Canada, Argentina and New Zealand historically preferred Christian European migrants. Many established clear barriers to the immigration of non-Christian, non-European Others (Saunders et al. 2016). In the aftermath of the war, many of these receiving countries opened immigration to non-Europeans in greater numbers. Over time, both migrants and hosts increasingly underwent processes of adjusting to religious diversity. This revealed an inequity of power as Muslims tend to be ‘cultural, religious and ethnic minorities’ in receiving countries. However, lately some new developments taking place in various parts of the world have disrupted Christian hegemony both in migration contexts and in scholarly discussions of migration. Many countries in the global North and global South alike have received significant, and diverse, migratory flows in ways that challenged the standard assumption that a Christian majority ‘host’ population is accommodating religiously diverse immigrants (Juergensmeyer 2008: 151–76). This kind of conventional wisdom no longer reflects the full reality of global migration (Saunders et al. 2016). The world is now much more complex than it once was, as far as the relationship between religion and international migration is concerned. Tibetan Buddhist refugees in India, minority Rohingya Muslims seeking asylum in Muslim-majority Indonesia, Keralan Muslims working in the Gulf states and Sunni Muslim Syrian refugees in Turkey are some examples which challenge conventional wisdom.

REIFICATION OF RELIGIOUS IDENTITIES IN MIGRANCY Religious communities are not only known in their roles as ‘safe havens’ and ‘home away from home’, as they also function as guides to the new society. They serve as ‘training grounds’ for public participation and integration, where migrants in a relatively safe environment can learn the rules of engagement within broader society (Fredriks 2016; Levitt 2004, 2007). Other religious communities function as places of resistance, which critique the dominant social order and encourage people to draw on their spiritual and cultural resources collectively to formulate oppositional interpretations of the values of the dominant society (Marquardt 2005: 191, 208–11). International migrants, refugees and asylum seekers are often inclined to reify their religious capital in the context of migration. Religiously inclined international migrants might, at first glance, seem as if they are practising a conventional and essentialist form of religious and cultural identity, taken out of the ready-made package of cultural attributes carried from their homeland by themselves or by their parents. Such a conclusion would however be misleading. This is because formation and articulation of religious identity is a process, which is not free from the constant intercourse between various social groups, classes and cultures. Czarina Wilpert (1989: 21) draws our attention to two crucial points in the migration context. The first is that reification of religion in diaspora is a vital instrument to be employed in the process

158  Handbook on religion and international relations of identity formation. The second is that the quest for community in diasporic space is not immune to the allure of the culture of the wider society; it is not always unchanging, clear or unambiguous. The demand for self-consciousness is met in a dialogue of mutual recognition which takes place in a collective process. Thus, there only remains a singular space for the individual at the margin to form his/her self-consciousness, i.e. the communal acts of mutual recognition within the boundaries of community. In this communal life, rituals and customs define who ‘I’ is. Sometimes it is the religious communality which offers individuals a context to achieve self-consciousness. The attempts of many international migrants and their descendants to celebrate their religious and/or ethno-cultural identities partly derive from their feeling of insecurity and ambiguity stimulated by structural constraints such as poverty, unemployment, unschooling and institutional racism, and partly from the neo-liberal forms of governmentality generated by modern states which essentialize the technologies of community as a new territory for the administration of individual and collective existence (Rose 1999). Reification of religion seems to be a practical tactic employed by migrants and their children in order to create a safe haven for themselves in transnational space (De Certeau 1984). Emphasizing honour also serves the same purpose, to protect what is deemed to be left in the age of insecurity: religion, purity, culture, ethnicity, honour and the past. The discourse of purity seems to be the last resort for migrants where they believe that they can defend their norms, values and families. However, one should not forget that the discourse of purity is to be found in the representational space of reality. Religious communities essentially present a collective need. The community strategy of keeping people together is counteracted by some individuals through a kind of what François Dubet (2002) calls ‘necessary conformism’. Conformism is a tactic deployed by some individuals to comply with the rules of the game set out by the power of the community. The strategies and tactics used in everyday life are explicated very well by Michel De Certeau (1984). Accordingly, subordinated subjects like migrant-origin individuals with working-class or underclass backgrounds, who feel themselves to be structurally excluded and neglected, become more oriented to their religion, homeland, ethnicity, culture and past. As Robert Young (2001) argues, the growing discourse of religiosity in the contemporary world should not be reduced to an attempt to essentialize so-called purity. It is rather a form of politics generated by subordinated subjects (MacIntyre 1971). This is the case at least for the reification of Islam in different parts of the world. Since the Gulf War in the early 1990s, Islam has become a political instrument for many people in the world to be reified and employed as a self-defence mechanism against different ills of the contemporary world such as humiliation, subordination, exclusion, discrimination, injustice and racism. In this regard, it seems that religion replaced the global secular left wing from the late 1980s. Michel De Certeau (1984: 183) reminds us of the discursive similarities between religion and the left: religion offers a different world, and the left offers a different future. Both offer solidarity. Although religion and the left promise a different world to their adherents, they radically differ from each other in the sense that the former offers a world that was already experienced in the past and the latter offers a world that has not yet arrived. In other words, religion offers a retrospective world, while the left offers a prospective one. As a result, one could argue that Islam, for instance, is no longer simply a religion, but also a counter-hegemonic global political movement, which prompts Muslims to stand up for justice and against tyranny – whether in Palestine, Kosovo, Kashmir, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Libya, Yemen, Syria

Religion and international migration  159 or elsewhere. In other words, Islam is considered by many as a political tool to be instrumentalized to bring justice to the world, a justice that is based on the idea of reproducing the true justice established in the time of the Prophet.

RELIGIOUS ROOTS OF THE POLITICS OF HOSPITALITY As Ross Langmead (2016: 171) put it very well: hospitality is a strong concept which includes justice-seeking, political action, inclusion around our tables, intercultural friendship, pursuing a hospitable multicultural approach to [religious] life, practical assistance, long-term commitment, learning from those who are different, sensitivity to the power dynamics of ‘welcome’, a willingness to ‘let go’ as well as ‘embrace’, interfaith dialogue and discovering the intertwining of the guest and host roles which is embedded in … theological understandings of God’s activity amongst us.

Hospitality and ‘welcome culture’ were visible in many countries during the so-called Refugee Crisis which erupted in the summer of 2015 after the dead body of a toddler, Ailan Kurdi, was pushed back to the Aegean shores of Turkey and shook the West in the summer of 2015 (Smith 2015). In both non-EU and EU countries, it was the Qur’anic, Biblical and theological understandings of guesthood that played an important role in the host communities (Saunders et al. 2016). The role of religious intimacy in welcoming refugees was extensively discussed in neighbouring countries such as Iraq, Lebanon and Turkey (Baban et al. 2016; Chatty 2013; El Abed 2014; Erdoğan 2015). However, there is also a similar theological understanding prevailing in many parts of the European countries, especially in the immediate aftermath of the Ailan Kurdi incident. It was both a political and practical move by many EU citizens who saw the need to protect vulnerable people in need of immediate support. Many EU citizens as well as the churches opened their arms to asylum seekers (Chemin and Nagel 2020). It became common practice, for instance, in many parts of Germany for the churches to give refuge to Muslim asylum seekers. Many churches in Germany had disagreements with the police because of not letting security forces enter church premises in order to deport rejected asylum seekers.1 It was even possible to detect that many supporters of right-wing populist parties in Europe felt the same urge to help refugees and asylum seekers who needed their help (Kaya 2019). Traditionally known as emigration countries, Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq have also become settlement and transit spaces for forced migrants (Pérouse 2013). Syrian refugees have been considered as ‘guests’ by the Turkish, Lebanese and Iraqi states. From the very beginning of the refugee plight, Syrians have been presented as if they are ‘welcome’ by the host states and societies on the basis of some deep-rooted values such as ‘Turkish hospitality’, ‘Muslim fraternity’, ‘Arab hospitality’ and ‘guesthood’ traditions (Baban et al. 2016; Chatty 2013; El Abed 2014; Erdoğan 2015). However, all these values address the temporary character of refugees as guests. To this extent, a more recent metaphor to qualify the role that the Turkish state and the pious Muslim-Turks should play for Syrians in Turkey has been the Ansar spirit (Arabic for helpers).2 As a metaphor, Ansar refers to the people of Medina, who supported the Prophet Mohammad and the accompanying Muslims (muhajirun, or migrants) who migrated there from Mecca, which was under the control of the pagans in 622 CE. The metaphor of

160  Handbook on religion and international relations Ansar conveys a temporary situation as the Muslims later returned to Mecca after their forces recaptured the city from the pagans (Korkut 2015). Hence, the Turkish government has used a kind of Islamic symbolism to legitimize its actions on the resolution of the Syrian refugee crisis. The government leaders have consistently compared Turkey’s role in assisting the Syrian refugees to that of the Ansar. Framing the Syrian refugees within the discourse of Ansar and Muhajirun has elevated public and private efforts to accommodate Syrian refugees from a humanitarian responsibility to a religious and charity-based duty (Erdemir 2016). The Ansar spirit was also visible in Iraq and Lebanon in the first years of the mass migration of Syrians. However, the Ansar spirit has now been replaced with return discourse in each country to deter the newcomers (Kaya 2020; Mencütek 2018). While the neighbouring countries welcomed the Syrian refugees at the beginning of their emigration in 2011, the EU member states were rather reluctant to do so. In some EU states that discourse changed slightly after the images of Ailan Kurdi shook the conscience of many European citizens (Smith 2015). To face the immense refugee inflow in 2015, EU member states adopted different approaches: initially, some countries revised their migration legislation, adopted administrative reorganization and scaled up public spending to process asylum applications faster and to welcome refugees. Germany was the leading state in Europe opening its arms to embrace refugees in need. A religious discourse was again dominant in Germany with strong biblical connotations. At that time, Europe was the ‘promised land’ for more than a million refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, Senegal and Iran, most of whom were seeking asylum in Germany and Sweden. On 31 August 2015, the German chancellor Angela Merkel affirmed her country’s capacity and willingness to receive Syrian refugees with three magical words: ‘Wir schaffen das’ (We can do it) (Nagel 2016). Merkel’s courage also resonated in the Middle East. Alexander K. Nagel (2016) addresses the religious elements of Merkel’s move. He also refers to the ways in which her move was perceived in Middle Eastern countries in relation to the Qur’anic texts: In the Middle East, however, the image was completely different. After Merkel´s announcement, social media networks overflowed with metaphors of gratitude. On Facebook, Syrians dubbed the chancellor ‘Mama Merkel’. Another narrative, which was spread on Twitter, called Merkel ‘the Abyssinian’, a Qur’anic allusion to a Christian king who provided shelter to Muslim refugees to his kingdom of Axum (formerly called Abyssinia, now Eritrea and part of Ethiopia) in the early days of Islam … Islamophobic movements such as the ‘Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident’ are on the rise. Even highly secularized countries like Hungary and Slovakia are rediscovering their Christian roots in order to avoid Muslim immigration. Earlier this year, Slovakian officials declared that they would only accept Christian refugees from Syria, claiming that Muslim migrants wouldn’t feel at home in their country.

However, the so-called ‘welcome culture’ did not last long in the EU. The findings of a recent Horizon 2020 project called RESPOND: Multilevel Governance of Migration in Europe and Beyond demonstrate that the so-called welcoming culture and the politics of hospitality with strong religious connotations were temporary.3 While for example in Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq the Ansar spirit was the main narrative with the operationalization of the humanitarian discourse, in different European countries the open-arm humanitarian policies were justified with different narratives. Religion was influential in constructing these narratives. When countries are faced with unprecedented numbers of refugees, after a while a moralistic stance is replaced with more cold-hearted statistical calculations and restrictive policies and practices tend to follow.

Religion and international migration  161 Anthropologically speaking, the discourse of hospitality is based on the assumption that the guest is temporarily welcome by the host. According to Marcel Mauss (1990), hospitality is embedded in the potlatch system. While in the capitalist economic system, social wealth and welfare are based on work, investment, saving and commodification of goods and services, the potlatch system essentially rests on the idea of ‘feeding’, ‘consuming’ and hospitality. In the capitalist system, the source of power is money and material wealth, whereas in the potlatch system it is the ‘gift’ which delivers legitimate power to the host. What is taken in return for the gift is the guest’s loyalty. A refugee, or an asylum seeker, is expected to pledge his/her loyalty to the host, and in return s/he is treated with hospitality for a certain period of time. Once this period has expired then the state of the guest becomes contested. The welcome culture is now contested in many European countries, as it is in neighbouring countries such as Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan. Some are imposing numerical limits on the entry of foreign persons, to try to deal with increasing pressures characterizing increasingly globalized asylum flows (Angeloni and Spano 2018). As pointed out by Angeloni and Spano (2018), there are various ways by which individual countries have lately determined their migration and asylum policies to deter asylum claims, such as restricting access to the country’s borders by potential asylum seekers for political and electoral reasons, or reforming the procedures under which applications are processed. Other countries deter claims by denying asylum seekers permission to work while cases are pending (Angeloni and Spano 2018).

ISLAMIC RADICALIZATION: THE REVIVAL OF HONOUR AS A RESPONSE TO GLOBAL INJUSTICE As stated earlier, religion may offer attractive ‘solutions’ for people entangled in intertwined problems. It is not surprising for the masses, who have a gloomy outlook of the future, who cannot benefit from society and who are cast aside by global capitalism to resort to honour, religion, ethnicity, language, tradition, myths and the past. Those individuals who are restrained in difficult conditions may believe that these are all different markers of identity, which cannot be pried from their hands under any circumstances (Clifford 1994; Eliade 1991). However, one should bear in mind that radicalization is not only limited to Muslims with a migration background. It is also present among many native populations (Bigo 2019). However, due to the limited scope of this chapter, no further details are provided here regarding the growing radicalization among native European populations who may also feel deprived in the age of globalization due to certain socio-economic, political and psychological sources.4 Detailed analysis should be made to understand why ‘Islam’ is frequently employed by young Muslims with a migration background who engage in acts of violence. If analysis is not made rigorously, it would only serve to affirm, and thus reproduce, the existing ‘clash of civilizations’ thesis. Therefore, it is genuinely important to underline that Islamic identity used by Muslim-origin youth, who show their resistance to the socio-economic, cultural and political regimes of truth through different ways (music, graffiti, dance, looting and arson) in Europe is not only essentialist, or radical, but also mostly symbolic and democratic (Kepel 2008, 2017; Martiniello 1997; Roy 2015, 2017; Vertovec 1995). The Islamic reference used in such acts of opposition and resistance is mostly expressive of the need to belong to a legitimate counter-hegemonic global discourse, such as that of Islam, and to derive a symbolic power from that.

162  Handbook on religion and international relations Gilles Kepel (2008, 2017) and Olivier Roy (2007, 2015) are two leading experts working on the jihadist groups in the West. While Kepel mostly concentrates on France, Roy has recently extended his research to other European countries trying to understand the causes of Islamist radicalism and jihadism. Kepel addresses the socio-economic exclusion and colonial memories of Muslim-origin youngsters as well as the promotion of Salafism by the Gulf countries (mainly Saudi Arabia and Qatar) to explain their affiliation with radical Islam and jihadism. His main assumption is that Islam is becoming radicalized among young Muslims who are exposed to structural outsiderism in the West. Roy (2015, 2017), on the other hand, argues that the issue is not the radicalization of Islam but rather ‘the Islamization of radicalism’. Roy claims that the jihadists, mostly second-generation immigrants, are caught between the tradition-bound world of their parents and the secularism of their Western society. Unable to find a place, they adopt a nihilistic rejection of society, expressed through Islam in the absence of a strong left-wing ideology. In this regard, Roy (2017) defines radicalization among Muslim-origin youth in Europe as a revolt against society, informed by an Islamic religious narrative of jihad. He challenges the conventional wisdom that tends to explain radicalization as the uprising of a Muslim community suffering from poverty and racism. On the contrary, he claims that only young people join such movements, including converts who did not share the sufferings of Muslims in Europe. Roy then concludes that these ‘rebels without a cause’ find in jihad a ‘noble’ and global cause, and are consequently instrumentalized by radical organizations such as Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, or ISIS. Such critical approaches, which draw attention to socio-economic aspects of radicalism rather than to reductionist explanations of Islamic fundamentalism,5 are also visible in psychoanalysis literature. Fethi Benslama (2009, 2017) demystifies both Islam and Western ideas of religion by addressing the psychoanalytic root causes of the Muslim-origin radicalists and jihadists’ clash with modernity and their subsequent turn to fundamentalism. Tracing this ideological strain to its origins, Benslama shows that contemporary Islam consists of a recent hybridization of Arab nationalism, theocracy and an attempt to ground science in faith. Working with the jihadist youngsters in the banlieues of Paris and combining textual analysis and Lacanian and Freudian psychoanalysis, he argues that neither theological nor sociological explanatory approaches are sufficient to understand the motivation of jihadist youngsters. Instead, he claims that psychoanalytical questions are to be asked as to what kind of individual gains the jihadists are deriving from Islamic radicalization. Furthermore, he claims that Islam is not the point of departure in understanding their motivations. Benslama (2017) also claims that Jihadists are not much different from other native radical youngsters, who also go through similar processes of creating white, Christian, nationalist, nativist utopias to seek forgiveness. Radicalist native groups and radicalist Muslim-origin groups with migration background are the two sides of the same coin. In a way, they both tend to create their own anti-political utopias. Islam is perceived by many Westerners as a threat to the European lifestyle. Islamic fundamentalism is often depicted as the source of xenophobic, racist and violent behaviour in the West. However, reversing the point of view, the rise in religious values may also be interpreted as the result of structural problems such as deindustrialization, poverty, unemployment, racism, xenophobia, isolation, humiliation, constraints in political representation and the threat of assimilation. In order to cope with these challenges, discourses on religion, culture, identity, ethnicity, traditions and the past have become the most significant strategies of survival for minorities in general, and immigrants in particular. Reconstituting the past and resorting to

Religion and international migration  163 culture, ethnicity, religion, past and myths seem to serve a dual purpose for disenchanted communities (Aleksynska and Chiswick 2011; Frederiks 2016; Schreiter 2009). Firstly, as a way to be contemporary without criticizing the existing status quo – ‘glorious’ past, authentic culture, ethnicity and religion are used by diasporic subjects as a strategic instrument to resist exclusion, poverty and institutional discrimination (Kaya 2019; Smith 2015). Secondly, as a way to give an individual the feeling of independence from the criteria imposed by the flows of globalization, because the past, traditions, culture and religion symbolize values and beliefs that the disenchanted subjects believe in cannot be taken away from them (De Certeau 1984). The growing popularity of Islam among younger generations in transnational spaces is partly a consequence of the processes of globalization. However, only a very small minority of young Muslims become radicalized in diaspora. Most adopt very moderate forms of religious identity in a way that liberates them from the confines of their patriarchal culture. The global circuitry of modern telecommunications also contributes to the formation of a digitalized umma within the Muslim diaspora, which is based on the idea of a more homogeneous community of sentiments (Appadurai 1997), shaped by a constant flow of identical signs and messages travelling across cyberspace. A digitalized umma (Muslim community) shaped by electronic capitalism tends to get engaged in various forms of ijtihad (an Arabic word, meaning interpretation of the Qur’an), because each individual dwells in a different social, political or cultural context within the diaspora. Whilst the signs and messages disseminated across the diaspora are rather more homogeneous, their impact on individual lives differs greatly. The signs and messages form a more heterogeneous and individualized form of umma. This kind of ijtihad, built up by the media, has the potential of turning recipients into a virtual alim (an Arabic word for intellectual) who can challenge the authority of traditional religious scholars (Mandaville 2001: 160). As Appadurai (1997: 195) rightly says, ‘new forms of electronically mediated communication are beginning to create virtual neighbourhoods, no longer bounded by territory, passports, taxes, elections, and other conventional political diacritics’. These new communities of sentiments are constructed in cyberspace, a space that is often occupied by modern transnational subjects. Furthermore, since the nineteenth century Islam has become increasingly ‘scriptualized’. The growing tendency of ‘scriptualism’ is manifested in an increasing emphasis on Qur’anic teaching, Islamic education, mosque building (Gellner 1992) and now on digitalized umma. In the diaspora, the scriptualist tendency comes at the expense of the folk Islam of saint worship, healing, Sufism and local brotherhoods. The tendency of clericalization becomes more evident in the migration process. When Islam leaves its original setting, what travels with it are not the shrines, local rituals, folk practices and guilds, but the Qur’an and Qur’anic teachings. As Jan Nederveen Pieterse (1997) argues, the Qur’an becomes portable Islam. The return of scriptures, on the one hand, underlines the return to the fundamentals, and on the other, is itself a mode of modernization, because it makes cultural reproduction independent of local circumstances. The reality in Europe today is that young Muslims are becoming politically mobilized to support causes that have less to do with faith and more to do with global communal solidarity with their peers in Gaza, Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan or elsewhere, the manifestation of which can be described as an identity based on vicarious humiliation (Buruma and Margalit 2004: 10). Some of the European Muslims develop empathy for Muslim victims elsewhere in the world and convince themselves that their own exclusion and that of their co-religionists have the same root cause: Western rejection of Islam. The rejection of Islam has recently

164  Handbook on religion and international relations become even more alarming due to the rise of populist movements in Europe that are often capitalizing on the growing institutional visibility of Islam in public space and that are not likely to observe the individualization and democratization of Islam in everyday life. However, the difficulties of the migration context, to which the migrants with Muslim backgrounds are being exposed, do not only stem from the ways in which they are framed and represented by the political and societal actors of the receiving countries, but also from the state actors of their homeland country. The growing affiliation of some Muslim-origin migrants and their descendants with religiosity, culture, authenticity, ethnicity, nationalism and traditions provides them with an opportunity to establish solidarity networks against structural problems. Accordingly, the revival of honour, religion and authenticity emerges on a symbolic, but not essentialist, level as a symptom. Such a revival is an outcome of the processes of structural exclusion of migrant-origin individuals from political and socio-economic resources. To provide reasons for the general failure of the Western integration regime, one should look into the ways in which ‘communities’ are producing and reproducing themselves. Kreuzberg (Berlin), Schaerbeek, Port Namur (Brussels), Keupstrasse (Cologne), Villier le Bel, La Courneuve, St. Dennis or Crétil (Paris) and Bos en Lommer (Amsterdam) provide good examples of a location where one can find diasporic Muslim-origin communities (Kaya 2012). The first thing that a flaneur (someone strolling through the streets) of such diasporic spaces will notice is that the symbols, colours, languages, sounds, figures, postures and dress codes are all replicas of what exists in the homeland. Such diasporic spaces provide the members of diasporic communities with a symbolic ‘fortress’ protecting them against structural problems (Vertovec 1995). Muslim-origin youth in the West have been going through a crisis of home, which can be explained via liminality, that is a detachment from the existing structural positions. While immigrants who are more integrated do not experience a great loss of significance as a result of discrimination, their less integrated peers suffer from isolation, alienation and loss of significance (Lyons-Padilla et al. 2015). Many young Muslims do not feel that they belong to their countries of settlement where they are bound to question whether they are accepted or not by the majority society (Lyons-Padilla et al. 2015; Stroink 2007). During such critical junctures, aversion to the context in the country of settlement seems stronger than attraction to Syria, Palestine, Yemen or the Middle East in general. In The Rites of Passage, Arthur Van Gennep (1908) used the term liminality to describe the transitory period between two stages of human life. Building on Van Gennep’s work, Victor Turner later elaborated on the functions and attributes of liminality. According to Turner, society was a series of ‘structure of positions’ and ‘the period of margin or “liminality” was an interstructural situation’ (Turner 1967: 93). In his The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure, Turner (1969) gave a clearer definition of liminality, arguing that ‘liminal entities are neither here nor there, they are betwixt and between the positions assigned and arranged by law, custom, convention and ceremonial’ (1969: 95). In this sense, joining an international organization such as ISIS, or Al Qaida, might offer a sense of belonging, purpose and the promise of recognition and status for already marginalized Muslim youth feeling betwixt and between the positions constrained by socio-economic, political and legal arrangements alienating them from their country of settlement (Crenshaw 2007). As discussed by van Gennep (1908) and Victor Turner (1967, 1969, 1974) in different contexts, this kind of rite of passage might amplify a liminal phase of being stateless and homeless as a sort of disaffiliation with the former structures. This kind of disaffiliation is then followed by a combative oath that is taken in the form of regrouping that

Religion and international migration  165 clears the way for a reconstitution and reaffiliation of community of brotherhood (ihkwaniyya), or umma in a new reimagined home called Sham.6 For instance, such emblematic rituals in Syria foster newly found social bondage and self-identification (Alloul 2019: 228). Under such circumstances, Syria, or other Muslim countries under perceived siege such as Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq, become a highly symbolic counter-space, or ‘consequential geography’ for staging actual politics against a former home in Europe (Alloul 2019: 229). Radicalization of Muslim-origin youngsters is a reaction to the ways in which they perceive to be subordinated by their countries of settlement. In a way, this is what Didier Bigo (2019) calls ‘the Maze of Radicalisation’, because radicalization might provide them with an opportunity to build an imagined home away from the one that has become indifferent and alienating. Radicalization then becomes a regime of justification and an alternative form of politics generated by Muslim youth to protect themselves from day-to-day discrimination. They believe that speaking from the margins might be a more efficient strategy to be heard by those in the centre who have lost the ability to listen to those on the peripheral. As Robert Young (2004: 5) points out, it is not that ‘they’ do not know how to speak politics, ‘but rather that the dominant would not listen’. Individuals, or groups, tend to use the languages that they know best in order to raise their daily concerns such as poverty, exclusion, unemployment and racism. If they are not equipped with the language of deliberative democratic polity, then they are inclined to use the languages they assume to know by heart, such as religion, ethnicity and even violence. In an age of insecurity and uncertainty, to use the term by Franz Fanon (1965), the new ‘wretched of the earth’ become more engaged in the protection of their honour, which, they believe, is the only thing left. In understanding the growing significance of honour, Akbar S. Ahmed (2003) draws our attention to the collapse of what Mohammad Ibn Khaldun (1969), a fourteenth-century sociologist in North Africa, once called asabiyya, an Arabic word which refers to group loyalty, social cohesion or solidarity. Asabiyya binds groups together through a common language, culture and code of behaviour. Ahmed establishes a direct negative correlation between asabiyya and the revival of honour. The collapse of asabiyya on a global scale prompts Muslims to revitalize honour. Ahmed (2003: 81) claims that asabiyya is collapsing for the following reasons: massive urbanization, dramatic demographic changes, a population explosion, large-scale migrations to the West, the gap between rich and poor, the widespread corruption and mismanagement of rulers, rampant materialism coupled with the low premium on education, the crisis of identity and, perhaps most significantly, new and often alien ideas and images, at once seductive and repellent, and instantly communicated from the West; ideas and images which challenge traditional values and customs. The collapse of asabiyya implies for Muslims the breakdown of adl (justice) and ihsan (compassion and balance). Global disorder, characterized by the lack of asabiyya, adl and ihsan, seems to trigger the celebration of honour by Muslims. The rise of honour crimes in the Muslim migration context also illustrates the way honour becomes instrumentalized and essentialized. Recent honour crimes among diasporic Muslim communities have made it very common for some of the conservative political elite and academics in the West to explain it as an indispensable element of Islam. However, one should note that honour crimes are not unique to Islamic cultures: they are also visible in the Judeo-Christian world (Horowitz, 1983). Honour crimes have rather been structurally constrained. The traumatic acts of migration, exclusion and poverty by uneducated subaltern migrant workers without work prepare a viable ground for domestic violence, honour crimes and delinquency.

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CONCLUSION Religion and international migration have an intricate relationship. This complex relationship manifests itself in different ways. For example, as Peggy Levitt (2007) demonstrates, the vitality of religion in America is very much part and parcel of immigration. This is the reason why the inherited religion of many immigrants persists as a primary source of identity and crosses borders with them. Religion in the diaspora becomes an essential marker of identity as it offers immigrants and their descendants a symbolic fortress protecting them against the perils of a heartless world. In this sense, religion provides immigrants and their descendants with a compensatory tool to come to terms with the destabilizing factors of migration, modernization, urbanization and globalization. In this regard, the chapter argued that migrant-origin individuals may opt for reciting the migration experiences of the holy figures in religious texts such as the prophets to rationalize their being away from home and to locate themselves in this harsh world. Similar to ethnicity, heritage and past, religion also becomes instrumental, reified and essentialized by migrant-origin individuals to come to terms with the difficulties of their migrant situation. This chapter has also shed light on the religious roots of the recurring discourse of hospitality that the European public as well as other nations have recently employed in welcoming refugees originating from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Eritrea, Senegal and elsewhere. The discourse of hospitality is embedded in Abrahamic religions as well as in many other religions including Hinduism. The magic words of the German chancellor Angela Merkel, ‘Wir schaffen das’ (We can do it), in welcoming refugees and asylum seekers in 2015, as well as the discourse of Ansar Spirit by the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan both had strong religious connotations. It is often convenient to use religious discourses to ensure that migrant communities and host communities can get along better, at least temporarily if not permanently. Religion has become another matter of contestation as far as radicalization is concerned over the last three decades. The last section of the chapter focused on the Islamization of radicalism among migrant-origin youth in Europe in order to demonstrate how religion has become a political instrument for some social groups with migration backgrounds in the absence of an anti-hegemonic global left-wing ideology. This section was written to ensure that radicalization is not only limited to Muslims, but also to native populations that are subject to similar socio-economic and psychological challenges. Following September 11, war on terror has come to produce its own discourses, vocabularies and policies that particularly targeted Muslim populations in the diaspora. Securitization of Islam in Europe has become a particularly pivotal issue after the September 11 attacks in the United States, and others notably in Madrid (11 March 2004) and London (7 July 2005). This last section has also revealed how some immigrant individuals and communities have been engaged in revitalizing honour to face structural challenges of global capitalism such as deindustrialization, unemployment, poverty, exclusion and all kinds of socio-economic forms of deprivation.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This chapter was prepared in the scope of an ongoing EU-funded research project, PRIME Youth, funded by the European Research Council with the Agreement Number 785934 (ERC

Religion and international migration  167 AdG, ISLAM-OPHOB-ISM). The other two projects that the chapter benefited from are the Horizon 2020 projects CoHERE, Critical Heritages with the Agreement Number 693289 and RESPOND: Multilevel Governance of Mass Migration in Europe and Beyond with the Agreement Number 770564.

NOTES 1. For a more detailed discussion about the role of the churches in Germany to protect refugees see www​.washingtonpost​.com/​world/​europe/​in​-germany​-churches​-offer​-unofficial​-asylum​-for​ -m​u​s​lim​-refugees/​2017/​09/​05/​1c068b68​-88e6​-11e7​-96a7​-d178cf3524eb​_story​.html, accessed on 24 May 2020. 2. Haber7 (2014). ‘Cumhurbaşkanı Erdoğan: Bizler Ensar sizler muhacir’ (The President Erdoğan: We are Ansar you are muhacir), www​.haber7​.com/​ic​-politika/​haber/​1208342​-cumhurbaskani​-erdogan​ -bizler​-ensar​-sizler​-muhacir, accessed on 4 October 2016. 3. For all the scientific reports of the RESPOND Project see www​.respondmigration​.com/​. 4. For further research on radicalization among native populations in Europe see Kaya (2019), Kalb (2011) and Rodrigues-Pose (2018). 5. Contrary to the conventional visdom, the term fundamentalism has a longer history than it has been coupled with Islam. Fundamentalism projects itself as a religious ethic to provide an explanation for the reasons behind the crisis of modernity, or late modernity, and to show the way out of it. Fundamentalism has existed as a phenomenon since the beginning of cultural modernization as its inherent counter-force. The term itself made its appearance for the first time when a collection of religious publications came out in the United States under the title of ‘The Fundamentals’ between 1910 and 1915 (Meyer 2001; Luidens 2003). Mark Juergensmayer (2008) also explains that religious fundamentalism has become ‘a global rebellion’ among what he calls religious activists of many religions, who have generated a religious resistance to secular state formations. 6. Sham is the name of the geographical space known as Levant, extending from the Antakya region of Turkey, through Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Jordan and around to the Sinai peninsula in Egypt.

REFERENCES Ahmed, Akbar S. (2003), Islam under Siege: Living Dangerously in a Post-Honour World, Cambridge: Polity Press. Ahn, Ilsup (2013), Religious Ethics and Migration: Doing Justice to Undocumented Immigrants, New York: Routledge. Aleksynska, Mariya and Barry R. Chiswick (2011), ‘Religiosity and Migration: Travel into One’s Self versus Travel across Cultures’, IZA DP, 5724. Alloul, Jaafar (2019), ‘Can the Muhajir Speak? European Syria Fighters and the Digital Un/making of Home’, in Nadia Fadil, Martin de Koning and Francesco Ragazzi (eds), Radicalization in Belgium and the Netherlands: Critical Perspectives on Violence and Security, London: I.B. Tauris: 217–43. Angeloni, Silvia and Francesco M. Spano (2018), ‘Asylum Seekers in Europe: Issues and Solutions’, International Migration and Integration, https://​doi​.org/​10​.1007/​s12134​-018​-0556​-2. Appadurai, Arjun (1997), Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization, Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. Baban, Feyzi, Suzan Ilcan and Kim Rygiel (2016), ‘Syrian Refugees in Turkey: Pathways to Precarity, Differential Inclusion, and Negotiated Citizenship Rights’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, DOI:​10​.1080/​1369183X​.2016​.1192996. Benslama, Fethi (2009), Psychoanalysis and the Challenge of Islam, translated by Robert Bononno, Minneapolis, MN: Minnesota University Press.

168  Handbook on religion and international relations Benslama, Fethi (2017), Der Übermuslim: Was junge Menschen zur Radikalisierung treibt, Berlin: Matthes & Seitz. Bigo, Didier (2019), ‘The Maze of Radicalization: Justification and Professional Interests’, in Nadia Fadil, Martin de Koning and Francesco Ragazzi (eds), Radicalization in Belgium and the Netherlands: Critical Perspectives on Violence and Security, London: I.B. Tauris: 269–80. Bramadat, Paul and Matthias Koenig, eds (2009), International Migration and the Governance of Religious Diversity, Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press. Buruma, Ian and Avishai Margalit (2004), Occidentalism: A Short History of Anti-Westernism, London: Atlantic Books. Cesari, Joselyne (2003), ‘Muslim Minorities in Europe: The Silent Revolution’, in J. Esposito and F. Burgat (eds), Modernizing Islam: Religion in the Public Sphere in the Middle East and in Europe, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press: 251–69. Chatty, Dawn (2013), ‘Guests and Hosts: Arab Hospitality Underpins a Humane Approach to Asylum Policy’, Cairo Review of Global Affairs, 19 (22 April), www​.aucegypt​.edu/​GAPP/​CairoReview/​ Pages/​articleDetails​.aspx​?aid​=​335 (last visited 24 May 2020). Chemin, J. Eduardo and Aleaxander K. Nagel (2020), ‘Germany: Reception Policies, Practices and Responses’, WP4 Germany Country Report, RESPOND Project, www​.respondmigration​.com/​wp​ -blog/​refugee​-reception​-policies​-practices​-responses​-germany​-country​-report (last visited 24 May 2020). Clifford, James (1994), ‘Diasporas’, Cultural Anthropology, 9, 3: 302–38. Crenshaw, Martha (2007), ‘Explaining Suicide Terrorism: A Review Essay’, Security Studies, 16, 1: 133–62. De Certeau, Michel (1984), The Practice of Everyday Life, tr. Steven Rendall, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Dubet, François (2002), Le déclin de l’institution, Paris: Seuil. El Abed, Oroub (2014), ‘The Discourse of Guesthood: Forced Migrants in Jordan’, in A. Fabos and R. Osotalo (eds), Managing Muslim Mobilities, London: Palgrave: 81–100. Eliade, Mircea (1991), Images and Symbols: Studies in Religious Symbolism, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Erdemir, Aykan (2016), ‘The Syrian Refugee Crisis: Can Turkey Be an Effective Partner?’ Foundation for Defence of Democracies, 16 February, www​.defenddemocracy​.org/​media​-hit/​dr​-aykan​-erdemir​ -the​-syrian​-refugee​-crisis​-can​-turkey​-be​-an​-effective​-partner/​ (last visited 3 May 2020). Erdoğan, Murat (2015), Türkiye’deki Suriyeliler (Syrians in Turkey), Istanbul: Istanbul Bilgi University Press. Fanon, Franz (1965), The Wretched of the Earth, New York: Grove Weidenfeld, Reprint of Les damnes de la terre, Paris: 1961. Frederiks, Martha (2016), ‘Religion, Migration, and Identity: A Conceptual and Theoretical Exploration’, in Martha Frederiks and Dorottya Nagy (eds), Religion, Migration and Identity: Methodological and Theological Explorations, Leiden: Brill: 9–29. Gellner, Ernest (1992), Postmodernism, Reason and Religion, London: Routledge. Horowitz, Ruth (1983), Honor and the American Dream: Culture and Identity in a Chicano Community, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. Houston, Fleur S. (2015), You Shall Love the Stranger as Yourself: The Bible, Refugees, and Asylum, London: Routledge. Ibn Khaldun, Mohammad (1969), The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History, ed. N. J. Dawood, tr. Franz Rosenthal, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Juergensmeyer, Mark (2008), Global Rebellion: Religious Challenges to the Secular State, from Christian Militias to al Qaeda, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Kalb, Don (2011), ‘Headlines of Nation, Subtexts of Class: Working-Class Populism and the Return of the Repressed in Neoliberal Europe’, in Don Kalb and Gábor Halmai (eds), Working Class Populism and the Return of the Repressed in Neoliberal Europe, New York: Berghahn: 1–35. Kaya, Ayhan (2012), Islam, Migration and Integration: The Age of Securitisation, London: Palgrave Macmillan. Kaya, Ayhan (2019), Populism and Heritage in Europe: Lost in Diversity and Unity, London: Routledge.

Religion and international migration  169 Kaya, Ayhan (2020), ‘Turkey: Reception Policies, Practices and Responses’, WP4 Turkey Country Report, RESPOND Project, www​.respondmigration​.com/​wp​-blog/​refugee​-reception​-policies​ -practices​-responses​-turkey​-country​-report (last visited 20 May 2020). Kepel, Gilles (2008), Beyond Terror and Martyrdom: The Future of the Middle East, Cambridge, MA: Harvard Belknap Press. Kepel, Gilles (2017), Terror in France: The Rise of Jihad in the West, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Korkut, Umut (2015), ‘Pragmatism, Moral Responsibility or Policy Change: The Syrian Refugee Crisis and Selective Humanitarianism in the Turkish Refugee Regime’, Comparative Migration Studies, 4: 2, DOI 10.1186/s40878-015-0020-. Langmead, Ross (2016), ‘Refugees as Guests and Hosts towards a Theology of Mission among Refugees and Asylum Seekers’, in M. Frederiks and D. Nagy (eds), Religion, Migration and Identity: Methodological and Theological Explorations, Leiden: Brill: 171–88. Levitt, Peggy (2004), ‘Redefining the Boundaries of Belonging: The Institutional Character of Transnational Religious Life’, Sociology of Religion, 65, 1: 1–18. Levitt, Peggy (2007), God Needs No Passport: Immigrants and the Changing American Religious Landscape, New York: New Press. Luidens, Donald (2003), ‘American Fundamentalism: Implications for US Foreign Policy’, Paper presented to the Arab Working Group for Muslim-Christian Dialogue, Lebanon (12–14 June). Lyons-Padilla, Sarah, Michele J. Gelfand, Hedieh Mirahmadi, Mahreen Farooq and Marieke Van Egmond (2015), ‘Belonging Nowhere: Marginalization and Radicalization Risk among Muslim Immigrants’, Behavioral Science and Policy, 1(2): 1–12. MacIntyre, Alistair (1971), Against the Self-Images of the Age: Essays on Ideology, New York: Schoken Books. Mandaville, Peter (2001), Transnational Muslim Politics: Reimagining the Umma, London: Routledge. Marquardt, Marie Friedmann (2005), ‘Structural and Cultural Hybrids: Religious Congregational Life and Public Participation of Mexicans in the New South’, in Karen Leonard, Alex Stepick, Manuel Vasquez and Jennifer Holdaway (eds), Immigrant Faiths: Transforming Religious Life in America, New York: Altamira Press: 189–218. Martiniello, Marco (1997), ‘Quelle participation politique?’ (What Kind of Political Participation?), in M. T. Coenen and R. Lewin (eds), La Belgique et ses immigrés: Les politiques manquées (Belgium and Its Immigrants: Failed Politics), Brussels: De Boeck Université: 101–20. Mauss, Marcel (1990), The Gift: The Form and Reason for Exchange in Archaic Societies, London: Norton. Mencütek, Zeynep Ş. (2018), Refugee Governance, State and Politics in the Middle East, London: Routledge. Meyer, Thijl and Astrid Sunier (1997), ‘Religion’, in H. Vermeulen (ed.), A Comparative Study of Integration, Language and Religious Policy for a Multicultural Society, Brussels: Migration Policy Group: 101–30. Meyer, Thomas (2001), Identity Mania: Fundamentalism and the Politicization of Cultural Differences, London: Zed Books. Nagel, Alexander-Kenneth (2016), ‘Merkel, the Abyssinian: Imaginaries of Refuge and Migration’, 7 January, http://​enhancinglife​.uchicago​.edu/​blog/​merkel​-the​-abyssinian​-imaginaries​-of​-refuge​-and​ -migratio (last visited 24 May 2020). Padilla, Elaine and Peter Phan, eds (2014), Theology of Migration in the Abrahamic Religions, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Pérouse, Jean-François (2013), ‘La Turquie face aux soubresauts migratoires dans un contexte de crise’, Confluences Méditerrannée, 4(87): 85–93. Pieterse, Jan Nederveen (1997), ‘Travelling Islam: Mosques without Minarets’, in Ayşe Öncü and Petra Weyland (eds), Space, Culture and Power: New Identities in Globalizing Cities, London: Zed Books: 177–200. Rodrigues-Pose, Andres (2018), ‘The Revenge of the Places That Don’t Matter (and What to Do about It)’, Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 11: 189–209. Rose, Nikolas (1999), Powers of Freedom: Reframing Political Thought, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

170  Handbook on religion and international relations Roy, Olivier (2007), Secularism Confronts Islam, tr. George Holoch, New York: Columbia University Press. Roy, Olivier (2015), ‘Le djihadisme est une révolte générationnelle et nihiliste’, Le Monde Diplomatique (14 November), www​.lemonde​.fr/​idees/​article/​2015/​11/​24/​le​-djihadisme​-une​-revolte​-generationnelle​ -et​-nihiliste​_4815992​_3232​.html. Roy, Olivier (2017), Jihad and Death: The Global Appeal of Islamic State, London: Hurst. Ruiz, Jean-Pierre (2011), Readings from the Edges: The Bible and People on the Move, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis. Saunders, Jennifer B., Susanna Snyder and Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, eds (2016), ‘Introduction: Articulating Intersections at the Global Crossroads of Religion and Migration’, in J. B. Saunders, S. Snyder and E. Fiddian-Qasmiyeh (eds), Intersections of Religion and Migration, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan: 1–46. Schreiter, Robert (2009), ‘Spaces for Religion and Migrants Religious Identity’, Forum Mission 5: 155–71. Smith, Helena (2015), ‘Shocking Images of Drowned Syrian Boy Show Tragic Plight of Refugees’, The Guardian (2 September), available at www​.theguardian​.com/​world/​2015/​sep/​02/​shocking​-image​-of​ -drowned​-syrian​-boy​-shows​-tragic​-plight​-of​-refugees (last visited 26 May 2020). Snyder, Susanna (2012), Asylum-Seeking, Migration and Church, Farnham: Ashgate. Stroink, Mirella L. (2007), ‘Processes and Preconditions Underlying Terrorism in Second-Generation Immigrants’, Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 13(3): 293–312. Turner, Victor W. (1967), Forrest of Symbols: Aspects of Ndembu Ritual, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Turner, Victor W. (1969), The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Turner, Victor W. (1974), Dramas, Fields, and Metaphors: Symbolic Action in Human Society, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Van Gennep, Arthur (1908), Rites of Passage, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Vertovec, Steven (1995), ‘Young Muslims in Keighley, West Yorkshire: Cultural Identity, Context and “Community”’, Unpublished Research Paper, Coventry: Centre for Research in Ethnic Relations, University of Warwick. Warner, R. Stephen and Judith G. Wittner, eds (1998), Gatherings in Diaspora: Religious Communities and the New Immigration, Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press. Wilpert, Czarina (1989), ‘Ethnic and Cultural Identity: Ethnicity and the Second Generation in the Context of European Migration’, in K. Liebkind (ed.), New Identities in Europe: Immigrant Ancestry and the Ethnic Identity of Youth, Aldershot: Gower: 6–24. Young, Robert J.C. (2004), White Mythologies, New York: Routledge.

12. Religion and international armed conflict: Why and how religion precipitates and intensifies it Davis Brown

INTRODUCTION A major lacuna in the scholarly study of religion and armed conflict is that very little of the literature has addressed conflict between the primary actors in global politics, which are states. Instead, nearly all the literature focuses on intra- or extra-state conflict. That topic, being reserved for another chapter, is set aside in this one. But I submit that examining religion’s role in intra- and extra-state conflict is not especially helpful to understanding religion’s role in armed conflict onset between states. The reason is that although the methods, means, and effects of combat are the same in these two types of conflict, their fundamental origins and legal treatment are different. Intra- and extra-state armed conflicts generally consist of an aggrieved, weak non-state actor pitted against a stronger state actor, usually on account of the latter suppressing the former (in reality or perception). But inter-state armed conflict is between two juridical (and legitimate) equals in a Hobbesian environment in which (nearly) all parties can do serious harm to (nearly) all others. Intra- and extra-state conflicts pit a government against a non-state actor (or occasionally a quasi-state lying outside the Westphalian state system). Neither domestic nor international law generally confer any kind of legitimacy on the non-state actor. In contrast, the belligerents in inter-state conflict are states themselves, i.e., governments, which in law and usually in practice are the sole representatives of states and which act on their behalf. The natures of their respective casus belli are different also: in intra- and extra-state wars, non-state actors react to real or perceived abuse of states’ internal sovereign prerogatives, but inter-state war ensues because one sovereign’s armed forces has intruded on the exclusive prerogative of the other (by border crossing, blockade, seizure, or outright attack). It is certainly true that religious domestic conflict can be internationalized, i.e., that domestic belligerents pull other states into the fray and widen the war – as happened during the Bosnian Civil War of 1992–95. We shall return briefly to this phenomenon later. However, a religious domestic conflict is neither necessary nor sufficient for the outbreak of religious conflict between states. For historical cases, one hardly need look further than the Crusades (in which Catholic states repeatedly invaded Islamic ones in an effort to reclaim formerly Christian lands for Christendom) and the Counter-Reformation (in which Catholic and newly Protestant states fought for religious control and independence, respectively). The modern trend of secularization in governance has rendered modern cases rare, but not unheard of and – as shown in greater detail in the chapter – they are not devoid of analytical potential.


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HOW THE INTERNATIONAL CONFLICT ACADEMY REDISCOVERED RELIGION Until recently, religion’s role in international politics and law was largely rejected in Western political science (see Haynes, 2005: 399). As chronicled by Shah and Philpott (2011), religion’s exclusion began with the Enlightenment’s embrace of rational, empirical observation, and was later exacerbated by the anti-religious hostility of Marxism. By the 1960s, sociologists were predicting that religion eventually would decline irretrievably (e.g., Berger, 1968). Since that time, the political science academy has had comparatively little interest in challenging these notions, for it has consisted of disproportionately few religionists among a vast community of scholars who are indifferent or even hostile to religion (Wald and Wilcox, 2006). Scholarship on religion in politics could hardly thrive in such a hostile academic environment. Consequently, religion’s role in international relations (IR) suffered severe neglect. So, what happened to change things? Several historical and academic developments converged to challenge the field’s neglect of and even disdain for religion. Historical events include the rise of political Islam, the rise of the religious right in the United States and Israel, and the newfound political outspokenness of the Catholic papacy (Kepel, 1994). Then, the end of the Cold War ushered in a new wave of ethnic violence – and one of the most influential aspects of most ethnic identities, thus also ethnic behaviors, is religion (Fox, 2001: 518). The third event was 9/11; for the first time in living memory, a religious actor committed an armed attack on a great power on a scale that, before that day, it was believed only another state could accomplish. These events in tandem constituted evidence of a new global de-secularization (see Berger, 1999, who recanted his original prediction!).1 In academia, 9/11 was especially instrumental in exposing religion’s previous neglect (see Hassner, 2016: 3). However, the path toward renewed attention to religion was already paved by the appearance of several works. One was Kepel’s Revanche de Dieu (Revenge of God) (1994), highlighting and juxtaposing the historical developments of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Another was Huntington’s (1993, 1996) prediction of conflict between civilizations – which he significantly demarcated by religious difference. The third was Wendt’s (1992, 1999) paradigm-shifting work on constructivism in IR, which finally mainstreamed the idea that norms could guide state behavior. Finally, Juergensmeyer (1993) began highlighting the dangers of religious extremism (though it took 9/11 to galvanize public, governmental, academic attention to it). With these intellectual developments, along with the establishment of the Religion section of the International Studies Association in 2013 (spearheaded by Ron Hassner), robust scholarship on religion in politics is now possible, practical, and even socially and (minimally) professionally acceptable.

DOES RELIGION PRECIPITATE INTERNATIONAL ARMED CONFLICT? The body of literature on religion and IR is still comparatively small but is growing. Within that literature, several themes are not particularly relevant or useful to what causes international conflict and are set aside. One is religion’s role in conflict resolution (Appleby, 2000; Fox, 1999; Hasenclever and Rittberger, 2000; Johnston and Sampson, 1994). Appleby (2000) contends that all religions have equal potential for charity, tolerance, and non-violence, and

Religion and international armed conflict  173 that the more knowledgeable believers are of their own faiths, the more they will become peace makers.2 However, Appleby’s later argument is more pertinent: the potential for religiously based peace making is undermined by its exclusivity (2003: 181). We can hypothesize that the more a religion’s truths, rights, and responsibilities are portrayed as inherently superior, the greater that religion’s potential to generate conflict. Another subset of the literature treats religion as an instrument of political manipulation: control of religion by the state, along with control of public opinion through religious institutions.3 State leaders with political agendas coopt religion and religious institutions as instruments of not only legitimization but even cheerleading. The world saw a taste of this during the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s and in 2003 Iraqi president Saddam Hussein referred increasingly to justifications for conflict related to religious affiliation. In these examples, the leaders are not religious themselves and not particularly susceptible to religious influence, which distinguishes this phenomenon from the ayatollahs of Iran. Fox (2008) illustrates this process in his exposition of the phenomenon Government Involvement in Religion (see also Fox, 2015). In this type of state–religion relationship, however, religion is not a cause of the conflict (instead, it is more like a casualty of it) and therefore this theme is also now set aside. We further set aside the problem of defining religion. Although Weber famously avoided doing so, many other authors have attempted it. The challenges of doing so are: (1) to avoid minimizing or omitting religion’s transcendental element (e.g., Otis, 2004), and (2) to find definitions that completely disentangle religious from secular, e.g., the “domestic religion” of popular culture (see Gardella, 1998). Even Riesebrodt’s (2010) potentially paradigm-shifting focus on religious rituals, adopted by some, risks being interpreted to absurd extremes. Such efforts seek out commonalities among all of those ideologies and beliefs warranting the label “religion.” However, this venture is an unnecessary distraction to the scholarship of religion and IR. Questions such as whether Confucianism and other East Asian faiths constitute “religions” strictly speaking are not useful. A more useful venture is to examine religion’s – and religions’ – effects as identities and ideologies. This, I suggest, is the approach under which real advances to the knowledge of religion’s relationship to armed conflict is gained. The most relevant literature to that relationship examines religion as a conflict driver. The most paradigmatic (and maligned) expression of this premise is Huntington’s (1993, 1996) “clash of civilizations” thesis, which predicts that in the post-Cold War phase of world politics, “the fundamental source of conflict … will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural … [T]he principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations” (1993: 24). Huntington demarcates civilizations by “common language, history, religion, customs, institutions and by the subjective self-identification of people” (1993: 24), arriving at nine major world civilizations divided mostly along religious lines (1993: 25, 1996: 45–7). He asserts that “[c]ultural commonalities and differences shape the interests, antagonisms, and associations of states” (1996: 29; see also Hanson, 2006: 6), arguing essentially that states of like civilizations are likely to be friendly and peaceful toward each other while states of unlike civilizations are likely not to be. Many scholars rushed to judgment against that argument – and the thesis as Huntington stated it has failed a number of empirical tests (e.g., Chiozza, 2002; Fox, 2005; Russett et al., 2000). However, a minority of scholars found some empirical support for it (Charron, 2010; Regan and Leng, 2003; Tusicisny, 2004) – at least, before the hyper-politicized academic environment made it so difficult to publish anything in support of the thesis. The empirical results in Brown (2020),

174  Handbook on religion and international relations discussed below, suggest that some cultures’ war ethics are simply more permissive than others’, making some states generally more prone to belligerence (although Brown’s findings are limited to inter-state, not intra-state, conflict). Essentially, the effect of civilizations may be monadic, not dyadic – that is, some civilizations may tend to clash not so much due to civilizational differences, but because cultural characteristics of some civilizations themselves may make them more clash-prone. The empirical results of testing religions – and far more rigorously than Huntington’s largely anecdotal evidence – suggest that a monadic theory of the clash of civilizations may be supportable. What Huntington claims is true for culture may be also true for religion. The literature on religion as a conflict driver tends to be especially – and unfairly – harsh on monotheistic religions (e.g., Delaney, 2010; Schwartz, 1997). Juergensmeyer (2000) casts religion and violence as oddly attracted to each other, though his focus is limited to religiously based terrorism and its supporters. Appleby (2000) more even-handedly attributes religious militancy to clerical embeddedness in civil society, religious (il)literacy, and levels of injustice, discrimination, etc. But even Appleby concludes that Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are more congenial to violent revolutionary movements, whereas Buddhism, Confucianism, and Hinduism (being less dualistic and more world-affirming) are less hospitable to militancy. A volume edited by the Owen brothers (2010) explores a related question: whether religious conflicts are too intractable for Enlightenment-inspired liberalism to resolve.

WHY DOES RELIGION PRECIPITATE INTERNATIONAL ARMED CONFLICT? When religion does influence conflict outcomes, what kind of agenda does it promote? Put another way, what do belligerents in the name of religion want? The answers flow from two different kinds of models: (1) religion to advance rational (material) interests; and (2) religion to promote ideas (or ideology). Beginning with Langan (1998), these two objectives are often treated as competing, but some argue that they are complementary instead (Fox and Sandler, 2004: ch. 1; Hanson, 2006: 50; Philpott, 2000). In the first model, religious institutions act like businesses – overtly political actors who seek to advance their rational material interests like any other actor. Bellin (2008: 319) dubs this line of inquiry the “Religious Economy School.” Representative works examine cases in which religious institutions have challenged state authorities (Gill, 1998; Kalyvas, 1996; Warner, 2000) or supplanted the state by providing essential services (Norris and Inglehart, 2011). Such challenges are potential breeding grounds for armed conflict, albeit primarily intra-state. This thread also includes literature linking religious freedom to stability and religious suppression to conflict (Grim and Finke, 2011; Seiple and Hoover, 2004); and religious institutions and organizations fighting against existential threats (e.g., Fox, 1999, 2001; Toft, 2002/2003, 2007). In the second model, religious institutions promote ideas and the collision of competing ideas results in conflict. Otis identifies their logical nexus particularly saliently: “Each and every religion is … an ideology that provides comprehensive ideals and principles that govern both life and death. Religions not only answer the question, ‘How should I live?’ but also the question, ‘For what am I willing to kill and die?’” (2004: 12). A major function of religion is

Religion and international armed conflict  175 to explain not only the meaning and value of life, but also conditions under which taking life is justifiable (2004: 19). Religious ideational agendas can be conscious or subconscious, as shown by Henne (2012: 755, although Henne himself does not employ those terms). In the “conscious” agenda, religionists seek to instill (or impose) certain religious standards into/on society broadly speaking and the state specifically, e.g., restrictions on abortion or punishment for blasphemy. Henne downplays this agenda’s application to inter-state disputes, arguing that states generally do not base their foreign policies on religious beliefs. But other literature suggests that states sometimes do. Stark (2001a, 2001b) correlates belief in God with personal morality and attributes religious conflict to religious “particularism” (belief in sole truth of one’s own religion). Such conflict between a few major groups (in this case, generally monotheistic groups) produces a general climate of antagonism and aggression. Thomas (2000a: 18) illustrates how religion can challenge international society by promoting beliefs that are incompatible with that society’s rules, practices, and norms.4 In the other type of religious ideational agenda, religionists promote interests and outcomes that may not be overtly religious, but as Henne puts it, “resemble religiously grounded ‘common sense’” (2012: 755). This may be the “subconscious” agenda (my word, not his). Literature examining religion’s (and religions’) roles in shaping identities fall into this category (e.g., Kubálková, 2000: 684). But in this model, religion shapes not only identities but also interests and preferences of states and/or cultures. Thomas, following Alasdair MacIntyre, argues that religion, as a social tradition, embodies values and ethical conceptions about goodness, justice, rightness, and obligation (2000b: 826). In short, my argument is that such traits inform political agendas of, for example, the many disinterested persons, groups, and government officials who advocate specific policies on such diverse matters as abortion rights, same-sex marriage, and using force against other states. Most political science literature, however, does not engage deeply with the actual content of religions’ ethical conceptions about goodness, justice, rightness, and obligation. This is also true for treatments of the ethics and principles that are especially germane to this topic: the religion-specific ad bellum prescriptions for when one can/should resort to force and when not. Such expositions typically are housed in the discipline of religious studies. The religious studies war ethics literature is voluminous, though the bulk of cross-religion studies consists of edited volumes rather than single-authored ones (Brekke, 2006; Brown, 2020; Coffey and Mathewes, 2002; Hensel, 2010; Johnson and Kelsay, 1990; Kelsay and Johnson, 1991; Morkevicius, 2018; Nardin, 1996; Popovski et al., 2009; Robinson, 2003; Sorabji and Rodin, 2006).5 Because very few expositors of the content of religious war ethics are political scientists,6 this literature largely has escaped the IR field’s close attention. As to how religion promotes ideas about goodness, justice, rightness, and obligation, one branch of literature focuses on political power and influence of religious institutions (often transnational ones). Methods of influence include incentivizing/pressuring state officials, supporting/opposing their preferences, and organizing activist movements (Buckley, 2016: ch. 7; Katzenstein and Byrnes, 2006; Philpott, 2007; Sandal, 2017; Thomas, 2005: ch. 4). The other branch explores the normative power of religiously grounded ideas about humankind’s relationship with God, from which flow further ideas about the legitimacy of governments and military force or lack thereof (Brown, 2020: ch. 2; Hasenclever and Rittberger, 2000: 642ff; Otis, 2004; Thomas, 2005: ch. 3). This literature supplements the standard constructivist argument that social conflicts are embedded in cognitive sources such as ethnicities and ideol-

176  Handbook on religion and international relations ogies – of which religion is one. It also fits well within the broader constructivist literature that examines the same effects of ideas generally. It spans across levels of foreign policymaking, examining effects of religion in shaping identities, interests, and preferences of people, populations, and ultimately states. Examples include effects of religious ideas in shaping the state structure (Philpott, 2001), defining foreign policy (Fox and Sandler, 2004), and constructing the individual ethos (Stark, 2001b). Fox and Sandler (2004) and Thomas (2005) contend that religion wields both political and normative power.

HOW RELIGION PRECIPITATES INTERNATIONAL ARMED CONFLICT As laid out in detail in Brown (2020), Neoclassical Realism seems to offer the best model for explaining religion’s influence on the preference and decisions, therefore actions, of states. At the level of the individual state leader, the effect of religion on foreign policy decisions can be treated alongside effects of other political psychological phenomena such as cognitive and motivational biases, emotions, analogizing, and prospect theory (to name only a few).7 religion’s influence is not much different from that of factors well documented in political psychology and studies of ideology and standards of morality. At the level of the state system, it is often stated that religion appears today to have little influence. Centuries ago, when religious institutions wielded hard power comparable to states and even acted as such, such as the papal states and the Islamic caliphate, religion’s influence was readily explainable by Realist theory. Because religiously based institutions are only a small minority of international institutions in modern statecraft, religion’s influence in institutionalism is also relatively weak (notwithstanding the high profile of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation). Because there are several world religions, no single religion’s norms can diffuse throughout the international system, rendering the Constructivist model unsuitable to explain religion’s global, as opposed to regional, influence. The bulk of religion’s influence in inter-state interactions appears to take place at the level of the state. Religion may influence the state through both its ideas and on government. As a social tradition (Durkheim, 2008 [1912]; Smith, 1927: 9; Thomas, 2005: 87–90), religion is an identity (see Seul, 1999) and its rationality is treated in accounts of Social Identity Theory, in which the in-group naturally acquires a latent hostility toward the out-group (Mercer, 1995; Tajfel and Turner, 1979). It is also treated in accounts of the origin of nationalism, in which individuals who need greater self-fulfillment turn to their national identity for that fulfillment (Lebow, 2008: 17). Religion may act as an interest group like any other (Smith, 2000; Snyder, 1991). In contrast to Durkheim, Weber (1978 [1922]) viewed religion as a coercive vehicle for enforcing order, by distributing religious benefits to the compliant and denying them to the dissident.8 Weber sees religion’s popular appeal lying in its offer of comfort to the suffering and promise of release from the same (1958 [1922]: 272–4). In this way, religion inserts itself into public opinion by defining its interests, conveying its expectations, and prescribing actions (1958 [1922]: 280–5), much as any other ideology does. Weber’s theory is deficient in two minor ways. First, Weber denies that political elites are influenced by religion – only the (unsophisticated) public. However, both historical common knowledge and the professional literature are replete with examples of the contrary. This is

Religion and international armed conflict  177 true not only for the distant past, e.g., Europe’s religious wars during the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, but also the present and recent past. The examples of post-revoluationary Iran and modern Israel need no citation. Less obvious examples include the respective faiths of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat (see Brown, 2019; Israeli, 1985) and United States president George H.W. Bush. Second, Weber’s presumption that religion is coercive does not take into account effects of soft power (Nye, 2004). The function of hard power is to compel an unwilling actor to do an act that the actor otherwise would not do, or refrain from an act that the actor would otherwise do (Dahl, 1957). The function of soft power, however, is to convert the unwilling actor into a willing actor – to make the actor want to do as soft power’s wielder desires. Religionists generally want to do as their respective religions prescribe (in addition to advancing their respective religions’ interests). These two objections, however, are relatively minor. Overall, the Weberian logic by which religion influences policy preferences is sound. Religion affects political outcomes through public opinion and the elitehood.9 The political, economic, and cultural elites act as an “epistemic community” (Adler, 1992; Haas, 1992) that informs and educates government officials and the general public alike about issue areas, evaluates conditions and/or agendas as good or bad, and recommends policy. Religious leaders often form part of the elite. Sandal (2017) proposes that a religious institution, through its clergy, acts as an epistemic community, by providing expertise that informs and even programs a political agenda to a certain interest group. Religious epistemic communities may inform preferences not only of domestic interest groups, but also governing regimes and ultimately states themselves. However, this is a different phenomenon from religious institutions functioning like other, secular interest groups; here, religion affects a state’s political preferences because the epistemic community inculcates values and worldviews and prescribes behaviors to individuals, groups, communities, and ultimately entire populations, including especially the governing regimes that draw their officials from those populations (see also Buckley, 2016). Public opinion constrains and/or moderates policy by acting as a gatekeeper that deters or dissuades policymakers from extremes. But whereas the public acts as a barrier or bar on the easy application of elites’ opinions, the latter also helps shape public opinion – including support of or opposition to war (Berinsky, 2007; see also Nincic, 1992; Page and Shapiro, 1992). Elites’ influence is strongest on persons holding values most closely related to their own. It may follow that people who identify with a certain religion would respond favorably to elites’ opinions that appear to emanate from the same or similar religious worldviews, values, conventions, and norms. Put another way, religion confers legitimacy to some worldviews and preferences but not others (Sandal and Fox, 2013: 150–4). Intuitively, for example, a Christian public is not likely to embrace policy arguments based on ‘Islamic’ arguments and vice versa. These worldviews, values, conventions, and norms constitute what Powlick and Katz (1998: 33) label “latent opinion”: in their words, they are “ingrained sets of values, criteria for judgment, attitudes, preferences, [and] dislikes.” A variety of cultural factors contribute to the public latent opinion, and religion is one of them. In this way, religion has been linked directly to public foreign policy preferences: for example, Daniels (2005) shows an empirical relationship between a person’s religious affiliation and her international policy preferences. Koplow (2011) shows how United States governmental support of Israel results from American public support, which itself is generated

178  Handbook on religion and international relations by religious affinities toward Israel. Sucharov (2011) shows that diaspora Jews are more likely to invoke specifically Jewish values when critiquing Israeli policy. The substance of public opinion on specific issues, e.g., whether to fight this country or aid that one, can flow from religionists’ corporate rational, material interests as Snyder and others suggest – but they also flow from religions’ ethical prescriptions. Indeed, religion influences public opinion primarily through the latter. As Lynch (2009: 397) puts it, “[R]eligious ethics provide people with a foundation for pursuing goals they believe are valuable, both for themselves and others. Religion … guides adherents in practices designed to maintain or bring about the ‘common good.’” This “common good” motivates people to action, private citizens and public officials alike. In these ways, religion is and functions as Wilson (2012: 16) describes: it is more than simply an institutional, rent-seeking interest group. It is also ideational – a set of ideas that encourage people to act in certain ways. Its influence operates not at the level of the individual, but also at that of the broader community – along with the regime elites that are drawn from that community.10 The content of such ideas consists of religious ethics: religiously instilled beliefs of fact, causation, and rectitude (see Krasner, 1982: 186). In the same way that any belief system influences individuals, groups, and institutions to react to conditions and events in certain ways, so too do belief systems based on religious sources. Weber theorized that religion emerges by way of a charismatic prophet who systematizes the culture’s beliefs in gods, magic, and other supernatural phenomena that are attractive to the culture. The process by which religion provides meaning to human existence is to instill values, priorities, cognitions, and prescriptions – in other words, norms – which assist people in understanding the meaning and value of their lives. Individuals acquire and adopt standards of behavior acquired from their respective religions – directly, or indirectly through the individual’s culture – and carry those standards with them when conducting statecraft. These standards influence decisions alongside other, non-religious factors. Of course, religion does not prevail in decision making all the time (for practitioners of statecraft are people, not robots) – but neither does realpolitik. Those standards also must be transmitted. Religious principles are transmitted through the persuasive power of three media: scripture, the priesthood (and especially the more enduring writings of the priesthood), and the religion’s historical narrative. Through these three media, the meanings, values, priorities, cognitions, and prescriptions of human life are instilled into whole societies and cultures, one person at a time. The result is not unlike that which forms the “operational code” in the so-named literature. An “operational code” consists of the “values, world view, and response repertoire which an individual acquires and shares with other members of an organization” (Walker, 1990: 403). In this way, the individuals within an institution internalize certain rules of conduct and norms of behavior, and those rules and norms become their identity (George, 1969), and thus the institution’s identity as well (see Feng, 2005). This does not necessarily translate into an overtly religiously based foreign policy, e.g., the state actively propagating a religion or adopting an agenda, say, to eradicate pork products. However, as literature reviewed later in this chapter will show, religion does measurably influence international outcomes even in such realpolitik issue areas as conflict. Once rooted in culture, religion functions in the same way as any other ideology. Political ideologies serve four functions: (1) explain socioeconomic and political conditions by ascribing causes; (2) evaluate such conditions as desirable or undesirable; (3) orient people by furnishing their identities; and (4) prescribe social and political action (Ball and Dagger, 2011: 4–6). Religion performs all four functions as well.11

Religion and international armed conflict  179 Applied to armed conflict, religion influences states’ actions through their respective war ethics – the causes and conditions that legitimize (or delegitimize) violence, including war and other forms of state-level political violence. Comparisons of the core war ethics of religions reveal significant differences between them. These differences may be classified as various points on a continuous spectrum from highly militant at one extreme to highly restrained at the other extreme (Brown, 2017, 2020: 36). In this respect all religions are not the same – each has its own distinct ad bellum ethic of war, which over time its adherents tend to follow. Although the war ethics held by the totality of adherents within a religion may vary, the many interpretations of a religion’s war ethic tend to congregate around one interpretation that is more influential, therefore more intersubjective, than any other (see Brown, 2020: 38–40).

WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT RELIGION AND INTERNATIONAL ARMED CONFLICT The political science literature on religion and international armed conflict is quite diverse in theoretical grounding, methodology, and dimensional emphasis. In addition to the usual qualitative–quantitative divide, works are classifiable generally into three other dichotomies: (1) religion precipitates conflict, or intensifies it; (2) religion influences conflicts with overtly religious dimensions or goals, or it influences even conflicts that are not overtly religious; and (3) religion acts like an identity, or it acts as a norm. These dichotomies are thoroughly cross-cutting. Religion as Conflict Precipitator In the present-day literature, the oldest (and most maligned) argument that religious differences precipitate conflict has already been mentioned. In Huntington’s theory of the “clash of civilizations” (1993, 1996), states of unlike civilizations – demarcated largely by religion – find themselves in conflict to a greater extent than states of like civilizations. When the Cold War ended, Huntington predicted that future flash points would be concentrated at the frontiers of the major world civilizations: Western European, Eastern European, Islamic, African, Hindu, Buddhist, Sinic, Japanese, and Latin American – most of which are broadly demarcated along religious lines. A variety of enduring conflicts may exemplify Huntington’s thesis: Greece–Turkey, Armenia–Azerbaijan, Israel–Arab states, Pakistan–India, and the cold conflicts between Russia and the West and China and the West. Huntington’s evidence appears to treat civilization/religion as an identity. Fox (2001) does this also, albeit quantitatively, showing that religious affinities work like ethnic affinities and that countries are more likely to intervene in foreign conflicts involving their own religious confreres. Hassner (2009) delves into the conflict potential for sacred space. Borrowing from Fearon (1995), Hassner illustrates the problem of issue indivisibility – which Fearon touted as a rare (therefore minor) cause of war between states but which Hassner shows is actually the primary cause of conflict over disputed religious sites. Unlike wealth, resources, or even territory, contestations over religious sites are particularly intractable due to the absolute exclusivity that religions often demand of their adherents. Hassner, however, is ambiguous as to whether, in such instances, religion is acting as an identity or an agenda-setting norm. “To believers,” he writes, “sacred sites offer the possibility of communicating with the divine … and achieving

180  Handbook on religion and international relations insight into the deeper meanings of their faith” (2009: 2). This objective suggests a more normative agenda: securing religionists’ access to sites that their religion professes to bring them closer to God. On the other hand, religious groups seek to “exclude rivals from practicing potentially conflicting (and thus sacrilegious) rituals and to assert their own legitimacy” (2009: 3). This objective harkens back to the kind of in-group/out-group hostility characteristic of Social Identity Theory. Several other works focus more overtly on religion’s normative role in influencing states toward (or away from) armed conflict. Morkevicius (2018) compares war ethics in Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism and equates them to Realism, claiming that all three religions’ war ethics are essentially realist in disguise. (This is a veiled argument that religiously based norms actually do not influence the decisions of states, beyond merely serving the material interests of states and the pertinent religious institutions.) Brown (2020) takes a different approach. In examining war ethics of Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism (because Buddhism is empirically testable and Hinduism likely is not), Brown argues that they are not realist but rather ideational – driven by moral stimuli other than advancement of one’s own utility. In contrast to the implication that all realist-driven war ethics would affect states the same way, Brown shows empirically that the three studied war ethics each affect states differently. The Christian war ethic, he argues, is fundamentally restrictive, thus states whose governing regimes are most influenced by Christianity are less likely to initiate inter-state armed conflict than states whose governing regimes are most influenced by other religions. Furthermore, the greater the Christian influence, the stronger the negative correlation. In contrast, it is arguable that the war ethic in Islam is fundamentally permissive and states so influenced are more likely to initiate inter-state armed conflict than states influenced by other religions. The Buddhist war ethic, on the other hand, is not straightforward: its scripture has both highly permissive strains and highly restrictive ones, and no one ethic has superseded the other, as in Islamic and Christian scripture. The Buddhist war ethic is classified as “bi-modal,” having two extreme modes with no median to link them together. Therefore, in contrast to Christianity and Islam, Buddhism has no measurable influence (Brown 2020: 152–81). Religion as Conflict Intensifier Another branch of the literature takes up religion’s role not in stoking or suppressing conflict in the first place, but rendering it more (or less) intense than conflicts not influenced by either the identity or normative dimensions of religion. In early studies, Otis (2004) lays out a basic theory that religious conflicts are more severe, brutal, lethal, and longer-lasting than non-religious ones, although she links religion fundamentally to ethnic identity. Pearce (2005: 55) confirms this hypothesis quantitatively, finding that conflicts involving religion are somewhat more intense than others. Later literature makes similar arguments but from a more normative standpoint. Horowitz argues that conflicts with religious dimensions last longer, because religiously motivated actors extend their campaigns longer than otherwise. Religion, Horowitz argues persuasively, acts in two ways. First, it makes higher-order claims on its adherents’ behavior than simply identity. “It is hard to argue with the message of God telling you what to do,” he writes (2009: 168). Second, religion makes claims about eternity and afterlife, which enable religious beliefs to alter the cost–benefit equation in ways that other conflict factors cannot.

Religion and international armed conflict  181 Horowitz’s evidence comes almost solely with references to the Crusades, but Henne (2012) brings the claim into the present. Testing for a 12-year period after the Cold War (he was limited by the available data on religion at the time), Henne shows empirically that an inter-state dispute is more likely to escalate to armed conflict when one disputant state has close ties with religion (as measured by Fox’s Government Involvement in Religion scores) and the other state is secular – thus setting up a conflict-generating ideological distance not unlike the purely secular ideological conflicts illustrated by Haas (2007).12 Henne himself downplays religion’s normative function and focuses on causal factors such as religion’s influence on powerful domestic constituencies and pushback against threats to religion’s legitimacy (both decidedly materialist considerations). However, I submit that the religious– secular distance factor is inherently a normative one: ideologies are not merely identities that orient followers to the world around them, but instead they go further and prescribe programs for action – prescriptions that seldom are contingent on favorable material cost-benefit calculations. Put another way, a religious actor acting on transcendental motivations is more likely to take material risks than a secular actor motivated only by material utility. Hassner (2016) clinches the argument just offered. Drawing on case studies ranging from World War I to the Iraq War, Hassner offers a comprehensive structure for analyzing religion’s identity-setting influence on a belligerent actor’s resolve. Hassner himself does not use that term, instead employing “force multiplier” for strengthening resolve and “force divider” for weakening resolve. But he does illustrate poignant examples of religious resolve overcoming a relative lack of capability and, conversely, the sacralization of time and space constraining an otherwise eminently capable belligerent. In so doing, Hassner dispels the myth of religion as an inherently aggressive, uncompromising force that sows and stokes conflict wherever it goes. Rather, like Appleby (2000), he shows that religious belief can drive leaders and policymakers toward war or toward peace.

CONCLUSION The literature described in this chapter, despite all of it pertaining to religion and international conflict, is diverse in focus, methodology, and causal theorization. Yet there is one common conclusion that can be drawn from all of the disparate arguments summarized above: that the security studies subdiscipline continues to overlook religion as a causal factor for international conflict. This neglect is as much inappropriate as it is unfortunate: empirical results are showing that the correlative strength of religion – treated as an identity or a norm – is not out of place with the strength of other commonly used controls in studies of war such as power, regime type, alliances, wealth, proximity, and time. As a prospective factor in the onset, duration, and severity of international conflict, religion deserves a place at the table – and in the tables.


But see Stark (1999) and Agensky (2017), arguing that religion’s so-called “decline” was never real in the first place. 2. This hypothesis is not testable empirically, for even less historical data exist on religious literacy than on religious fervor.

182  Handbook on religion and international relations 3. 4.


6. 7.

8. 9. 10.



For a survey of such literature, see Hasenclever and Rittberger (2000: 647). Thomas (2000a: 15) argues that Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity, which have universalistic aspirations, pose the greatest challenge to the state’s primacy in international society. Of these three, he argues, Islam has the greatest potential to mount such a challenge; in contrast, Buddhism has not expressed itself politically and the seat of Christianity (the West) has separated church and state. The major exceptions are Morkevicius (2018), who argues (wrongly, in my view) that all religious war ethics are essentially realist in disguise, and Brown (2020), arguing that different religions’ war ethics influence states’ resort to military force at different rates. A plethora of single-authored volumes, here uncatalogued, examine war ethics of individual religions. The exceptions are Hensel, Morkevicius, and Brown. On biases, see Janis and Mann (1977), Lebow (1981), and Levy (1983). On emotions, see Crawford (2000) and Mercer (2006). On prospect theory, see Kahneman and Tversky (1979) and McDermott (2004). On analogizing, see Khong (1992). For a deeper literature review than is possible here, see Brown (2020: 24–7). For a more thorough discussion of the differences of the Durkheimian and Weberian approaches, see Chaves (1994). Although the following citations focus generally on public opinion in the United States, it follows that the same processes work in all countries. Public opinion can influence policy decisions in all states, not just democracies (Weeks, 2008). Wilson also shows persuasively that the irrational/rational dichotomy is a false one, with the claim of irrationality reflecting a secularist bias. However, whether religious ethics are rational or irrational is less relevant to political preferences and actions than whether those ethical prescriptions are actually put into practice. Ball and Dagger themselves wrongly distinguish religions from other political ideologies due to their supernatural and teleological dimensions. Yet they cover several religiously inspired political ideologies: the Christian right, radical Islam, and the quasi-religion of Marxism, all of which perform the same functions as secular ideologies. Religious–secular dyads are not more likely to get into a dispute, but the dispute is more likely to involve use of force and be more severe.

REFERENCES Adler, Emmanuel. 1992. “The Emergency of Cooperation: National Epistemic Communities and the International Evolution of the Idea of Nuclear Arms Control.” International Organization 46(1): 101–45. Agensky, Jonathan C. 2017. “Recognizing Religion: Politics, History, and the ‘Long 19th Century.’” European Journal of International Relations 23(4): 729–55. Appleby, R. Scott. 2000. The Ambivalence of the Sacred: Religion, Violence, and Reconciliation. New York: Littlefield. Appleby, R. Scott. 2003. “Serving Two Masters? Affirming Religious Belief and Human Rights in a Pluralistic World.” In The Sacred and the Sovereign: Religion and International Politics, ed. John D. Carlson and Eric C. Owens, 170–95. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press. Ball, Terence and Richard Dagger. 2011. Political Ideologies and the Democratic Ideal. 8th ed. Boston, MA: Longman Pearson. Bellin, Eva. 2008. “Faith in Politics.” World Politics 60(2): 315–47. Berger, Peter L. 1968. “A Bleak Outlook Is Seen for Religion.” New York Times, February 25: 3. Berger, Peter L. 1999. “The Desecularization of the World: A Global Overview.” In The Desecularization of the World: Resurgent Religion and World Politics, ed. Peter L. Berger, 1–18. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans. Berinsky, Adam J. 2007. “Assuming the Costs of War: Events, Elites, and American Public Support for Military Conflict.” Journal of Politics 69(4): 975–97. Brekke, Torkel, ed. 2006. The Ethics of War in Asian Civilizations: A Comparative Perspective. New York: Routledge.

Religion and international armed conflict  183 Brown, Davis. 2017. “A Typology of War Ethics.” Journal of Military Ethics 16(3–4): 145–56. Brown, Davis. 2019. “Islamic Just War Theory,” in Comparative Just War Theory, ed. Luis Cordeiro Rodrigues, 191–207. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. Brown, Davis. 2020. War and Religion in the Secular: Faith and Interstate Armed Conflict. New York: Routledge. Buckley, David T. 2016. Faithful to Secularism: The Religious Politics of Democracy in Ireland, Senegal, and the Philippines. New York: Columbia University Press. Charron, Nicholas. 2010. “Déjà Vu All over Again: A Post-Cold War Empirical Analysis of Samuel Huntington’s ‘Clash of Civilizations’ Theory.” Cooperation and Conflict 45(1): 107–27. Chaves, Mark. 1994. “Secularization as Declining Religious Authority.” Social Forces 72(3): 749–74. Chiozza, Giacomo. 2002. “Is There a Clash of Civilizations? Evidence from Patterns of International Conflict Involvement, 1946–97.” Journal of Peace Research 39(6): 711–34. Coffey, J.I. and Charles T. Mathewes, eds. 2002. Religion, Law and the Role of Force: A Study of Their Influence on Conflict and on Conflict Resolution. Ardsley, NY: Transnational Publishers. Crawford, Neta C. 2000. “The Passion of World Politics: Propositions on Emotion and Emotional Relationships.” International Security 24(4): 116–56. Dahl, Robert A. 1957. “The Concept of Power.” Behavioral Science 2(3): 201–15. Daniels, Joseph P. 2005. “Religious Affiliation and Individual International Policy Preferences in the United States.” International Interactions 31(4): 273–301. Delaney, Carol. 2010. “The Fundamental Violence of the Abrahamic Religions.” In Religion, Fundamentalism, and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue, ed. Andrew L. Gluck, 53–68. Scranton, PA: University of Scranton Press. Durkheim, Émile. 2008 [1912]. The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. Trans. Carol Cosman. Ed. Mark S. Cladis. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Fearon, James D. 1995. “Rationalist Explanations for War.” International Organization 49(3): 379–414. Feng, Huiyun. 2005. “The Operational Code of Mao Zedong: Defensive or Offensive Realist?” Security Studies 14(4): 637–62. Fox, Jonathan. 1999. “Do Religious Institutions Support Violence or the Status Quo?” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 22(2): 119–39. Fox, Jonathan. 2001. “Religious Causes of International Intervention in Ethnic Conflicts.” International Politics 38: 515–32. Fox, Jonathan. 2005. “Paradigm Lost: Huntington’s Unfulfilled Clash of Civilizations Prediction into the 21st Century.” International Politics 42(4): 428–57. Fox, Jonathan. 2008. A World Survey of Religion and the State. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Fox, Jonathan. 2015. Political Secularism, Religion, and the State: A Time Series Analysis of Worldwide Data. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Fox, Jonathan and Shmuel Sandler. 2004. Bringing Religion into International Relations. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Gardella, Peter. 1998. Domestic Religion: Work, Food, Sex and Other Commitments. Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press. George, Alexander L. 1969. “The ‘Operational Code’: A Neglected Approach to the Study of Political Leaders and Decision-Making.” International Studies Quarterly 13(2): 190–222. Gill, Anthony. 1998. Rendering unto Caesar: The Catholic Church and the State in Latin America. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Grim, Brian J. and Roger Finke. 2011. The Price of Freedom Denied: Religious Persecution and Conflict in the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Haas, Mark L. 2007. The Ideological Origins of Great Power Politics, 1789–1989. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Haas, Peter M. 1992. “Introduction: Epistemic Communities and International Policy Coordination.” International Organization 46(1): 1–35. Hanson, Eric O. 2006. Religion and Politics in the International System Today. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hasenclever, Andreas and Volker Rittberger. 2000. “Does Religion Make a Difference? Theoretical Approaches to the Impact of Faith on Political Conflict.” Millennium: Journal of International Studies 29(3): 641–74.

184  Handbook on religion and international relations Hassner, Ron E. 2009. War on Sacred Grounds. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Hassner, Ron E. 2016. Religion on the Battlefield. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Haynes, Jeffrey. 2005. “Religion and International Relations after ‘9/11.’” Democratization 12(3): 398–413. Henne, Peter S. 2012. “The Two Swords: Religion-State Connections and Interstate Disputes.” Journal of Peace Research 49(6): 753–68. Hensel, Howard M., ed. 2010. The Prism of Just War: Asian and Western Perspectives on the Legitimate Use of Military Force. Burlington, VT: Ashgate. Horowitz, Michael C. 2009. “Long Time Going: Religion and the Duration of Crusading.” International Security 34(2): 162–93. Huntington, Samuel P. 1993. “The Clash of Civilizations.” Foreign Affairs 72(3): 22–49. Huntington, Samuel P. 1996. The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. New York: Simon and Schuster. Israeli, Raphael, with Carol Bardenstein. 1985. Man of Defiance: A Political Biography of Anwar Sadat. Totowa, NJ: Barnes and Noble Books. Janis, Irving L. and Leon Mann. 1977. Decision-Making: A Psychological Analysis of Conflict, Choice and Commitment. New York: Free Press. Johnson, James Turner and John Kelsay, eds. 1990. Cross, Crescent and Sword: The Justification of War in Western and Islamic Tradition. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. Johnston, Douglas and Cynthia Sampson, eds. 1994. Religion, the Missing Dimension of Statecraft. New York: Oxford University Press. Juergensmeyer, Mark. 1993. The New Cold War? Religious Nationalism Confronts the Secular State. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Juergensmeyer, Mark. 2000. Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Kahneman, Daniel and Amos Tversky. 1979. “Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk.” Econometrica 47(2): 263–92. Kalyvas, Stathis. 1996. The Rise of Christian Democracy in Europe. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Katzenstein, Peter J. and Timothy A. Byrnes. 2006. “Transnational Religion in an Expanding Europe.” Perspectives on Politics 4(4): 679–94. Kelsay, John and James Turner Johnson, eds. 1991. Just War and Jihad: Historical and Theoretical Perspectives on War and Peace in Western and Islamic Traditions. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. Kepel, Gilles. 1994. The Revenge of God. Trans. Alan Braley. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press. Khong, Yuen Foong. 1992. Analogies at War: Korea, Munich, Dien Bien Phu, and the Vietnam Decisions of 1965. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Koplow, Michael J. 2011. “Value Judgment: Why Do Americans Support Israel?” Security Studies 20(2): 266–302. Krasner, Stephen D. 1982. “Structural Causes and Regime Consequences: Regimes as Intervening Variables.” International Organization 36(2): 185–205. Kubálková, Vendulka. 2000. “Towards an International Political Theology.” Millennium: Journal of International Studies 29(3): 675–704. Langan, John, S.J. 1998. “The Catholic Vision of World Affairs.” Orbis 42(2): 241–61. Lebow, Richard Ned. 1981. Between Peace and War: The Nature of International Crises. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Press. Lebow, Richard Ned. 2008. A Cultural Theory of International Relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Levy, Jack S. 1983. “Misperception and the Causes of War: Theoretical Linkages and Analytical Problems.” World Politics 36(1): 76–99. Lynch, Cecelia. 2009. “A Neo-Weberian Approach to Religion in International Politics.” International Theory 1(3): 381–408. McDermott, Rose. 2004. “Prospect Theory in Political Science: Gain and Losses from the First Decade.” Political Psychology 25(2): 289–312. Mercer, Jonathan. 1995. “Anarchy and Identity.” International Organization 49(2): 229–52.

Religion and international armed conflict  185 Mercer, Jonathan. 2006. “Human Nature and the First Image: Emotion in International Politics.” Journal of International Relations and Development 9(3): 288–303. Morkevicius, Valerie. 2018. Realist Ethics: Just War Traditions as Power Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Nardin, Terry, ed. 1996. The Ethics of War and Peace: Religious and Secular Perspectives. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Nincic, Miroslav. 1992. “A Sensible Public: New Perspectives of Popular Opinion and Foreign Policy.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 36(4): 772–89. Norris, Pippa and Ronald Inglehart. 2011. Sacred and Secular: Religion and Politics Worldwide. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Nye, Joseph S., Jr. 2004. Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics. New York: Perseus Books. Otis, Pauletta. 2004. “Religion and War in the Twenty-First Century.” In Religion and Security: The New Nexus in International Relations, ed. Robert A. Seiple and Dennis R. Hoover, 11–24. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield. Owen, John M., IV and J. Judd Owen, eds. 2010. Religion, the Enlightenment, and the New Global Order. New York: Columbia University Press. Page, Benjamin I. and Robert Y. Shapiro. 1992. The Rational Public. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Pearce, Susanna. 2005. “Religious Rage: A Quantitative Analysis of the Intensity of Religious Conflicts.” Terrorism and Political Violence 17(3): 333–52. Philpott, Daniel. 2000. “The Religious Roots of Modern International Relations.” World Politics 52(2): 206–45. Philpott, Daniel. 2001. Revolutions in Sovereignty: How Ideas Shaped Modern International Relations. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Philpott, Daniel. 2007. “Explaining the Political Ambivalence of Religion.” American Political Science Review 101(3): 505–25. Popovski, Vesselin, Gregory M. Reichberg, and Nicholas Turner, eds. 2009. World Religions and Norms of War. Tokyo: United Nations University Press. Powlick, Philip J. and Andrew Z. Katz. 1998. “Defining the American Public Opinion/Foreign Policy Nexus.” Mershon International Studies Review 42(1): 29–61. Regan, Patrick, and Russell Leng. 2003. “Culture and Negotiation in Militarized Interstate Disputes.” Conflict Management and Peace Science 20(1): 111–32. Riesebrodt, Martin. 2010. The Promise of Salvation: A Theory of Religion. Trans. Steven Rendall. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Robinson, Paul, ed. 2003. Just War in Comparative Perspective. Burlington, VT: Ashgate. Russett, Bruce, John Oneal, and Michaelene Cox. 2000. “Clash of Civilizations, or Realism and Liberalism Déjà Vu? Some Evidence.” Journal of Peace Research 37(5): 583–608. Sandal, Nukhet A. 2017. Religious Leaders and Conflict Transformation: Northern Ireland and Beyond. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Sandal, Nukhet A. and Jonathan Fox. 2013. Religion in International Relations Theory: Interactions and Possibilities. Abingdon: Routledge. Schwartz, Regina M. 1997. The Curse of Cain: The Violent Legacy of Monotheism. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Seiple, Robert A. and Dennis R. Hoover. 2004. Religion and Security: The New Nexus in International Relations. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield. Seul, Jeffrey R. 1999. “‘Ours Is the Way of God’: Religion, Identity, and Intergroup Conflict.” Journal of Peace Research 36(5): 553–69. Shah, Timothy Samuel and Daniel Philpott. 2011. “The Fall and Rise of Religion in International Relations: History and Theory.” In Religion and International Relations Theory, ed. Jack Snyder, 24–59. New York: Columbia University Press. Smith, Tony. 2000. Foreign Attachments: The Power of Ethnic Groups in the Making of American Foreign Policy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Smith, W. Robertson. 1927. Lectures on the Religion of the Semites. New York: Macmillan. Snyder, Jack. 1991. Myths of Empire: Domestic Politics and International Ambition. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

186  Handbook on religion and international relations Sorabji, Richard and David Rodin, eds. 2006. The Ethics of War: Shared Problems in Different Traditions. Burlington, VT: Ashgate. Stark, Rodney. 1999. “Secularization, R.I.P.” Sociology of Religion 60(3): 249–73. Stark, Rodney. 2001a. One True God: Historical Consequences of Monotheism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Stark, Rodney. 2001b. “Gods, Rituals, and the Moral Order.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 40(4): 619–36. Sucharov, Mira. 2011. “Values, Identity, and Israel Advocacy.” Foreign Policy Analysis 7(4): 361–79. Tajfel, Henri and John C. Turner. 1979. “An Integrative Theory of Intergroup Relations.” In The Social Psychology of Intergroup Relations, ed. William G. Austin and Stephen Worchel. Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole. Thomas, Scott M. 2000a. “Religion and International Conflict.” In Religion and International Relations, ed. K.R. Dark, 1–23. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Thomas, Scott M. 2000b. “Taking Religious and Cultural Pluralism Seriously: The Global Resurgence of Religion and the Transformation of International Society.” Millennium: Journal of International Studies 29(3): 815–41. Thomas, Scott M. 2005. The Global Resurgence of Religion and the Transformation of International Relations: The Struggle for the Soul of the Twenty-First Century. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Toft, Monica Duffy. 2002/2003. “Indivisible Territory, Geographic Concentration, and Ethnic War.” Security Studies 12(2): 82–119. Toft, Monica Duffy. 2007. “Getting Religion? The Puzzling Case of Islam and Civil War.” International Security 31(4): 97–131. Tusicisny, Andrej. 2004. “Civilizational Conflicts: More Frequent, Longer, and Bloodier?” Journal of Peace Research 41(4): 485–98. Wald, Kenneth D. and Clyde Wilcox. 2006. “Getting Religion: Has Political Science Rediscovered the Faith Factor?” American Political Science Review 100(4): 523–9. Walker, Stephen G. 1990. “The Evolution of Operational Code Analysis.” Political Psychology 11(2): 403–18. Warner, Carolyn. 2000. Confessions of an Interest Group: The Catholic Church and Political Parties in Europe. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Weber, Max. 1958 [1922]. “The Social Psychology of the World Religions.” Trans. H.H. Gerth and C. Wright Mills. In From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, ed. H.H. Gerth and C. Wright Mills, 267–301. New York: Oxford University Press. Weber, Max. 1978 [1922]. Economy and Society. Ed. Guenther Roth and Claus Wittich. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Weeks, Jessica L. 2008. “Autocratic Audience Costs: Regime Type and Signaling Resolve.” International Organization 62(1): 35–64. Wendt, Alexander E. 1992. “Anarchy Is What States Make of It: The Social Construction of Power Politics.” International Organization 46(2): 391–425. Wendt, Alexander E. 1999. Social Theory of International Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Wilson, Erin K. 2012. After Secularism: Rethinking Religion in Global Politics. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

13. Engaging religion through diplomacy: The case of the United States Peter Mandaville

The purpose of this chapter is to explore the intersection of religion and modern diplomacy by analyzing the recent experiences of one particular country – the United States (US) – and by seeking to understand how broader norms and debates regarding the role of religion in public life inevitably shape the position and role of religion in a country’s external affairs.1 In August 2013 the US State Department announced the formation of a new Office of Religion and Global Affairs within the Office of the Secretary of State.2 The function of this office, in its own words, was to “strengthen the State Department’s efforts to assess religious dynamics and engage religious actors across a wide range of foreign policy priorities.”3 The establishment of religious engagement as a new function within American diplomacy represented the culmination of a period of heightened attention to the question of how US foreign policymakers should think about religion and engagement with religious actors in the context and conduct of external relations. It should be understood, however, as the latest chapter in a much longer history of governance and policy contending with the forceful valence of religion in all aspects of American public life – including the nation’s external relations. This new conversation about religion within foreign policy spaces mirrored a broader discussion in the academic literature about the growing salience of religion in world affairs. In a 2011 volume examining the resurgence of religion in world politics, for example, Monica Duffy Toft, Daniel Philpott, and Tim Shah (2011) declared that with the advent of the new millennium we had entered into “God’s Century.” They argued provocatively that not only was the influence of faith in world politics growing, but that the very forces posited by theories of secularism as likely to usher in a decline in religion – democracy, globalization, technology – were actually serving as force multipliers of religion’s global impact. On the face of it, then, the establishment of the State Department religion office seems to be little more than a pragmatic response to certain realities of the day. Yet lurking behind this seemingly straightforward congruence between global trend and policy response is a much more complex story of efforts over the course of some 20 years to build an institutional space for paying attention to religion in the face of a foreign policymaking culture largely resistant to – and skeptical towards – the idea of religious faith as a relevant factor in the work of diplomats. In this regard, the US government is certainly not unique. Like many bureaucratic institutions whose provenance lies with the legacy of the Enlightenment and the advent of political modernity, many contemporary governments – particularly in what we know and speak of as “the West” – possess DNA encoded with a normative bias towards (and in many cases also a legal requirement of) secularism. But even though the story of how the US figures religion within its foreign policy is not an uncommon one, it certainly comprises features that derive from American history and from that country’s particular experience of the interface between religion and public life. 187

188  Handbook on religion and international relations The purpose of this chapter is to explain the evolution of recent US approaches to religion and foreign policy. The account offered here employs as an organizing principle a set of four challenges the US has faced in the course of finding a modus vivendi with religion in foreign policy. Briefly put and stated here on a continuum spanning the conceptual to the operational, these are: (1) the challenge of defining and conceptualizing religion’s place and salience within foreign policy; (2) the challenge posed by the presence of a secular bias within foreign policy institutions; and (3) the challenge of legal constraints to and limitations on religious engagement; and (4) tension between the promotion of religious freedom around the world as a legally mandated component of American foreign policy and efforts to establish broader approaches to engaging religion with US diplomacy. These challenges, it should be reiterated, are in no sense unique to the US, although the specific form each assumes as well as its relative weight can be treated as a function of the broader American diplomatic and public policy culture.

RELIGION IN UNITED STATES FOREIGN POLICY: THE HISTORICAL LEGACY Summarizing the role of religion in US politics and its concomitant impact on foreign policy, Walter Russell Mead (2012, p. 247) writes: Religion has always been a major force in U.S. politics, policy, identity, and culture. Religion shapes the nation’s character, helps form Americans’ ideas about the world, and influences the ways Americans respond to events beyond their borders. Religion explains both Americans’ sense of themselves as a chosen people and their belief that they have a duty to spread their values throughout the world. Of course not, not all Americans believe such things – and those who do often bitterly disagree over exactly what they mean. But enough believe them that the ideas exercise profound influence over the country’s behavior abroad and at home.

Even with these important concluding caveats, it is clear that Mead grants religion extraordinary explanatory value in understanding American worldviews and the US sense of its place in the world. To cite the influence of religion in the shaping of American identity and public policy, however, is something very different from positing religion as a primary determinant of said policy. Indeed, in his survey of the role of religion in the history of US foreign policy, Leo P. Ribuffo (2001, p. 21) ultimately argues that “no major diplomatic decision has turned on religious issues alone” and that “serious religious ideas have had at most an indirect impact on policymakers.” It is perhaps therefore more useful to view Mead’s intervention as a gesture towards the ongoing relevance of “civil religion” in the US – as per the work of the late sociologist of religion Robert Bellah (1967). Here the importance of religion is seen to be a function of faith and belief – in a generic, non-sectarian sense – serving as a key foundation of American civic life. On this reading, one can still cite the presence of religion and religious values in the stuff of public life without having to draw direct lines of causality between specific theological or scriptural injunctions and the substance of policy. How and where, historically, has this presence of religion been felt in US foreign policy? It is first important to note the centrality of religion in the very idea of America in the minds of its earliest European settlers. Many were puritanical Protestant Christians fleeing religious

Engaging religion through diplomacy  189 persecution and seeking to establish a place in the world where freedom of belief and religious practice could be firmly grounded. Likewise, nineteenth-century conceptions of “Manifest Destiny” in America saw the territorial expansion of the US westward from the Eastern seaboard not merely as a nation-building imperative but as a religious mandate. In an early example of how the religious convictions of some US citizens have raised questions about loyalty – a recurring theme well into this twenty-first century – Catholic soldiers involved in America’s wars with Mexico in the mid-nineteenth century were sometimes viewed with suspicion. The political lobbying of religious groups also has a long and deep tradition in the US, even within the realm of foreign policy. The oft-cited “Jewish lobby” is conventionally viewed as a relevant factor in foreign policy after the formation of the state of Israel, although the historical record suggests that Jewish groups in the US developed a successful track record of influencing American policy towards countries where Jews were being persecuted as early as the first decade of the twentieth century (Ribuffo 2001, p. 21). One of the most important theological voices in this field was that of Reinhold Niebuhr. Widely viewed as the father of “Christian Realism,” Niebuhr’s influence extends to a remarkably wide range of political figures in the US representing an equally diverse range of ideological orientations from neoconservatives to progressives. Most notable, perhaps, is the impact of his ideas on major theorists and practitioners of twentieth- (and even twenty-first-) century international relations such as Kenneth Waltz, Hans Morgenthau, George F. Kennan, Dean Acheson, Madeleine Albright, and Hillary Clinton. His writings, which extended to topics such as just war, found a receptive audience among US diplomats because they provided a moral framework for the conduct of realpolitik. In rejecting religio-utopian aspirations for the achievement of God’s kingdom on earth, Niebuhr’s (1944) emphasis on the reality of sin and evil in the world – seen by him in his day in the forms of Adolf Hitler and Soviet totalitarianism – demanded robust foreign policy, including the use of force, in the face of such threats to moral world order. The Cold War provided a geopolitical backdrop that amplified Niebuhr’s ideas and many Americans took seriously the idea that in addition to the national security and ideological threats posed by communism, the US standoff with the Soviets also represented a broader struggle against godlessness (Preston 2012). Religious groups played a key role in the mobilization of US domestic opposition to the Vietnam War in the 1960s and 1970s, presaging a period of increased attention in the 1980s and 1990s on the role of religious groups as increasingly influential voices in American foreign policy – from Jews and Muslims focused on the Israel–Palestine conflict to Catholics and some conservative evangelical protestants seeking to prohibit the distribution of contraceptives in US foreign assistance programs. Because the focus of this chapter is primarily on how US foreign policymakers have figured out religion and engagement with religious actors in its diplomatic activities, the question of domestic religious influences on US conduct abroad will not be addressed in detail. Suffice it to say, however, that the two cannot so easily be divorced. Indeed, churches and religious groups played an important role in advancing the process that eventually led to the passage of the International Religious Freedom Act in 1998 – probably the most tangible institutionalized expression of religion’s importance in US foreign policy, and a topic to be covered in greater detail below.

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DEFINING AND POSITIONING RELIGION IN UNITED STATES FOREIGN POLICY While there has been no shortage of late in academic books and policy analyses proclaiming the renewed importance of religion in world affairs, the task of figuring out how to reflect this insight in the practice of diplomacy has proven far more challenging. There are two chief dimensions to this issue that need to be addressed. The first concerns the question of how the foreign policy process thinks about and assesses the significance of religion while the second brings up definitional questions about what counts as religion and who counts as a religious actor. Gregorio Bettiza (2019) identifies a series of “regimes” that define recent conceptualizations of religion in American foreign policy. Two of these – namely the promotion of international religious freedom following passage of the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act, and efforts to recognize and integrate faith-based humanitarian and development organizations in US foreign assistance – started in earnest under the Republican-led administration of George W. Bush. The other two – outreach efforts to Muslim communities around the world, and the advent of religious engagement as a distinctive function within American diplomacy – are more closely associated with the Democratic administration of Barack Obama. In all cases, attempts to integrate attention to religious actors and religious dynamics into US foreign policy have had to contend with features of the prevailing cultural and legal context of such work, namely the persistence of a secular bias within relevant agencies such as the US Department of State and the constraining effects of the US constitution with respect to the ability of US government officials to work in partnership with religious actors. The question of how the foreign policy process thinks about and assesses the significance of religion can be profitably explored in the context of recent US efforts to engage Muslim communities around the world. Here we are led to ask about how American foreign policy deploys terms like “Islamic” and “Muslim” as analytical and ontological categories. We turn specifically to the approach to Islam adopted by the administration of Barack Obama from 2009. The new US president signaled very early in his tenure that he was committed to remedying the prevailing negative image of the US held by many Muslims around the world in the wake of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and what the previous American administration had styled as a “Global War on Terror.” Addressing the Turkish parliament in April 2009, Obama sounded the keynotes of a new approach: I also want to be clear that America’s relationship with the Muslim community, the Muslim world, cannot, and will not, just be based upon opposition to terrorism. We seek broader engagement based on mutual interest and mutual respect … [o]ur focus will be on what we can do, in partnership with people across the Muslim world, to advance our common hopes and our common dreams.4

Here, then, is a clear shift in the US discourse on Islam whereby Muslims cease to be regarded primarily as a source of potential harm to the US and come to be figured instead as potential partners in endeavors such as human development, economic growth, and the advancement of science. This vision received its most detailed treatment in the speech Obama gave in Cairo in June 2009, where he called for a “new beginning” in relations between the US and Muslim communities around the world. Over the course of the next two years, the US administration would create or restyle a wide range of new programs – in the fields of entrepreneurship, education, science, and public diplomacy – focused on engaging Muslim communities around

Engaging religion through diplomacy  191 the world. At the US State Department, a new position of Special Representative to Muslim Communities was created in the Office of the Secretary of State. While the political intent of these various initiatives was to correct the approach of the George W. Bush administration and to send a message to Muslims around the world that the US sought their friendship and collaboration, the approach adopted by the Obama administration actually served to reproduce and solidify a sense of American exceptionalism vis-à-vis Muslims. No other world religion had ever been the specific target of US government outreach efforts, or seen the appointment of foreign policy officials dedicated to managing relations with its followers. “Muslim” came to function increasingly as something like a distinctive category of US foreign policy and, furthermore, one that carried ascriptive connotations. In other words, this policy approach – in defining its target audience by reference to religion – created the impression that one’s “Muslimness” was the primary, all-encompassing identity category through which 1.6 billion people in the world should be understood. This strategy had the effect of creating in the US geopolitical imaginary something like a quasi-operationalized ummah – a term that in Islamic discourse connotes the notional worldwide community of Muslims. Where US foreign policy traditionally regarded and treated individuals around the world as citizens of particular nation-states, this new trend seemed to affirm the relevance and reality of a new category of transnational religious identity. Obviously, one’s religious faith is but one aspect of a multifaceted identity, so we need to ask what is at stake if we posit religious identity as the defining characteristic of those engaged and affected by US policy? In recognizing the importance of religion, is there not sometimes a risk of over-privileging religious factors and identities in how we think about the worldviews and motivations of those targeted by particular foreign policies? The second – and clearly related – issue relates to a similar set of concerns about how one defines and thinks about religious actors and faith-based organizations (FBOs). Are FBOs to be treated as fundamentally different and separately from other non-governmental organizations by virtue of the fact that the work they perform is inspired or guided by religious values? In other words, is there something about faith-based groups that so distinguishes them from other organizations in civil society that they require separate policies or channels of engagement?5 How one answers this question has important implications not only for the first issue addressed above (the risk of granting undue significance to religious factors) but also has an impact on how one thinks about how – and where – to integrate attention to religion within the vast and complex bureaucratic machinery that develops and conducts US foreign policy. This is a point to which we will return in the concluding section of this chapter.

A SECULAR BIAS IN AMERICAN DIPLOMACY? A second challenge to be examined concerns the question of whether there is a built-in aversion to religion within the culture of US foreign policymaking. Until relatively recent efforts to diversify the demographics of US foreign policy officers, institutional spaces such as the State Department had been the preserve of white, upper middle-class Protestant Christians (Pickering and Perkins 2015; Toosi 2020). Many of these officials had followed a very particular preparatory trajectory that took them through a set of higher education institutions located mainly in the north-eastern US and widely regarded as bastions of liberal secularism. In discussing the religious background of the American political class in the middle of the

192  Handbook on religion and international relations twentieth century, Walter Russell Mead (2012, p. 252) makes the further point that many of the most senior foreign policy figures of the time subscribed to variants of liberal Protestantism. Such an orientation, he suggests, is not one that would lead policymakers to reject religious values out of hand, but rather one that led them to be suspicious of efforts to apply theology directly and literally to public affairs. Rather, in distinct contrast to some teachings of Christian Realism, liberal Christians tended to emphasize the ways in which religious values could serve as the basis of efforts to advance international cooperation and peace. That is not to say, however, that the US foreign policy machinery was dominated by liberal utopianism – far from it – but rather to point out that liberal Christians often saw their faith not as a unique and separate source of political values but rather as one component of an ethical system that relies equally on notions of public reason and human rights. For their part, many FBOs have sometimes viewed what they regard as the US “secular elite” with some suspicion – a trend that in the context of the present culture wars in the US sometimes extends to a broader skepticism towards government in general. Where governments have reached out to FBOs, the latter have often viewed these as efforts to make instrumentalist use of the capacities inherent in faith groups in order to advance priorities defined exclusively by secular sensibilities rather than as being motivated by a substantive appreciation of religious values and perspectives. In a now famous article discussing the appropriate relationship between religion and public life in the contemporary world, Alfred Stepan (2000) introduced the concept of what he termed the “twin tolerations.” For him, this idea relates to the question of “the minimal boundaries of freedom of action that must somehow be crafted for political institutions vis-à-vis religious authorities, and for religious individuals and group vis-à-vis political institutions” (Stepan 2000, p. 37). Stepan’s discussion points to the impossibility of building an impermeable wall of separation between religion and state, either in theory or, as he demonstrates, in the evolution of practical secularism in the European context. Rather, he draws our attention to the constant process of reconstructing and negotiating the boundaries that define the twin tolerations. There are practical implications here for the question of religion’s role in foreign policymaking. Where there are predispositions to skepticism vis-à-vis each other, a focus on common objectives and shared values (irrespective of source) can open up space for building the grounds of twin toleration. Such a pragmatic approach may not ever settle fundamental truth claims (or, conversely, truth denials) in the relationship between religious groups and the state, but it may permit a growing appreciation for what can be achieved by focusing on the comparative advantages that each side offers in the pursuit of particular international outcomes.

LAW AND THE DEBATE OVER THE EXTRATERRITORIALITY OF THE ESTABLISHMENT CLAUSE The question of secular bias within the machinery of foreign policy inevitably pushes us to address a quite distinct but frequently conflated aspect of secularism – namely, the legal provisions surrounding the separation of church and state. While secularism often operates as a shorthand for anti-religious sentiment or the denial of religious claims, there is also a crucially important idiom of secularism whose remit is limited to the preservation of state neutrality vis-à-vis questions of religion. Furthermore, it is arguably the case that much of what

Engaging religion through diplomacy  193 is taken for an anti-religious secular bias within governmental institutions is actually evidence of risk-averse behavior on the part of government officials – many of whom may have deeply held faith convictions themselves – unsure of how to navigate the often ambiguous legal guidelines about where religion can and cannot enter into the work that they do. In the US context the chief legal principle here is the so-called Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution which states that “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion.” Intended by the Founding Fathers to ensure that the US federal government would neither posit an official religion of state nor otherwise prefer one religion over another, the Establishment Clause has been a source of frequent contention within the American constitutional landscape with respect to a wide range of social and political issues. Within the realm of foreign policy, the core of the debate has been over the question of the extra-territoriality of the Establishment Clause – that is to say, the question of whether it applies to the US government’s conduct abroad. While the primary thrust of American jurisprudence to date falls on the side of suggesting that constitutional limits on US government behavior do extend to what America does abroad, there are also compelling legal arguments to the effect that the Establishment Clause does not represent a categorical prohibition on engagement with religious actors in the pursuit of US national security and foreign policy interests (Merriam 2010). Indeed, in its 2010 report Engaging Religious Communities Abroad: A New Imperative for US Foreign Policy, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs points out: Legal uncertainty about the extent to which the Establishment Clause applies to government action overseas has seriously undermined the effectiveness of US foreign policy. It is undoubtedly one reason US foreign policy actors have avoided religion … This avoidance, in turn, prevents diplomats, aid workers, and others working in the field from effectively interacting with local actors to advance common interests and fulfill the mandates and goals of aid programs and other foreign policy initiatives. (Chicago Council on Global Affairs 2010, p. 64)

In the presence of vague, conflicting, and at times outright limiting legal guidance – guidance that, moreover, often differs significantly from one US foreign policy agency to another – the default orientation of many American diplomats has been to err on the side of caution and refrain from engaging with religious actors and organizations while carrying out their work. This speaks more to concerns about self-preservation and career advancement than to any inherent bias against religion or religious values on the part of US diplomats. At a time when US foreign policy is trying to demonstrate its awareness of the importance of religion and religious actors, the persistence of ambiguous legal guidance regarding the ability of US diplomats to actually undertake such activities is a major drag factor on religious engagement.

THE HEGEMONY OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM PROMOTION WITHIN AMERICAN DIPLOMACY Prior to the establishment of what became the Office of Religion and Global Affairs in 2013, the only office in the US Department of State with an explicit focus on religion was the Office of International Religious Freedom (hereafter IRF). The IRF was created through a mandate in the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) which directed the Department of

194  Handbook on religion and international relations State to issue annual reports on the state of religious freedom in countries around the world, and provided it with resources to undertake efforts to promote religious freedom – all of which was to be overseen by a new Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. While IRFA was passed with near cross-partisan consensus, the promotion of international religious freedom came to be perceived by some observers as an increasingly partisan agenda from the 2000s onwards. More specifically, it came to be associated with efforts by right-wing and evangelical Christians in the US to protect their co-religionists around the world. Such a charge was spurious for the most part when leveled at the professional civil service of the US Department of State whose annual reports on international religious freedom are marked by a commitment to identifying violations of religious freedom committed against followers of all world religions.6 Nonetheless, it was perhaps inevitable that perceptions of the IRF at the State Department came to be somewhat tainted by a broader impression that most cases of religious freedom violations around the world raised by members of the US Congress tended to come from Republican members and to focus on Christian groups. When the new Office of Religion and Global Affairs was established, one of the challenges it faced in its early years was that of operating in the shadow of the IRF. This entailed both a certain amount of structural asymmetry and perceptual bias. On the first account, the IRF possessed a programmatic budget, a consolidated institutional structure, and an external political constituency in American politics and public life that the Office of Religion and Global Affairs could not match. Second, many within the State Department and broader US government interagency process perceived the Office of Religion and Global Affairs as embodying the misplaced assumption that it, like the IRF, was somehow in the business of promoting religion (and Christianity more specifically).

RELIGION AND FOREIGN POLICY IN THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION The politics of religion within US foreign policy – particularly as regards religious freedom – became only more pronounced with the election of Donald J. Trump in 2016. Not that the new president possessed a track record indicating interest in religion – quite the opposite – but rather the centrality of conservative Evangelical Christians within the core of Trump’s political base ensured that religious gestures in all aspects of policymaking, including diplomacy, became a useful way to energize this core domestic constituency. In 2016, while on the campaign trail, Trump declared his intention to enact “a complete and total ban on Muslims entering the United States,” a rhetorical shot later reflected in policy in the form of an executive action (partially upheld on subsequent judicial review following a number of legal challenges) aimed at excluding from entry to the US citizens of several Muslim-majority countries. Other Trumpian policies have also reflected clear influence from conservative Christians on the White House: the decision in 2018 to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; the most extensive expansion to date of proscriptions against providing information about contraception in the context of American foreign assistance programs; and a persistent emphasis on publicly highlighting the plight and providing resources to persecuted Christian-minority communities in the Middle East – even in the face of clear evidence that the administration’s approach risked making these groups even more insecure (Green 2019). More broadly, US diplomacy under Trump was marked by a renewed and very high-profile emphasis on the importance of religious freedom promotion in American foreign policy. The

Engaging religion through diplomacy  195 State Department hosted two multilateral summits on the topic at the ministerial level. Due to the administration’s emphasis on international religious freedom the aforementioned perception of international religious freedom as a partisan issue became more pronounced than ever. While the enduring effects of religion’s politicization under the Trump administration are difficult to predict, it is not unreasonable to assume that it may lead many foreign affairs professionals – including the American diplomatic service – to shy away from engaging religion and religious actors for some time. In other words, and somewhat ironically, Trump’s politically motivated embrace of religion may have the effect of significantly setting back the clock on efforts to inculcate greater familiarity and comfort with religion within the US foreign policy establishment.

CONCLUSION This brief chapter has sought to highlight several important aspects of American efforts to integrate religion into foreign policy by exploring three types of challenges that throw into relief some of the distinctive characteristics of the US experience. In addition to the conceptual challenges surrounding religion’s definition and place within the US foreign policy bureaucracy, the question of a secular bias within American foreign policy culture, and the debate on the extra-territoriality of the Establishment Clause, there are clear implications that have arisen from the International Religious Freedom Act and the fact that for many observers, the advancement of religious freedom is synonymous with religion in US foreign policy. The question of institutional capacity, lack of relevant training and religious literacy among foreign policy personnel, and the absence of career advancement incentives associated with paying greater attention to religion have all further hampered efforts to integrate religious engagement into American diplomacy. In concluding this chapter, it is perhaps appropriate to frame three ongoing questions or tensions likely to accompany US efforts to integrate greater attention to religion and religious engagement in the conduct of its foreign policy. The first of these concerns the fact that showcasing can often militate against mainstreaming. In other words, by holding religion up and pointing to it as something distinctively important – not to mention establishing institutional spaces such as the former Office of Religion and Global Affairs – the US State Department runs the risk of limiting a focus on religion to a narrow group of specialists rather than truly integrating attention to this issue throughout the full range of functional and regional offices within the vast machinery of American foreign policy. Second, there will likely continue to be trade-offs between engaging religious actors in the pursuit of certain US foreign policy objectives even when so doing potentially jeopardizes other American priorities. For example, the idea that working with conservative religious leaders in South Asia to achieve certain national security goals may simultaneously have a negative impact on efforts to advance the rights of women and religious minorities. Finally, there will continue to be tension between the Niebuhrian impulses of some in the foreign policy establishment who view faith as providing a values-based warrant for the pursuit of realpolitik and a more “secular” approach that sees engagement with religious actors as instrumentally valuable in advancing US interests because of the unique place they occupy in many societies around the world.

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NOTES 1. Portions of this chapter are adapted from Peter Mandaville, “Les défis de la religion et de la politique étrangère aux États‐Unis,” in D. Lacorne, J. Vaïsse, and J.-P. Willaime, eds, La diplomatie au défi des religions. Tensions, guerres, médiations, Paris: Odile Jacob, 2014, and reprinted with kind permission of the publisher. 2. When first established this unit was known as the Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives, in keeping with nomenclature used for similar offices in other branches of the US executive branch. It became the Office of Religion and Global Affairs in early 2015. 3. See the archived website of the US State Department’s Office of Religion and Global Affairs at https://​2009​-2017​.state​.gov/​s/​rga/​262375​.htm. 4. Barack Obama, “Remarks to the Turkish Parliament,” April 6, 2009, https://​obamawhitehouse​ .archives​.gov/​the​-press​-office/​remarks​-president​-obama​-turkish​-parliament. 5. We should of course also not forget that people of faith are not found exclusively in faith-based organizations and may be driven to pursue religiously inspired objectives through channels not specifically demarcated as religious. 6. See www​.state​.gov/​international​-religious​-freedom​-reports/​.

REFERENCES Bellah, R. N. (1967). “Civil Religion in America,” Daedalus, 96(1), pp. 1–21. Bettiza, G. (2019). Finding Faith in Foreign Policy: Religion and American Diplomacy in a Postsecular World, New York: Oxford University Press. Chicago Council on Global Affairs (2010). Engaging Religious Communities Abroad: A New Imperative for US Foreign Policy, www​.thechicagocouncil​.org/​publication/​engaging​-religious​-communities​ -abroad​-new​-imperative​-us​-foreign​-policy. Green, E. (2019). “The Impossible Future of Christians in the Middle East,” The Atlantic, May 23, www​ .theatlantic​.com/​international/​archive/​2019/​05/​iraqi​-christians​-nineveh​-plain/​589819/​. Mead, W. R. (2012). “God’s Country?” in T. S. Shah, A. Stepan, and M. D. Toft, eds, Rethinking Religion and World Affairs, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 247–61. Merriam, J. (2010). “Establishment Clause-trophobia: Building a Framework for Escaping the Confines of Domestic Church–State Jurisprudence,” Columbia Human Rights Law Review, 41(699), pp. 699–764. Niebuhr, R. (1944). The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness: A Vindication of Democracy and a Critique of Its Traditional Defence, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. Pickering, T. and Perkins, E. J. (2015). “The Foreign Service is Too White. We’d Know – We’re Top Diplomats,” Washington Post, May 18, www​.washingtonpost​.com/​posteverything/​wp/​2015/​05/​18/​ the​-foreign​-service​-is​-too​-white​-wed​-know​-were​-top​-diplomats/​. Preston, A. (2012). Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith: Religion in American War and Diplomacy, New York: Knopf. Ribuffo, L. P. (2001). “Religion in the History of US Foreign Policy,” in E. Abrams, ed., The Influence of Faith: Religious Groups and US Foreign Policy, Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, pp. 1–32. Stepan, A. (2000). “Religion, Democracy, and the ‘Twin Tolerations,’” Journal of Democracy, 11(4), pp. 37–57. Toft, M. D., Philpott, D., and Shah, T. S. (2011). God’s Century: Resurgent Religion and Global Politics, New York: W. W. Norton. Toosi, N. (2020). “Ivy League Grads Have a Leg up in State Department Promotions, Stats Show,” Politico, June 14, www​.politico​.com/​news/​2020/​06/​14/​ivy​-league​-grads​-state​-department​ -promotions​-316531.

14. Religion and international development Katherine Marshall

RELIGION AND DEVELOPMENT: A JOURNEY TOWARDS ENGAGEMENT This chapter traces changing approaches to the relationships between development and religion. It begins with a brief historical reflection that highlights the shifts and reasons behind them, reflecting the complex and varied nature of religious engagement, with its positive and less positive aspects. A heightened interest in the roles of religious institutions and beliefs is linked to the broader international relations landscape, including human rights approaches, geopolitical forces, and the changing nature of conflicts, where religious factors are often significant. The challenges facing fragile and conflict states are particularly relevant for international development and religious factors are invariably prominent in these situations. Because the topic reflects an enormously complex and diverse field, the chapter focuses on several topics and sectors and two country situations, illustrating the significance of taking religion explicitly into account. It looks at the evidence for religious impact on development, including work on economic aspects of religion and development. Issues around governance, how religious factors affect democracy, nationalism, and autocracy, and accountability and corruption are explored, as are critical tensions around gender and sexuality. Concluding comments focus on areas where religious factors can be considered as distinctive elements calling for specific attention, as in important respects religious perspectives are intertwined with culture, economic incentives, and socio-political factors. Religious institutions and beliefs play important and varying roles in the development work supported by governments and development institutions. These roles range widely, from fundamental understandings of the purposes of and alternative paths towards prosperous and just societies to beliefs and habits affecting change at individual and community levels. Purposeful engagement between development and religious actors has increased in recent decades; in the early decades after World War II it was, in contrast, almost invisible. The newer focus reflects a recognition that religious forces play important roles, both positive (deep roots and trust by communities, social protection work) and less so (contributors to conflicts, opposing equal rights). Many now appreciate that religious beliefs and institutions touch every facet of development work, from economic policies to health, education, water, to reaching vulnerable communities. However, with the extraordinary diversity that characterizes contemporary religious communities, the roles and caliber of engagement vary widely. Contextual understandings at the country or community levels are thus vital. Among priority topics of concern to development practitioners where religious perspectives have particular pertinence are gender relations, governance, peacebuilding, and inequality. Research within various academic disciplines, including (but by no means limited to) economics, anthropology, political science, and psychology, and also within operational entities, is presenting evidence and assessments of impact that deepen appreciation for the distinctive roles that religious institutions and communities play. This promises to help in addressing 197

198  Handbook on religion and international relations two significant obstacles that have affected strategic and practical relationships: the politicization of religion (and the religionization of politics), and tendencies towards non-strategic and instrumental approaches to the various relationships and partnerships involved. Overall, a central conclusion is that religious roles need to be appreciated as complex, fundamental, and integral parts of the landscape within which development transpires.

WHY HAS INTEREST IN RELIGION INCREASED IN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTIONS? The freedom to believe and to worship is a fundamental human right. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, approved in 1948 (United Nations, 1948), reflects its centrality and importance (even as it hints at the complexities around its application), as do other human rights treaties and conventions. Almost four decades later, in 1986, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly approved a declaration that affirmed a right to development (United Nations General Assembly, 1986): The right to development is an inalienable human right by virtue of which every human person and all peoples are entitled to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development, in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized … The human right to development also implies the full realization of the right of peoples to self determination, which includes, subject to the relevant provisions of both International Covenants on Human Rights, the exercise of their inalienable right to full sovereignty over all their natural wealth and resources.

Notwithstanding controversies about the meaning of the right to development (Piron, 2002), as well as the right to freedom of religion or belief (Petersen and Marshall, 2019), both come high in hierarchies of priorities about human development. Today many development practitioners and scholars appreciate that the two are linked in complex ways, and thus that development approaches that ignore or deny religious beliefs and institutions can be blinded to vital elements. Religious approaches that deny the rights of people to determine their development paths or stand in that path also ignore essential aspects of freedom and rights. Religion and development (in their modern, post-World War II understanding) have followed a somewhat rocky path in their relationship. In practice, development institutions as they took form (the World Bank, bilateral aid programs, and major non-governmental organizations (NGOs)) largely ignored religious beliefs and institutions. Several literature reviews point to a striking dearth of scholarship (Bompani, 2019; Deneulin and Rakodi, 2011; Tomalin, 2020; ver Beek, 2000) until quite recently, to a point that one critic described religion as a taboo for development (ver Beek, 2000). Mention of religion until the 1990s was rare within UN development agencies, multilateral and bilateral organizations, and others. When World Bank president James D. Wolfensohn in 1998 launched a dialogue on religion and development his multicountry board of executive directors were almost unanimous in their skepticism (Marshall, 2020a). Factors explaining the difficult path include the broad secular trends in the countries leading the push for global development and tensions from the Cold War that made the topic sensitive. Until the late 1990s, few development leaders (operational or academic) contested the assump-

Religion and international development  199 tion that religion, in politics, economy, and society, was an essentially private matter that did not belong on global agendas. Such assumptions were in for a rude awakening. Ignoring the reality and influence of religious beliefs obscured both history and contemporary realities. Religious institutions were through history inextricably tied to core elements of development, for example governance, health, and education, but also commerce and agriculture. This picture changed, especially in Europe and North America, after bitter wars of religion led to settlements that largely separated “church” and “state.” Secular principles were seen to be grounded in universal principles that were delinked from religious affiliation. With ideologies such as Marxism and communism, separations were accentuated. So why, in the second decade of the twenty-first century, is religion a significant focus in many development programs and related academic programs? The most striking explanation is a dawning realization that for most people affected by development programs religious beliefs and leadership are vital for daily life and thus for the behavior changes that come with development. The negative impact of religious extremism, whether in terrorism and violence or in opposition to facets of development, has also focused attention. Influential studies have awakened interest, for example research presented by the think tank Pew Research Center (2015) that 84 percent of the world’s population has a religious affiliation. Awareness of what sociologist Peter Berger described as the ferocious persistence of religion in most modern societies (Berger, 2015) came alongside a strong focus on religious dimensions of conflicts, and especially the terrorist movements and attacks epitomized by those on September 11, 2001, the rise of Al Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State, and their perceived links to religious leadership and beliefs (Haynes, 2020). Efforts to counter terrorism fell more into the realm of security than development, but with strong links between grievances used to justify terrorism (corruption, unequal treatment, disrespect) and development issues, religion came increasingly onto development agendas.

WHAT TOOK SO LONG? ASSETS, CHALLENGES, AND QUESTIONS Religious engagement in development work has presented some distinctive challenges and the topic remains quite controversial in various circles. These relate to fairly widely held perceptions about religious roles in society: there is persistent hesitation about engaging directly and purposefully with religious actors, alongside strong advocacy for doing so. Some of the concerns along the path are specific to religious institutions, for example a conviction that religious matters belong in the private, not public space. They also reflect the fact that religious roles in development, in their wide diversity, have both positive and negative aspects. Some debates along the path relate specifically to religious institutions and their distinctive roles, while others (for example, appropriate civil society roles and core economic models) should be seen more broadly as part of evolving policy and institutional approaches in development work. Both the perceptions and the complex realities matter in appreciating both relationships and attitudes.

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THE POSITIVES OF RELIGIOUS ENGAGEMENT There are broad and persuasive positive arguments for engaging with religious actors. Here I outline five central reasons why religious factors matter for development. First is the clear importance of religious institutions, leaders, and beliefs for a large majority of the world’s population, as the Pew data cited above highlight. A more recent Pew report (2020) highlights what it terms a “global God divide” which has played a role in relative perceptions: measures of religiosity in societies where development programs are concentrated tend to be higher than those where leading development institutions are based. Religious institutions have significant institutional and political roles in many countries, forming part of national identity. They are powerful forces shaping power, attitudes, behavior, willingness to change, and other dimensions important for development. In many settings religious institutions have the most significant infrastructure, both physical and social, in communities. Second, at a time when erosion of trust in institutions across societies is a growing concern, trust levels in religious leaders and institutions (Figure 14.1), measured, for example, in various surveys, is often high relative to other entities, for example political leaders, the military, and non-religious NGOs (for example Uzodike and Whetho, 2008). This is not universal and there are some indications of flagging trust levels, but the “trust capital,” sometimes called “spiritual capital,” is important (Hansell, 2006). During the COVID-19 emergency, for example, religious leaders have shown a capacity to communicate messages in ways that people understand and appreciate (Marshall, 2020b). Third, religious communities have deep historic involvement in vital aspects of human development (this is something of an understatement if one considers that over most human

Source: BBC/Gallup International (2005), cited in Uzodike and Whetho (2008).

Figure 14.1

Relative trust in religious leaders and politicians by region (%)

Religion and international development  201 history religion was essentially synonymous with social institutions and practices). This situation has changed, and today the direct service provision roles of religious actors vary widely, both in size and scope and in quality and focus. Nonetheless, in many countries large segments of health and education services are provided directly by religious institutions, while in many others their influences are substantial. Fourth, many religious communities play important roles in reaching communities and people who are excluded and difficult to reach: those “left behind,” those at the end of the road. This is by no means a universal attribute and can at times be more aspirational than practical. Nonetheless, the mission to care for widows and orphans, many categories of disabled, and those afflicted by disasters is a central and traditional focus, translated into charitable norms and institutions as well as calls to care and compassion. Charitable giving is concentrated in many societies in religious institutions and communities. The core values that many traditions teach play vital roles in how successful societies are in promoting social cohesion as well as living notions of human dignity, equity, and harmonious societies (Religions for Peace, 2019). The importance of freedom of religion or belief is increasingly linked to human development goals as a positive good (Petersen and Marshall, 2019). And fifth, peace is a central teaching in most religious traditions. This applies for conflict resolution in situations of war and acute tensions, where religious peacebuilding is an increasingly important activity, and for personal peace. Religious peacebuilding involves both formal track two peace negotiations (the role of the Community of Sant’Egidio in Mozambique and South Sudan are examples) and less formal roles especially at the community level. The roles of women who are inspired by their religious beliefs is an important if often neglected contribution (Hayward and Marshall, 2015). Trauma healing and support for those with mental health issues is also an important function, both in times of trouble and more broadly. Persistent Questions Despite the important roles that religious institutions play for many development topics, significant questions persist. These vary by region, tradition, and country. Some questions are openly articulated and debated, while others tend to reflect implicit or unspoken doubts that lead, for example, to low priority given to the topic or avoidance altogether. They reflect both worldviews framing what are seen as appropriate and inappropriate roles for religious actors in society and a blend of myths and experience. One result but also manifestation of the persisting doubts is a focus on the roles of evidence both factual, for example on the size, location, and impact of religious development engagement, and philosophical, focused on religion’s “proper” roles. The substantial research, academic and operational, about religious activities responds in part to the desire for robust evidence. However, the task is by no means easy as numerous different disciplines are involved, as well as widely differing religious traditions, sectoral focus, and regional features. Several institutional efforts have focused on building a foundation of evidence (qualitative and quantitative) that can bolster more strategic religious engagement by development institutions. Examples of such efforts include the United Kingdom Department for International Development-funded Religions and Development Programme led by the University of Birmingham, Georgetown University’s Religion and Global Development Program and the work of the World Faiths Development Dialogue, the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities, the International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development,

202  Handbook on religion and international relations and the King Abdallah bin Abdulaziz Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue. The University of Sussex and the Institute for Social Studies in The Hague are among academic centers that have devoted particular attention to religious dimensions of development. Several foundations have focused specifically on supporting research, including the Henry R. Luce Foundation, the GHR Foundation, and the Templeton Trust. Several institutions, including the World Bank (2016) and United States Agency for International Development (October 2020), have sponsored “evidence summits” designed to establish a more solid foundation for religious engagement. Several topics represent recurring themes. A first centers on understandings of the appropriate relationships between religious and public institutions. This applies in countries where constitutions or traditions mandate a deliberate distancing between secular and religious institutions, normally the product of the nation’s history (the United States and France offer examples). Elsewhere, in contrast, the political and constitutional systems involve an intricate linking of religious and non-religious approaches. In various settings the former approaches can translate into both institutional and individual unwillingness to engage with religious actors (and sometimes vice versa with secular actors). For the latter, the tacit assumption may be that religious matters are essentially inseparable from the broad development agenda. Basic constitutional and legal arrangements tend to color understandings of appropriate political roles of religious actors, for example in shaping or contributing to development strategies at national or sector levels. Where religious institutions are seen to play legitimate roles as political actors, their involvement in policy matters is likely to be uncontested by governments. Elsewhere, however, religious involvement in policy may be seen as inappropriate interference. The perception that religious involvement in development reflects political interests and relationships of power, as well as financial involvement, arises in different contexts. It was, for example, a significant concern in discussions in 2000–2001 with World Bank member governments who saw the effort to engage religious actors as contrary to the institution’s mandate to avoid interference in the domestic political affairs of member countries. Tensions have resulted from differing approaches and views, creating unease at engagement on a wide spectrum of issues. An example can be seen in matters relating to sexual and reproductive health and rights. At international conferences and in positions on international legal instruments, state positions refer to national policies and laws but, in different ways, religious approaches to these issues often underlie the attitudes and formal statements, with varying levels of formality (UNFPA, 2016). The notable exception is the Holy See which holds a unique position as a religious institution represented at the UN, albeit with observer status and in its identity as a state. The question of perceptions enters as religious actors are seen in many settings as intrinsically conservative, who thus essentially oppose many changes that are associated with social and economic development. This is a broad and misleading generalization. While it clearly applies to some issues and traditions, a presumption of opposition to development change ignores and obscures the prophetic roles of many religious traditions and leaders in pressing for social change. Many parts of Catholic social teaching, the advocacy and activism of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists, courageous support for human rights by groups like Malaysia-based Musawah and North American religious advocates for social justice, leadership by indigenous communities on environmental issues, and many other examples highlight the pitfalls that can result from approaching the world’s vast religious institutions and communities as a single and unified sector or body.

Religion and international development  203 Various challenges follow from what can be real tensions around aspects of social change, some legal and some attitudinal. Scholar and public intellectual Michael Ignatieff describes the complex interplay of politics, religion, and economics where religion relates to geopolitics and thus to development: We fell prey to an illusion dear to the generation of 1914, that economics would prove stronger than politics and that global commerce would soften the rivalries of empire … Until the hopes of the Arab Spring were dashed, the moderate, globalized middle classes in the region believed they had the power to marginalize the forces of sectarian fury. (Ignatieff, 2017)

This points both to the underlying power of many religious beliefs and teachings. But more broadly, in responding to specific circumstances (for example religious tensions in Myanmar, Zambia, Nigeria, Guatemala, or Poland), what is important is to appreciate the religious landscape and the roles of religious actors in shaping political and social positions as part of a complex shaped by history, economics, ideas, and practical on the ground events, personalities, and realities. Concerns are also raised as to the perceived legitimacy and authority of religious actors to engage on development topics. Examples of such explicit or implicit doubts arise in many settings, but especially where development actors perceive the matter at hand as a technical, often purely economic domain. Lutheran World Federation leader Martin Junge, speaking at an interfaith gathering, addressed challenges he had heard as to religious engagement in blunt terms. He is asked, he said, directly or otherwise, whether he as a religious leader actually “knows what he is talking about.” What right does a theologian, a pastor, have to engage in a debate about economic issues? His response was that the world pastoral ministry of, in his case, churches, exposed him to the realities of poverty and marginalization. He thus understands how populations, for reasons often totally beyond their control, are “sentenced to a life in abject poverty, or see themselves sliding inexorably down into vulnerability and exclusion.” That is where he derives his authority to intervene (exchange during the Sant’Egidio Prayer for Peace meeting in Antwerp, Belgium, in September 2014). Such theoretical challenges take on practical forms on vital questions of who makes and shapes policy: who sits at the tables where policies are discussed and decisions are made? Junge and many other religious leaders maintain that religious actors have an incontestable right to engage because they have direct knowledge about the realities of poverty and broader social matters. This is especially true for poor communities and in fragile states where there are conflicts. Religious communities have important insights on the realities of misery, inequities, and inequalities, at many levels, from very local to global (where religious bodies benefit from transnational networks). The challenge is to bring these insights and experience to the table. Religious communities are, by their nature, generally decentralized, with few denominations positioned to address issues in the terms that development actors, and notably development economists, can absorb. Differences in language can play important roles. Religious knowledge and insights can also vary widely, with seemingly contradictory views, reflecting different experience. Insightful and expert translation is a necessity, as are both “religious literacy” among development institutions and “policy literacy” for the religious actors who would sit at the policy and decision tables. Questions arise as to the authority and “representativity” of religious actors: who can speak for the large religious communities? A single, common religious perspective is rare on any topic. Further, formal religious leaders are rarely “representative” in a democratic sense

204  Handbook on religion and international relations (witness the selection process for the Roman Catholic pope and most other prominent religious leaders). Development actors often find it daunting to identify the appropriate religious leaders to invite to a discussion. Where there are disagreements, whose voice should be listened to? And how far can an individual be seen as speaking for a community? Important and related issues center on women’s roles in religious institutions and, more broadly, the approaches of different religious communities to norms that shape gender roles. There is a commonly held assumption that most religious institutions hold strongly patriarchal attitudes. However, the reality is that religious community positions fall along a wide spectrum. Religious communities include strong advocates for women’s rights as well as opponents to them (UNFPA, 2016). Nonetheless, formal religious leadership tends to be heavily dominated by men, and not all of them embrace the principle of full equality between men and women. Since women’s empowerment is a central tenet in development approaches, exclusion of women from many decision-making circles is deeply problematic. Where women are not involved or where their voices are not heard, agendas tend to reflect their absence. Experience is showing that religious women can be engaged in many settings, although typically it requires a dedicated commitment to do so, and where they are present their contributions and distinctive insights are important. The attitudes of some religious communities that border on homophobia (or enter directly into that category) are also problematic for development institutions that are committed to inclusion and human rights. Lively concern about the proselytizing (evangelizing) motives and activities of some religious communities arise often in discussions. A common and clearly oversimplified perception holds that religious engagement frequently if not necessarily involves efforts to convert those involved to a religious community. Proselytism is perceived as a primary motivation for religious engagement in humanitarian and development work, even though international norms and the missions of leading faith-inspired organizations are clear that linking evangelism and development work is inappropriate, especially when any quid pro quo or conditionality is involved. Clearer codes of conduct and guidance is important both to reassure those concerned about the issue and to offer proper analysis of where appropriate boundaries lie. The various doubts and questions about engaging religious actors in development strategies and programs need to be recognized and addressed. These include both perceptions (for example about universally patriarchal attitudes) and complex realities around political positioning of religious institutions. In situations where tensions among religious communities contribute to conflicts and detract from operational objectives, inter and intra-religious relationships need to be appreciated. Multireligious institutions and dialogue can play important roles in understanding and, in some cases, helping to draw from wide religious experience at the community level.

RELIGIOUS ENGAGEMENT AND RELIGIOUS LITERACY Religious communities are deeply engaged in development activities, in many places, different sectors, and different levels. Most visible and well studied and understood are NGOs with religious links, referred to generally as faith-based or faith-inspired organizations. These include several global organizations that are among the world’s largest NGOs (Caritas, that groups Catholic Church organizations, World Vision, with evangelical roots, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Tzu Chi, a Buddhist organization, the Aga Khan Development Network, and

Religion and international development  205 the German Bread for the World). These organizations are among a larger group that is represented as part of civil society at the UN and other multilateral organizations. Their voice is heard and respected and many have formal partnerships with development organizations. Especially for humanitarian affairs, they are part of a well-articulated and integrated coordination system. Ample questions can be posed as to whether their strengths and networks are fully appreciated and respected but overall there are established mechanisms to bring them “to the table,” including the UN Interagency Task Force on Religion and Sustainable Development and the Multi-Faith Advisory Council. The International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development, the World Bank-created Moral Imperative, and the King Abdallah bin Abdulaziz Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue are among other intergovernmental initiatives that aim to promote engagement and partnerships within the framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The large faith-linked NGOs are thus in many respects engaged partners. There is a growing body of research on their work to establish impact. However, there are significant gaps and areas of specific concern. Important questions center on the roles and engagement of local religious communities, whether they are organized as some form of recognized entity or, often, in less formal arrangements. Most external resources in practice go to or through multinational bodies, which work in varying ways with local communities. There are commitments to localization, which would involve in many instances direct relationships with local religious actors. Challenges arise, however, linked both to varying capacities, for example to assure accountability for funds, as well as the knowledge required to engage with development organizations that often require some form of wholesale arrangement. The underlying questions are whether the knowledge and skills of local actors are fully involved and where the centers of gravity for decision making are situated. This relates to a parallel concern related to power imbalances, accentuated by the nature of networks and practical concentrations of finance and academic resources, which are clearly in wealthier countries. To date many of the debates about religious engagement have been centered in wealthier countries, reflecting their histories of religious engagement, understandings of freedom of religion or belief and their relationship to human rights and similar issues. While the objective stands of shifting debates and resources towards countries that are directly involved in development programs, implementation represents a continuing challenge. Engaging religious actors in development work involves more than what an astute observer describes as an approach that simply involves a process of “adding religion and stir” (Tomalin, 2015; Wilkinson, 2019). While there is no common “religious DNA” or approach to development, engaging with religious communities more broadly than has been the practice can and will present different worldviews and approaches. Discerning the essence of disagreements or differing perspectives requires both active listening and a grounding of knowledge both for development actors and the religious actors at the table; thus, religious and policy literacy. Among efforts to address what are common knowledge gaps are the Harvard University Divinity School religious literacy project and training programs being developed by the US Foreign Service Institute and the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Several efforts, notably linked to the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper process, highlighted the need to engage religious actors in dialogue about economic and social development, and the Interagency Task Force and the UN Training institute have run several Strategic Learning Exchanges geared towards the same objective.

206  Handbook on religion and international relations Issues, approaches, and challenges will vary by country and by tradition. Examples abound, for different sectors including water pricing, irrigation policies, civic and interreligious elements of curricula, family planning approaches, and public–private partnerships. An exchange that the author witnessed illustrated the type of disconnect that can arise when both priorities and the framing of core objectives differ. A priest and a development economist met to explore possible collaborations on education in the Middle East region. The priest was focused on possible exchanges involving theological training, while the economist’s focus was on the quality of public education systems. For the economist, theological training was off the radar screen. When he was asked about his position on the role that values should play in curriculum development, he responded that the goal was “values-free education.” The priest recoiled in horror because failure to address values was his preconception about the development field (the economist meant non-ideological, non-rote learning). The discordance brought the discussion to a halt. The framing of differing approaches as a “clash of civilizations” also points to challenges in constructive engagement around religion. Development programs in several settings focus on security issues and on countering and preventing violent extremism. Such a focus can highlight negative perceptions about religion in simplistic terms. Religious tensions are a central concern in various development programs, with particular reference to Muslim communities. Rarely do the sources of grievance related to development, notably poor accountability for use of public funds, receive the focus they deserve. Actual and potential peacemaking and peacebuilding roles of religious actors have obvious importance but the links to development programs are often quite tenuous. Religious dimensions of conflict and roles in fragile states deserve careful review and integration but the large gaps in knowledge are an impediment. Research efforts have tended to focus more on ideologies and practice of extremist views towards violence than on for example perceptions and realities of inequalities and governance failures.

EXPLORING PERTINENT DEVELOPMENTS LINKING RELIGION AND ECONOMICS Religion and its interactions with the challenges reflected in development work are the topic of long-standing analysis and debate in many disciplines, including historians and economists. Many other disciplines, notably philosophy, theology, history, anthropology, and sociology also have had much to say about religion and religious beliefs. The history of religion (with its ancient roots) is an active discipline and in many influential analyses of the progress or lack thereof of development, for example by David Landes, William H. McNeill, and Jared Diamond, roles played by religious actors and ideas are reflected, though rarely as centerpieces (Bayley et al., 2011). More attention needs to go to questions as to where and how far these disciplines and bodies of research intersect with development (for example helping to explain how some systems succeed) and on specific topics like the history of religious education or health, or of religious charity. The economic study of religion has a long history also, epitomized in Adam Smith’s 1776 Wealth of Nations that explored the market for religion and set a path for later debates. More recent research by Rachel McCleary and Robert Barro, exploring the impact of religious beliefs on properity (2019), has attracted considerable interest as it has linked different approaches

Religion and international development  207 and disciplines. However, there are gaps and blind spots. Larry Iannaccone’s 1998 survey on the economics of religion found only 13 percent of the cited articles that could reasonably be construed to be historical, many related to Max Weber’s (1904/1905) thesis of the explanatory power of the Protestant ethic. A recent review of religion in economic history (Becker et al., 2020) finds a marked increase in analysis that highlights the relevance of religion in the study of economic history in the past two decades. The field of economics and religion now encompasses economic theory, public economics, experimental economics, macroeconomics of growth, economic history, and economic development. These explorations intersect with other fields in economics such as labor economics, public economics, and industrial organization, as well as fields outside economics, in sociology and political science. Indeed, many ideas in studies about the economics of religion today owe their origins to other disciplines, especially related social science domains. There has been an estimated six-fold increase in the number of economics papers alone published in this area in the last decade, highlighting that the study of religion now falls firmly within the purview of economics (Hungerman and Chen, cited in Iyer, 2016; also Basedu et al., 2018). Four trends are changing the field: (a) new theoretical models that include spatial models of religious markets and evolutionary models of religious traits; (b) empirical work addressing causal influences on religious behavior; (c) examination of the economic history of religion taking religion as an independent, rather than a dependent, variable; and (d) studies of religion outside the Western world (where the great majority of current work has been concentrated). Causal mechanisms between religion and development are a focus in the economics literature, exploring quantitative empirical evidence on the actual effects of religion on economic and social dimensions of development. Relationships between religious dimensions and both income and gender equality and innovation activities and ambivalent effects on economic growth and social cohesion are also studied. The digitization revolution in economic history has generated many studies (Barro and McCleary, 2003, 2019; Iyer, 2016). Two areas of focus are economic factors causing religious adoption, religiosity, and religious change, and how religion affects economic development, including economic differences between regions and religious communities. The vast majority of research and evidence focuses on Judaism, Christianity, or Islam, and the dominant focus is on the United States and Europe. In much of the research reviewed, religion is considered the most important non-economic factor that constructs the basic institutional infrastructure of a society. Religious impact on climate change and environment, including attention to incentives, is a growing focus. An important and relevant field of scholarship draws on information about religious beliefs and practices based on data in the World Values Survey. Ronald Inglehart’s most recent book draws on this to highlight significant changes taking place in social values over time, with security a dominant factor that shapes cultural attitudes (Inglehart, 2018). Here we discuss several themes that highlight important areas of focus relevant to development. Using Economic and Statistical Tools to Evaluate Roles of Religion in Society Market and non-market behaviors influence human behavior and religious impact, highlighting the diverse roles that norms, values, social capital, and “spiritual capital” play. This highlights the broader intersections between religion and culture (Klitgaard, 2021). As religion and culture inform economic behaviors and economic systems, markets, and institutions, the

208  Handbook on religion and international relations economic environment influences beliefs, morals, and religious choices. The economics of religion differs from “religious economics” (social commentary on economic systems or behaviors) and does not concern itself with the theological and institutional propagation of personal beliefs. Recent research focuses quite heavily on the socio-economic consequences of religion, using economic theory and sophisticated statistical tools. As new data, both historical and contemporary, have become available, concern with identification of religiosity effects has become more pronounced. The History of Ideas on the Topic, Taking Adam Smith as a Starting Point The evolution of modern economics was influenced profoundly by religious beliefs and the ways they were changing, both in core ideas and in how they were received. Adam Smith explored the church’s place and competition among religions in both The Wealth of Nations and The Theory of Moral Sentiments, focusing on the role of competition, service provision as a religious role, and religious pluralism. The roles that religious institutions and beliefs played were actively debated, including the proper roles of states. Smith’s famous “invisible hand” is interpreted differently: scholar Emma Rothschild, for example, argues that Smith was actually quite critical of established religion, speaking to a pious public opinion. David Hume argued for the state sponsorship of one unique religion and highlighted rent seeking within religious organizations and relationships between religion and politics that led to civil disorder, while Adam Smith saw religious competition as ultimately good for the consumers of religion insofar as it reduced the capacity of religious organizations to extract rents caused by poor governance (Iyer, 2016). Ebbs and Flows of Scholarship on the Topic In the nineteenth century, religion was the subject of much writing and lively debates among social scientists, but there was less scholarship focused on religion in the twentieth century: one analyst commented that “the subject of religion seems to have gone into hiding” (Iyer, 2016). World War II marked a change, followed by more scholarship about religion in other social sciences, exploring themes such as religious commitment and facets of religious competition. Sociology was a focus for studies of modern religion and religious organizations. The view of religion supported by the state and benefitting from a monopolistic state-supported structure of religion is also found in work of sociologists like Peter Berger. Data supported more robust analysis of different aspects of religious behavior, especially in the United States. Women’s roles within religious communities, for example, began to come into focus, spurred by data showing that women participated more in church-related activities than men. The influence of age, income, location, and race was of particular interest. Shifts to “Secular” Approaches and Their Impact on Relationships with Religious Institutions and Communities Two important themes are the long-standing forecasts that religious beliefs would decline and even disappear versus assumptions that religious beliefs remain fundamental to the human condition, and the implications of shifts in state–religion relationships that include explicit commitments to secular approaches in many countries (notably in communist regimes).

Religion and international development  209 The so-called secularization theory postulated or assumed that the trend towards secular, thus non-religious state structures, was essentially inevitable. Predictions that religion would become extinct have been an intellectual current since the 1700s (Galileo, Voltaire, Mark Twain, for example), but these assumptions have shifted: religious organizations and approaches have changed with modernization, but religious adherence has if anything increased. World Values Survey data, interpreted by Inglehart, complicates the issue, concluding that “rich societies are becoming more secular but the world as a whole is becoming more religious” (Norris and Inglehart, 2004). Assumptions about secularism have been challenged by various scholars, including Berger, Iannaccone, Finke, Stark, and others. Debates continue. Harvard scholars Robert Barro and Rachel McCleary, for example, support a secularization hypothesis, arguing that economic development, measured by increases in the standard of living, causes small declines both in religious participation and beliefs (Barro and McCleary, 2003). “Believing matters more than belonging,” they argue: for a given level of church attendance, increases in some religious beliefs – notably belief in heaven, hell, and an afterlife – tends to increase economic growth, while economic growth is also affected negatively by church attendance. Critiques of this work suggest that an effect of religion on growth is statistically replicable, but not statistically robust: “God is not in the details.” Pluralism Religious pluralism raises important questions linked to both appreciations of social harmony and security and human rights (including religious freedom). Religious competition is related to various factors, including societal attitudes, government restrictions, and size of population (larger markets can support a larger range of religious options, and hence greater participation). Economic growth affects religious demand and supply, decreasing the costs of service provision through advertising, better monitoring of the faithful, and so forth, which can increase rather than decrease pluralism. State Religions, Religious Freedoms, and Links to Democracy and Governance Various studies look for correlations and causal explanations for political and economic links. Financial issues are involved, notably subsidies to religious bodies, as is the role of state religions (Barro and McCleary, 2019): state subsidies to religion might increase the demand for religion and religious participation; while state regulation might decrease religious participation because it affects the supply of religion. Religious Finance and Charitable Giving, Service Provision This area is relatively understudied. An estimated third of charitable giving in the United States goes to religious causes. In the United Kingdom, which is less religious on average, data from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations’ United Kingdom Civil Society Almanac 2010 shows large shares of incomes from individuals going to religious and international organizations. Detailed work has focused on financial systems in the Middle East, in Muslim communities, including zakat, the alms for charity. Some research (quite limited) has focused on specific religious contributions to health and education. An example is work by Jenny Trinitapoli and Alexander Weinreb that explored links between religion-provided

210  Handbook on religion and international relations support and education and the spread of AIDS, based primarily on fieldwork in Malawi. Individual religiosity is a key predictor of HIV status, with religion providing interpretative depth to the disease, as well as how religious organizations influence prevention. This work also highlights the role of religious networks, especially at the local level, in how the disease is viewed but still more in practical responses (Trinitopoli, 2009). The political importance of religious leaders, obviously significant especially during economic downturns, is the subject of study. In India, religious networks are important not only for the religious services they provide, but also for their non-religious services, specifically with respect to health and education. As religious institutions provide insurance functions, these networks might then determine the extent to which education or health care are taken up, especially where these services are less well provided for by the state. Analysis and Debates around Max Weber’s Theories Max Weber still colors many debates today about the economics of religion, notably his arguments about the positive effect of the Protestant ethic on capitalism: “Over the past century, scholars have made many claims about the economic consequences of religion, but none grander than those associated with Max Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism” (Iannaccone, 1998). Among many critiques, David Landes and others have argued that the causality might have gone the other way (for example that secular ideas occasioned by capitalist development reduced religious attendance). Many economists have explored links between specific norms and behaviors linked to a religious tradition in terms of characteristics conducive to the success or failure of economic (as well as social) performance. A central question relates to the direction of causality and correlation; Jacob Viner (cited in Iyer, 2016) observes that while previous studies hinted at a “correlation,” Weber may have been the first to attribute “causality” to the Protestant ethic. More broadly, World Values Survey data between 1981 and 1997 link economic attitudes conducive to economic progress such as cooperation, government, women, legal rules, thrift, and the market economy, with different effects across religions. An example of a finding is that religious people in the sample were less sympathetic to women’s rights and more intolerant. Studies in Switzerland compared lasting effects of historic religious traditions (Reformed Protestantism and Roman Catholicism), finding that in those municipalities that were completely Reformed Protestant, support for leisure and redistribution was greater, and support for intervention lower, than in Roman Catholic municipalities. Peter Berger’s (2015) studies of evangelical communities in Guatemala and South Africa affirmed, as he put it, that “Max Weber is alive and well and living in Guatemala.” Lively Debates around Missionary Legacies Some analysis, notably by Robert Woodberry, looks at colonial Protestant activities to advance hypotheses that are the subject of analysis about the roles of institutions that affect macroeconomic growth (for example by Daron Acemoglu and Robinson). Woodberry’s (2012) paper, published, he maintains, after extraordinarily extended reviews and debates, argues that “conversionary Protestants” influenced the development of democracy around the world because they espoused particular things that spurred democracy, including liberty, education, printing, newspapers, voluntary organizations, and reforms associated with colonialism, creating preconditions for the success of democratic institutions. An interesting observation is that

Religion and international development  211 a contributing factor was that missionary organizations in nineteenth-century United States were larger in terms of their size and access to financial resources than most labor unions, NGOs, and banks. Attractions of Extremism and Terrorism Much empirical research has explored the links between religion, economics, and terrorism, both within and across national boundaries, exploring, for example, whether income is related to transnational terrorism. A general conclusion is that weak property rights and poor civil liberties might matter more for the incidence of international terrorism than poverty. This work is stimulated by the fact that religion-based terrorist groups have increased, with, since the early 1980s, the number of terrorist groups that are religion-based increasing from two out of 64 groups in 1980 to 25 out of 58 (Sandler and Enders, 2004). Understanding the formation of global networks is also important; terrorists can limit how effective countries are in counteracting terrorists because the externalities are greatest when countries are less coordinated in their counter-terrorism decision making. Related, somewhat indirectly, is theoretical work linking religion and politics – for example, politicians have an incentive to take an extreme stand on issues that might be proscribed by some religions, such as abortion or same-sex marriage, in order to induce their core supporters to vote and make donations. Economic distress is understood to stimulate religious intensity, providing something other forms of insurance cannot. In situations of economic distress, people increase labor and religious intensity. “Sectarian religion appeals to people not because the people have deviant wants, but because the sects provide a collective setting in which normal, but unsatisfied, wants can be met” (Iannaccone, 1998). A benefit of being a member of a sect is access to the network. Religious extremists sometimes, but not always, engage in violent activities, as sects “are high-powered religious organizations, run by credible leaders and peopled by active members carefully screened for commitment. Sad to say, these same institutional attributes are also keys to the successful ‘production’ of organized violence, especially clandestine violence” (Iannaccone, 1998). Social networks are important for religious conversion and recruitment. There are, however, gaps in understanding roles of leadership, authoritarian patterns in organizations, the militancy of fundamentalists, and how fundamentalism might arise as a response to secularity or modernity. In understanding how fundamentalism spreads, there are issues of measurement error, reverse causality, omitted variables, missing values, and self-selection. In sum, there is a need for more robust analysis of religious influences and effects.

CONCLUDING COMMENTS Contemporary approaches to religious engagement by global and national institutions working in international development have emerged through various paths. The development programs of several countries (Norway, Germany, and Switzerland are examples) were in practice strongly influenced by church-related and missionary groups, especially in their formative years. Several UN-specialized agencies have taken on engagement with religious institutions as a matter of course: UNICEF and UNHCR, for example. Others more recently launched increasingly purposeful approaches (the World Food Programme). For various multilateral agencies (the World Bank among them) personal leadership from upper echelons has played

212  Handbook on religion and international relations an influential role. The ecumenical World Council of Churches has had a longstanding interest both in health policy and various economic approaches underpinning development work. And a wide range of NGOs originated largely in response to the demands of humanitarian crises and religion-inspired charitable motivations but have evolved over time to focus on broad-based development programs (institutions that are part of Caritas Internationalis, Islamic Relief Worldwide, and World Vision are examples). The result is a patchwork of experience and a complex web of institutions and coordinating mechanisms. The dynamism of the development field colors approaches of different institutions to the integration of religion and development. Private financing of development activities has outstripped official aid – Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development/ Development Assistance Committee funding. Civil society and private-sector institutions (including foundations) have multiplied and are changing rapidly in their structure and roles. Likewise, NGOs and other non-state institutions (including many with religious inspiration and links) have taken on new roles and forms, at transnational, national, and local levels. There is increasing differentiation among different country groupings, notably middle-income countries with strong management capabilities, low-income countries, and fragile and conflict-riven states. The complex reality today is that different countries and societies are at very different stages of modernization, prosperity, and income equality, and have very different needs. There is still some distance to reach a point where religious engagement is a mainstream part of development work. Next steps should involve appreciating, learning, and acting in the light of experience that highlights the complexity of religious dimensions. Resilient religious values can help development actors to enrich their diagnoses and prescriptions for action. But sharp divisions between “people of faith” and “others” need to be avoided. Some refer to a “faith sector” as a distinct, separate entity. This conception involves pitfalls: there are too many institutions involved and far more complexity than a simplistic approach would warrant. Clear appreciation of what religious engagement involves is obviously needed by the pertinent institutions. Another priority is to develop better data about religious institutions and activities, as well as research to appreciate the impact of varying levels of religiosity. The focus on evidence should highlight how religious experience intersects with other dimensions (for example evolution of private markets for health and education). Many questions involved are subtle, calling for nuanced reflection and dialogue: what new ideas does appreciation of religious roles bring? And what are the implications for policy and action? How can constructive voices best be identified, amidst what can seem a cacophony? Some religious actors are at the leading edge of global reflections: true prophets. Some, however, conform to stereotyped images of patriarchy, supporting autocratic regimes, and resisting change. Understanding the concerns of and working with formal leaders and institutions is important, but so is seeking out religiously linked women, younger voices, and different, often emerging types of institutions and leaders. New geopolitical roles of religious actors on topics like fighting atrocities and corruption can also have significance for development work. Mahatma Gandhi admonished followers to seek the best in religious teachings and institutions (for example, solidarity and compassion), but to ignore what is not so good (discrimination like caste and racial bias). Similar counsel is pertinent both for religious actors committed to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals framework and working to address global issues and to the development actors who seek to engage with them as partners.

Religion and international development  213

REFERENCES Barro, Robert J. and Rachel M. McCleary. (2003). “Religion and Economic Growth across Countries,” American Sociological Review, 68(5), pp. 760–81. Basedu, Mathias, Simone Gobien, and Sebastian Prediger. (2018). “The Multidimensional Effects of Religion on Socioeconomic Development: A Review of the Empirical Literature,” Journal of Economic Surveys, 32(4), pp. 1106–33. Bayly, C.A., Vijayendra Rao, Simon Szreter, and Michael Woolcock, eds. (2011). History, Historians and Development Policy: A Necessary Dialogue, Manchester: Manchester University Press. Becker, Sascha O., Jared Rubin, and Ludger Woessman. (2020). “Religion in Economic History: A Survey,” CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP14894, June. Berger, Peter. (2015). “A Discussion with Peter Berger,” Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, Washington, DC: Georgetown University, January 20, https://​berkleycenter​.georgetown​.edu/​ interviews/​a​-discussion​-with​-peter​-berger​-professor​-emeritus​-at​-boston​-university​-29053f12​-02c5​ -4441​-b467​-a544da22e99c. Bompani, Barbara. (2019). “Religion and Development: Tracing the Trajectories of an Evolving Sub-discipline,” Progress in Development Studies, 19(3), pp. 171–85. Deneulin, Sevrine and Carole Rakodi. (2011). “Revisiting Religion: Development Studies Thirty Years On,” World Development, 39(1), 45–54. Hansell, Gregory. (2006). “What Is Spiritual Capital? Economics, Religion, and Conference,” Metanexus, August 6, https://​metanexus​.net/​what​-spiritual​-capital​-economics​-religion​-and​-conference​-2006/​. Haynes, Jeffrey. (2020). Religion, Conflict and Post-Secular Politics, London, Routledge. Hayward, Susan and Katherine Marshall. (2015). Women, Religion, and Peace: Illuminating the Unseen, Washington, DC: United States Institute for Peace. Iannaccone, Laurence R. (1998). “Introduction to the Economics of Religion,” Journal of Economic Literature, 36(3), pp. 1465–95. Ignatieff, Michael. (2017). “Which Way Are We Going?” New York Review of Books, April 6. Inglehart, Ronald. (2018). Cultural Evolution: People’s Motivations Are Changing, and Reshaping the World, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Iyer, Sriya. (2016). “The New Economics of Religion,” Journal of Economic Literature, 54(2), 395–441. Klitgaard, Robert. (2021). The Culture and Development Manifesto, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Marshall, Katherine. (2020a). “Religious Engagement in Development Work: A Continuing Journey,” in Andreas Heuser and Jens Koehrsen (eds), Does Religion Make a Difference? Religious NGOs in International Development Collaboration, Berlin: Nomos. Marshall, Katherine. (2020b). “What Religion Can Offer in the Response to COVID-19,” World Politics Review, May 26, www​.worldpoliticsreview​.com/​articles/​read/​So41S​RA4TtyxUfI​sV1Dyz6UHi​ xRN5dz4TFH​T7Js30SSoE​qEIG1OmIrT​wMpzS2cG1y​N7Lc6Qw9w1​Daok9E6u26​f0suN4UeVa​ Lg44HCZTO4​0QRgsXrzA5​2AbrUwEeEx​-uH. McCleary, Rachel and Robert Barro. (2019). The Wealth of Religions: The Political Economy of Believing and Belonging, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Norris, Pippa and Ronald Inglehart. (2004). Sacred and Secular: Religion and Politics Worldwide, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Petersen, Marie Juul and Katherine Marshall. (2019). The International Promotion of Freedom of Religion or Belief: Sketching the Contours of a Common Framework, April, Danish Institute for Human Rights, www​.humanrights​.dk/​sites/​humanrights​.dk/​files/​media/​dokumenter/​udgivelser/​ research/​2019/​rapport​_in​ternationa​lpromotion​_12​.pdf. Pew Research Center. (2015). The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010–2050, Washington, DC: PEW Forum. Pew Research Center. (2020). “The Global God Divide,” www​.pewresearch​.org/​global/​2020/​07/​20/​the​ -global​-god​-divide/​. Piron, Laure-Helene. (2002). “The Right to Development: A Review of the Current State of the Debate for the Department for International Development,” ODI, www​.odi​.org/​sites/​odi​.org​.uk/​files/​odi​ -assets/​publications​-opinion​-files/​2317​.pdf. Religions for Peace. (2019). Caring for Our Common Future: Promoting Just and Harmonious Societies, www​.religiesvoorvrede​.nl/​uploads/​4/​9/​0/​7/​49074659/​rfp​_harmonious​-societies​-paper​_v02​.pdf.

214  Handbook on religion and international relations Sandler, Todd and Walter Enders. (2004). “An Economic Perspective on Transnational Terrorism,” European Journal of Political Economy, 20(2), pp. 301–16. Tomalin, Emma. (2015). The Routledge Handbook of Religions and Global Development, London: Routledge. Tomalin, Emma. (2020). “Religion and Development: The Rise of a Bibliography,” HTS. Trinitapoli, Jenny. (2009). “Religious teachings and influences on the ABCs of HIV prevention in Malawi,” Social Science & Medicine, 69(2), pp. 199–209. United Nations. (1948). Universal Declaration of Human Rights, www​.un​.org/​en/​universal​-declaration​ -human​-rights/​. United Nations General Assembly. (1986). Declaration on the Right to Development, www​.ohchr​.org/​ Documents/​P​rofessiona​lInterest/​rtd​.pdf. United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). (2016). Religion, Women’s Health and Rights: Points of Contention and Paths of Opportunities, www​.unfpa​.org/​sites/​default/​files/​pubpdf/​Religion​_Womens​ _Health​_and​_Rights​.pdf. Uzodike, Ufo and Whetho, Ayo. (2008). “In Search of a Public Sphere: Mainstreaming Religious Networks into the African Renaissance Agenda,” Politikon, 35(2), pp. 197–222. Ver Beek, Kurt Alan. (2000). “Spirituality: A development taboo,” Development in Practice, 10(1). Wilkinson, Olivia. (2019). Secular and Religious Dynamics in Humanitarian Response, London: Routledge. Woodberry, Robert. (2012). “The Missionary Roots of Liberal Democracy,” American Political Science Review, 106(2), pp. 244–74.

15. The international promotion of freedom of religion or belief: Key debates and divides Marie Juul Petersen

Freedom of religion or belief covers equally the rights of members of large or small communities, minorities and minorities within minorities, conservatives and liberals, converts or re-converts, dissenters or other critical voices, and, last but not least, women who, given their marginalized positions within many religious traditions, may become a driving force for theological reform. (Bielefeldt 2013: 38)

INTRODUCTION The human right to freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) as we know it today was first formulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR 1948), where it is mentioned in the preamble, proclaiming the ‘advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want … as the highest aspiration of the common people’ (UDHR Preamble).1, 2 The right to FoRB was explicated in the UDHR’s article 18 on freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and the right to non-discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief in articles 2 and 7. Some 20 years later, the legally binding International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) reaffirmed these rights, adding a right of persons belonging to religious minorities to profess and practise their own religion. Despite efforts to draft a legally binding convention on religious discrimination, parallel to the work on what became the International Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965), this has not (yet?) materialised. Instead, a non-binding declaration was adopted in 1981, the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief, which led to the 1986 establishment of a Special Rapporteur to oversee the implementation of the declaration. Within this international human rights framework, FoRB refers to the right of every individual to have, adopt, or change a religion or belief; to manifest and practise this religion or belief; to be free from coercion and discrimination on the grounds of this religion or belief; and to ensure the religious and moral education of their children.3 While there is – at least formally – considerable international consensus around the need to fight religiously related discrimination and violations of FoRB, there are significant uncertainties as to what exactly the right to FoRB entails. This is shown in the great variety of ways in which different actors conceive of and approach this right at national level. It is also indicated in the variety in – and even conflicts between – different ways in which actors engage in the international promotion of FoRB.4 This chapter introduces the field of international FoRB promotion, examines three contemporary debates and identifies key actors’ conceptions of FoRB.5 The chapter focuses on the international promotion of FoRB. It does not explore 215

216  Handbook on religion and international relations states’ domestic FoRB policy or how local civil society actors approach the issue. Finally, the chapter does not identify the current state of FoRB violations, nor analyse their root causes.6 The first section focuses on the emergence in the United States (USA) of a mainly Christian movement which took shape in the 1990s, advocating for religious freedom as a ‘god-given’ right, and the scepticism this movement met from the, largely secular, mainstream human rights community. The latter saw religion – and by extension, FoRB – as rather irrelevant to broader human rights efforts and in some cases even counterproductive and damaging. The second section analyses the ‘defamation of religions’ resolutions presented by members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (then Organisation of the Islamic Conference, OIC) at the United Nations (UN) between 1999 and 2010. This revealed deep-seated conflicts between the OIC and the ‘Western bloc’ over the issue of religious criticism and, more broadly, between actors focusing on the strengthening of individual rights and freedoms, including freedom of expression, and those concerned with protection against religious discrimination, seen to be on par with racism and ethnic discrimination. The third section analyses the recent increase in interest in the international promotion of FoRB among a wide group of actors and examines attempts at ‘reclaiming’ FoRB, pointing to new divides and disagreements. These centre less on conflicts between the OIC and ‘the West’, or between religious and secular actors, than on conflicts between advocates or respectively conservative and liberal FoRB interpretations. The conclusion sums up the concerns of the chapter and points to some of the challenges that may lie ahead.

‘THE FIRST OF RIGHTS’ OR ‘A LUXURY RIGHT’? For many years, FoRB was not a priority in foreign policy. Few, even among human rights advocates, were aware of the 1981 Declaration; major human rights non-governmental organisations (NGOs) did not advocate explicitly for FoRB; and FoRB was not a part of foreign ministries’ diplomatic or development efforts to promote human rights. This started changing in the mid-1990s, with the emergence in the USA of a broad, largely Christian, movement for the international promotion of FoRB, or ‘religious freedom’ as this movement termed it. This movement has played, and continues to play, a key role in shaping conceptions of FoRB, not only in US foreign policy but internationally.7 Motivated initially by a concern for the ‘suffering or persecuted church’ in communist and Muslim-majority countries, it worked to raise awareness of the global persecution of Christians. Discrimination against and persecution of Christians was a focus for US evangelicals during the Cold War, spearheaded by the missionary work of, among others, the Romanian pastor Richard Wurmbrand and ‘God’s Smuggler’, Brother Andrew, behind the Iron Curtain (Marsden 2020: 3). In the mid-1990s, religious freedom advocates started to notice the situation of Christians in Muslim-majority countries. In an influential 1995 editorial in the Wall Street Journal, Michael Horowitz of the Hudson Institute claimed that ‘in a growing number of … countries, the rise of Islamic fundamentalism has effectively criminalized the practice of Christianity’ (quoted in McAlister 2019: 4). In 1996, the NGO Freedom House organised a well-attended conference on the ‘Global Persecution of Christians’ (Gunn 2013: 34). Initially spearheaded by evangelicals linked to the Christian right, various missionary NGOs and conservative think tanks, the movement expanded to include both moderate and liberal Christians as well as individuals and organisations from other religions (Gunn 2000:

The international promotion of freedom of religion or belief  217 852f; Marsden 2020: 3), shifting from ‘a particularist Christocentric discourse to a more universalistic religious freedom one’ (Bettiza 2019: 65) led to broader support from a diverse group of actors (Bettiza 2019: 65). A focus on Sudan as ‘a site of Christian persecution and a space of solidarity, religious and racial’ arguably also contributed to broadening the movement, appealing to more left-wing religious actors for whom the fight against racism was central (McAlister 2019: 5). Many actors in the new movement did not perceive human rights as the key source of or justification for their attention to religious persecution. They tended to locate themselves within a broader historical approach to religious persecution that preceded establishment of the international human rights system. To the extent that a human rights language was employed, there was an emphasis on the uniqueness, primacy and superiority of religious freedom in relation to other rights. Religious freedom, it was claimed, was ‘the first freedom’, preceding all other rights (Saiya 2015: 370). As such, it was natural for the movement to advocate for the establishment of a special office and stand-alone legislation for FoRB, rather than mainstreaming FoRB in existing human rights work. Largely because of pressure from the religious freedom movement, some members of Congress lobbied the US State Department to get engaged with the issue. In 1997, Republican congressman Frank Wolf introduced a bill to establish ‘an Office of Religious Persecution Monitoring’ (Gunn 2000: 842f). Following intense debate, a revised bill, called the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA), was passed by unanimous vote and signed into law by then president Bill Clinton in 1998. The IRFA created an Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom and an Office of International Religious Freedom. It required the president to designate those countries which commit ‘systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom’ as ‘Countries of Particular Concern’ (CPCs), and for the State Department to produce annual reports on the state of FoRB in all countries (except the USA). In addition, a bipartisan commission, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, was created, with a mandate to hold the executive to account over their implementation of IRFA, to produce annual reports on selected countries and to recommend CPC status (Marsden 2020).8 Despite the introduction of such strong institutional and legislative infrastructure, FoRB was not a priority for the Clinton or Bush administrations (Marsden 2020: 5), and many foreign service diplomats and practitioners were reluctant to engage with FoRB (Marsden 2020: 9; see also Farr 2013; Seiple 2012). Beyond the USA, there was not much interest in pursuing the religious freedom movement’s call for action, with international human rights NGOs such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch paying little attention to the issue (Gunn 2013: 33). This was also the case with international organisations, politicians and European foreign ministry staff (with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Panel of Experts, established in 1997, a noteworthy exception). In short, FoRB was a rare priority in foreign policy and human rights circles – to the degree that some termed it ‘the forgotten right’ or an ‘orphan right’ (Evans 2013: 8). This reluctance was, at least in part, prompted by secularist tendencies in the field of foreign policy and human rights. Dominated by an understanding of religion as something whose importance would fade with modernisation, or at least recede to the private sphere, most actors in the field, including diplomats, civil society actors and scholars, paid little attention to religion, seeing religion as at best irrelevant to human rights, at worst a source of human rights violations such as discrimination, gender inequality and violence. In this perspective,

218  Handbook on religion and international relations FoRB was seen as ‘a luxury’ or ‘a lesser right’.9 Human rights and foreign policy actors were obviously not unconcerned about religiously related discrimination and conflict, but many tended to see such topics as being ‘really’ about something other than religion – whether ethnic or racial discrimination, gender inequality, or political oppression – and as such, something tackled more usefully within e.g. frameworks on minority rights, non-discrimination, women’s rights, or freedom of expression, than within a FoRB framework. Those who did pay attention to religion would often focus on the negative aspects of religious beliefs and practices, seeing an inherent conflict between (traditional, conservative) religion and (modern, progressive) human rights. Scepticism about religion was notable among those working with women’s rights and gender equality. Historically, the global women’s rights movement was largely secular. Many key actors considered religion mainly as a source of oppression and patriarchy rather than a potential source of women’s empowerment, comfort and support. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW, 1989), for instance, makes no mention of FoRB and contains no provision calling for the end of religious discrimination (Ghanea 2017: 2f). Similarly, the CEDAW committee’s general recommendations and concluding observations rarely mentioned religion as anything other than a source of gender-based violence, harmful practices and discriminatory family laws, with very little attention to women’s right to FoRB (something which has changed in recent years). There was also a widespread reluctance to engage with religion or religious actors among women’s rights NGOs, both national and international. As noted by Žarkov (2015: 5f): ‘the role of faith in women’s everyday life [has] often [been] ignored, even more often seen as a symbol of traditionalism and backwardness, an obstacle to emancipation, and seldom recognized as an inspiration in women’s struggle for social justice and women’s rights’. To the extent that women’s rights advocates dealt with FoRB, then, it was most often the form of freedom from religion rather than freedom to religion.10 The FoRB scepticism of many women’s rights activists, and among human rights actors more broadly, was also, at least to some degree, a reaction to the particular constellation of the FoRB advocacy field and the particular conceptions of FoRB that actors in this field promoted – a scepticism which was shared by many liberal and progressive religious actors who did not necessarily find their beliefs and practices reflected in the religious freedom movement. For many sceptics, the often one-sided focus of religious freedom advocates on ‘their own minorities’ bore testament to what they considered to be an inherent particularism of FoRB. Even when claiming to work for FoRB for all, in practice many religious freedom advocates seemed to prioritise one minority over others – in the case of the OIC, Muslim minorities in Europe and North America, and in the case of the US religious freedom movement, Christian minorities in communist and Muslim-majority countries. There are however few indications that the approach of the US State Department was biased towards protection of Christians (Grim and Finke 2006; Gunn 2000: 853). Furthermore, from the perspective of secular and religiously liberal human rights actors, religious freedom advocates seemed to be most concerned with protecting conservative religious beliefs and practices, often at the expense of human rights such as freedom of expression, women’s rights and rights related to sexual orientation and gender identity. They found evidence of this e.g. in the OIC’s defamation of religion agenda, and in many Muslim-majority countries’ religiously motivated reservations – the so-called sharia reservations – to key articles in CEDAW, as well as – not least – in the discourse on ‘traditional values’ and ‘family

The international promotion of freedom of religion or belief  219 rights’, spearheaded by US evangelical NGOs, many of whom were also very active religious freedom advocates. Events such as the 1994 UN Conference on Population and Development, and the World Conferences on Women in 1995 and 2000, provided very tangible examples of a ‘transnational alliance of the religious right’ working against women’s rights, with evangelical NGOs partnering with the Vatican and Muslim-majority states in opposition to the global women’s rights movement (Basu 2004; Bayes and Tohedi 2001: 1).11 In short, for many human rights actors, the dominance of politicised, particularist conceptions of FoRB, in particular in a US context, confirmed their (mis)conception of FoRB as a right that protected religious, in practice often conservative, practices and beliefs of particular groups, rather than a right for the protection of the religious and non-religious beliefs and practices, whether conservative or liberal, of all individuals and groups. As such, they found little or no reason to engage in the promotion and protection of FoRB as part of their human rights work. Ironically enough, then, secular human rights actors arguably ended up strengthening the conceptions of FoRB promoted by conservative religious actors by mirroring them and shying away from challenging them.

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION OR DEFAMATION OF RELIGIONS? During the 2000s, FoRB remained at the periphery of the foreign policy agenda of most actors. While this decade did witness increasing attention to religion in the field of foreign policy, especially in relation to development and humanitarian aid but also peace and conflict resolution, prevention of violent extremism and a variety of other sub-fields (as demonstrated in other chapters in this volume), FoRB was rarely part of these efforts. Instead, discussions around FoRB took place primarily in the conference rooms and corridors of the UN, centring around issues of ‘defamation of religions’ and freedom of expression. In 1999, Pakistan, on behalf of the OIC, presented its first ‘Defamation of religion’ resolution at the UN Commission on Human Rights, urging the UN and its member states to stand up against ‘new manifestations of intolerance and misunderstanding, not to say hatred, of Islam and Muslims in various parts of the world’, as Munir Akram, the Pakistani UN ambassador at the time, stated.12 Pointing to the ‘tendency in some countries and in the international media to portray Islam as a religion hostile to human rights, threatening to the Western world and associated with terrorism and violence’, he argued that this ‘defamation campaign was reflected in growing intolerance towards Muslims’, comparable to anti-Semitism in the past. While surely motivated by genuine concerns about what the OIC perceived to be an increase in discrimination against Muslim minorities in Europe and North America, the resolution was arguably also an attempt to ‘speak back’ at the increasing criticism of powerful OIC members in various human rights fora, often supported by states in the Western bloc (Skorini 2019: 152). In the following years, similar resolutions were presented by OIC member states, further developing the argument that discrimination against religious minorities was a sort of racism, and that defamation of religion was comparable to racist hate speech. As noted by the Pakistani representative in 2001: ‘When traditional forms of racism tend to disappear, the world sees a rise in new forms of racism just as dangerous’, referring to Islamophobia and what he saw as increasing tendencies to associate Islam with terrorism.13 The proponents of the resolutions argued that a ‘delicate balance’ had to be struck between freedom of expression and respect for religions (MacInnis 2009); and that defamation of religion had to be criminalised, not so

220  Handbook on religion and international relations much to protect the religions themselves, but because defamatory expressions could lead to ‘social disharmony and instability’, ‘religious hatred’ and ‘intolerance’ (Skorini 2019: 168).14 Some actors at the UN Human Rights Commission were critical of the defamation of religions resolutions and the underlying conception of religious discrimination as comparable to racism. Roughly speaking, voting patterns around the defamation of religions resolutions would divide the commission into a bloc of Western countries opposing the resolution, and non-Western countries supporting the resolution, including not only most Muslim-majority states but also many Christian-majority states from Africa and Latin America. In protecting the rights of religions rather than those of individuals, critics said, the resolutions could be used to oppress legitimate debates about, and criticism of, religion (Petersen and Skorini 2016: 44, 50). While they would acknowledge limitations of free speech in situations of ‘incitement to violence’, as outlined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Article 20, they strongly contested the OIC’s conceptions of what would constitute such incitement. The OIC’s use of the Danish Jyllandsposten cartoons and later the French Charlie Hebdo cartoons as examples of incitement to violence demonstrated, they argued, that the OIC’s campaign was essentially an attempt at internationalising OIC member states’ own draconian blasphemy laws and legitimising restrictions on free speech (Skorini 2019: 169). As noted by Canada in the 2009 negotiations on the resolution: ‘Canada believes that to extend [the notion of] defamation beyond its proper scope would jeopardize the fundamental right to freedom of expression, which includes freedom of expression on religious subjects’ (MacInnis 2009). Among civil society organisations, there was also increasing criticism of the resolutions. In 2009, 186 international NGOs signed a joint statement on the ‘danger of the defamation of religions campaign’, expressing their concern about the OIC’s attempt ‘to legitimize blasphemy laws, thereby restricting freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and freedom of the press’ and urging all governments to oppose the resolution.15 Underlying the criticism of the defamation of religion resolutions was an entirely different vision than the OIC’s of how best to confront religious discrimination. For the Western bloc, and for many NGOs, this was about strengthening rather than limiting the enjoyment of individual rights, including freedom of expression and FoRB – and about the two rights being inextricably linked rather than conflicting. This was reflected in the arguments proposed for a change of mandate title of the UN Special Rapporteur on Religious Intolerance to Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief. In 2000, Ireland – at the suggestion of Special Rapporteur Abdelfattah Amor – suggested this change of title of the mandate, wishing to focus more explicitly on the ‘positive aspects’ of the mandate (Greenacre 2019) and mirroring the mandate’s evolution ‘from the management of intolerance to the role of an educator with a dialogue-oriented preventive approach’ (Wiener 2007: 12). Around the same time, the European Union (EU), USA and other countries in the ‘Western bloc’ decided to change the title of their annual General Assembly resolutions from Resolution on Elimination of All Forms of Religious Intolerance to Resolution on Freedom of Religion or Belief. In 2007, Western countries took further steps to strengthen this approach to FoRB and religious discrimination, calling upon the Special Rapporteur to focus explicitly on ‘the adoption of measures at the national, regional and international levels to ensure the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of religion or belief’. Tellingly, and as noted by Limon et al. (2014: 12), the paragraphs setting down the new ‘more positive’ focus of the mandate were placed above the (retained) paragraphs on the implementation of the 1981 Declaration.16

The international promotion of freedom of religion or belief  221 After a decade of annual defamation resolutions, support for the resolution became increasingly fragile. When the USA entered the Human Rights Council in 2009, then secretary of state Hilary Clinton made opposition to the defamation of religions agenda a priority, in part motivated by reports of increasing persecution of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East. As noted by a US diplomat: ‘The issue was a matter of violence, something explosive, and it was urgent for us to send a message and deal with it’ (quoted in Skorini 2019: 169). With a combination of stick and carrot, the USA managed to convince several former OIC allies in Africa, Asia and Latin America to oppose the resolution (Skorini 2019: 191f). Well aware that support was declining, the OIC’s secretary general at the time, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, engaged in talks with the USA, as well as the EU and the United Kingdom (UK), eventually leading to the formulation of a consensus resolution, titled Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against, persons based on religion or belief (often referred to simply as Resolution 16/18).17 As part of the resolution, a follow-up process was introduced, the Istanbul Process, to monitor implementation of the resolution. The meetings in the Istanbul Process have demonstrated that the conflict over criminalisation of certain expressions is far from resolved. Referring to the resolution’s paragraph 5(f), which encourages states to adopt measures ‘to criminalize incitement to imminent violence based on religion or belief’,18 the Western bloc and its allies argue that restrictions must be held at a minimum, emphasising the term ‘imminent’. The OIC, on the other hand, downplays the ‘imminent’, emphasising instead the resolution’s pledge to ‘criminalize incitement’.19 At the same time, however, tendencies towards stricter hate speech legislation in many European countries arguably contribute to blurring the dividing lines between the Western bloc and the OIC. While disagreeing with the OIC on what constitutes hate speech, few European countries would dismiss the relevance of hate speech legislation altogether. On a different level, the inclusion of NGOs, faith-based organisations, religious representatives and other non-governmental actors at meetings in the Istanbul Process has also contributed to defusing the conflict. Directing attention to the importance of e.g. interfaith dialogue, education and ‘speaking out’, they have encouraged a growing consensus around the importance of preventive, non-legal measures in the struggles against religiously related discrimination.20

A NEW GENERATION OF FORB ADVOCATES: RECLAIMING FORB AS A HUMAN RIGHT While discussions around defamation of religions and freedom of expression in the 2000s had been largely confined to the meeting rooms and corridors of the UN, the 2010s witnessed a much broader interest in issues related to FoRB. The dire situation of Christians in the Middle East attracted particular attention in Europe and North America. Later, the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and Uighurs in China also contributed to placing FoRB more firmly on the agenda, including among actors outside Europe and North America (Petersen and Marshall 2020: 8). In many cases, interest in the international promotion of FoRB was closely intertwined with domestic discussions around minority protection, refugeees, immigration and integration issues. Increasing attention to the role and relevance of religion more broadly in foreign policy, including in relation to development cooperation and humanitarian aid, also contributed to carving out a greater space for international work on FoRB.

222  Handbook on religion and international relations Against this background, the past decade has seen an almost explosive interest in the international promotion of FoRB among a broad range of actors, including international organisations, foreign ministries, development agencies and NGOs, interparliamentarian networks, as well as secular and faith-based human rights organisations. This has been witnessed not only in increasing interest in the Istanbul Process, but also much more broadly in the proliferation of initiatives for the international promotion of FoRB, including the launch of alliances and networks for international cooperation, establishment of special offices or envoys, formulation of guidelines for embassy staff, earmarking of funds for FoRB-related projects, development of courses and learning material, initiatives to monitor and report on FoRB violations and so on.21 In this increasingly diverse field of actors, the meaning of FoRB remains deeply contested. Conflicts around religiously related hate speech have been reignited, prompted in large part by the 2020 republication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad and the terrorist attacks in France. But recent years have also witnessed new conflicts and divides in the field, especially around issues related to persecution of Christians and the relationship between FoRB and gender equality. As noted earlier, these issues had raised concern in the past; what is new is that criticism of dominant approaches comes from different actors. Some criticism of conservative religious freedom advocacy is still driven by a secularist scepticism of religion altogether, but with a growing consensus on the importance of religion and religious actors in foreign policy, outright scepticism is increasingly rare. Instead, criticism comes from actors that recognise the importance of religion – and of FoRB – but question the particular motivations and conceptions underlying many of the current initiatives. Some are sceptical of the ‘religious turn’ in foreign policy altogether, not because they question the importance or relevance of religion per se, but because of the particular ways in which religion is conceptualised and approached in some foreign policy initiatives. By approaching religion as ‘an isolable entity and causal powerhouse’, Elizabeth Shakman Hurd writes, these initiatives inevitably posit religion as either ‘good’ or ‘bad’, ‘moderate’ or ‘fanatical’, and thus the target of either promotion or suppression (Hurd 2015: 2ff; see also Bettiza 2019; Mahmood 2015; Sullivan 2005). From this perspective, FoRB advocacy becomes a means of power and control, Hurd (2013) argues: ‘When the United States uses its authority to promote religious freedom abroad, the government weighs in on what counts as religion and what forms of religion should be protected’. Another strand of criticism comes from actors that focus on the importance of finding practical ways to engage with religion in foreign policy, but fear that what they see as an overemphasis on FoRB in current foreign policy will lead to other, and broader, approaches being sidelined. Some are concerned that stand-alone initiatives and functions such as IRFA and the various special envoys and offices will contribute to creating ‘a hierarchy of human rights with FoRB as the zenith’ (Gunn 2000: 856; Toft and Green 2018: 9).22 The 2020 report of the Commission on Unalienable Rights, commissioned by secretary of state Michael Pompeo, has contributed to this worry, in its explicit prioritisation of religious freedom, along with property rights, as ‘unalienable rights’ (Commission on Unalienable Rights 2020: 13).23 Others note that ‘[r]eligious freedom promotion does not exhaust the scope of religion and diplomacy interests’ (Experts Working Group 2018: 2), and that there is a need for approaches that recognise the importance of engaging with religion and religious actors on a broader range of issues, including not only other human rights, but also development cooperation, climate action, anti-corruption initiatives and other issues of relevance to foreign policy (Thames 2020).

The international promotion of freedom of religion or belief  223 Furthermore, and perhaps most interestingly, the last decade has witnessed increasing criticism of dominant FoRB approaches from actors who are themselves actively involved in the international promotion of FoRB and who insist on a different, more human rights-oriented approach to FoRB. Some have taken a human rights approach to FoRB for decades, including not only the UN Special Rapporteur, but also the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Panel of Experts on FoRB, the Oslo Coalition on FoRB, as well as a number of minority groups, such as the Baha’i International Community and the International Humanist and Ethical Union (now Humanists International). Others are new to the field. Many – but certainly not all – of the newly established special envoys and representatives are anchored within broader human rights structures in their respective foreign ministries, explicitly mandated to work for the promotion of FoRB as outlined in international human rights standards. At the level of civil society, we find a human rights approach to FoRB not only in new initiatives such as the FoRB Learning Platform, the Coalition for Religious Equality and Inclusive Development and the Faith for Rights framework, but also in existing human rights organisations such as Human Rights Watch, Minority Rights Group International and others who have started working more explicitly with FoRB, and conversely, among ‘liberal’ faith-based organisations whose work has been increasingly human rights-oriented over the past years. These actors may agree with conservative religious freedom advocates on the need for special attention to FoRB, but they do not find justification for this in a principled, or god-given, ‘superiority’ of FoRB. Instead, they refer more pragmatically to the fact that FoRB has historically been overlooked and sidelined in international human rights work, arguing that there is a need to ‘correct the imbalance’, and place FoRB on a par with other human rights.24 Similarly, they argue against tendencies to focus primarily, or even exclusively, on Christian minorities. They see this tendency not only in Hungary’s 2017 establishment of a State Secretariat for the Aid of Persecuted Christians, or in the work of certain conservative evangelical NGOs, but also among more mainstream actors, who argue that ‘Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world’ and are therefore in need of special attention. While acknowledging that Christian minorities have been overlooked in the past, and consequently there is a need for greater attention to this particular group, the ‘new’ FoRB advocates maintain that a narrow focus on one minority is not only at odds with human rights principles of universalism; it will also fail to address the root causes of discrimination and persecution. In the UK, for instance, criticism of the Bishop of Truro’s Independent Review for the Foreign Secretary of FCO Support for Persecuted Christians came in large part from faith-based and secular organisations that were themselves actively engaged in the international promotion of FoRB. As noted by the United Society Partners in the Gospel in their response to the report: ‘Making the persecution of Christians a special case, as this report inevitably does, elides the manner in which, as a “global phenomenon”, the persecution of Christians is part of the larger problem of religious persecution’ (Evans-Hills 2018: 4).25 But it is perhaps with regard to women’s rights and gender equality that these voices are most distinct from more conservative religious actors working for religious freedom. When the UN Special Rapporteur on FoRB presented his 2020 report on ‘gender-based violence and discrimination in the name of religion or belief’ (Shaheed 2020), it was – unsurprisingly – met with sharp criticism from, among others, the Vatican, the OIC, and US evangelical FoRB advocates, calling the report a ‘sort of ideological colonialism’, and denouncing ‘the numerous references [in the report] that recommend that freedom of religion or belief and conscientious objection must be surrendered for the promotion of other so-called “human rights”, which

224  Handbook on religion and international relations certainly do not enjoy consensus’.26 But at the same time, the Special Rapporteur’s insistence that restrictions on religious autonomy can be necessary in cases where a religious community engages in gender-discriminatory practices, whether against heterosexual women or sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) minorities, was applauded by other actors engaged in the international promotion of FoRB, including religious groups and faith-based organisations working for gender equality. These actors are part of a broader movement, implicitly or explicitly using FoRB as an argument for women’s and SOGI minorities’ empowerment by emphasising their right to interpret and practise their religion in a way that is consistent with principles of equality and non-discrimination. International Muslim women’s rights organisations have been particularly vocal in this, including e.g. Musawah and Sisters in Islam, who challenge OIC member states’ blasphemy laws and sharia reservations on the grounds that they violate women’s rights, including their right to FoRB. Others seek to ‘reclaim’ FoRB from conservative Christian actors; in Kenya, for example, an – admittedly still small – movement among SOGI minorities is challenging the practices of discrimination and exclusion that SOGI minorities are faced with from their own church. As noted by Arya Karijo, a Kenyan queer activist: ‘When LGBT people are thrown out from their churches, their right to worship is really being violated’ (Karijo 2020). Among governments engaged in the international promotion of FoRB, some special envoys and offices have made gender equality a focus area and have launched various initiatives; the governments of Canada, Norway and Denmark, for instance, have funded expert consultation processes on FoRB and gender equality, actively seeking to support civil society actors that work for women’s and SOGI minorities’ right to FoRB (Petersen 2020). Within the UN, we also see broader use of FoRB among actors mandated to monitor rights related to gender equality. CEDAW, for instance, increasingly applies FoRB as an argument against gender discriminatory laws and practices that are justified with reference to religion. In 2020, the committee piloted the #Faith4Rights toolkit in collaboration with Religions for Peace, the Special Rapporteurs on FoRB and on minority issues and other partners (Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights 2020: 35). As noted by Nahla Haidar, member of the committee: ‘CEDAW traditionally avoided this discourse [on religion] – but not anymore. In our concluding observations, we focus on this, [encouraging] governments to look at problematic areas and promoting alternative religious interpretations’ (Petersen 2020: 10). Likewise, the Independent Expert on Protection against Violence and Discrimination based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity has referred to FoRB in his reports and statements.27

CONCLUSION FoRB has been a contested right ever since article 18 of the UDHR was formulated. This has been particularly clear in discussions around the international promotion of FoRB. The history of international FoRB promotion is full of examples of conflicting understandings and tensions among different actors, conceptions and approaches. The chapter has examined three key debates in the last three decades of international FoRB promotion. Each shows a different divide: first, in the 1990s it was between largely conservative religious actors who considered FoRB to be the most important of rights, and mainly secular mainstream human rights actors who paid little or no attention to FoRB. The second debate in the 2000s focused on defamation

The international promotion of freedom of religion or belief  225 of religion with a division between the OIC, arguing for the need to protect minorities against defamation, hate speech and discrimination, and a bloc of Western countries emphasising freedom of expression as a key component of FoRB. The third and most recent debate in the 2010s has involved a division between those prioritising FoRB over other rights, and those that see FoRB as a human right on a par with, and indivisible from, other human rights, including rights related to gender equality. The increasing diversity of actors with the field of international FoRB promotion may have contributed to blurring the lines between ‘the religious’ and ‘the secular’ as well as between ‘the West’ and ‘the Muslim world’, but it has also led to new divisions within the field of FoRB advocates, arguably leaving the field more polarised than ever before. The contemporary focus on FoRB in foreign policy thus involves challenges, above all to bridge divides that have separated FoRB from broader action on human rights. But it also offers new opportunities to reinforce such action and avoid blind spots that have obscured important issues and tensions, for example around gender equality (Petersen and Marshall 2020).

NOTES 1. A warm thanks to Katherine Marshall and Michael Wiener for very useful comments to earlier drafts of this chapter. 2. See Lindquist (2014) for an analysis of the origins of Article 18 in the context of UDHR negotiations. For a history of religious freedom in Europe, see e.g. Evans (1997); in North America, see e.g. Moyn (2015). On religious freedom in different religious traditions, see e.g. Borchert (2016), LaGrone (2015), Little (2014), Saeed (2014) and Shah (2017). 3. Various other legally binding conventions and soft law instruments also address FoRB; see the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights website for an overview (www​.ohchr​.org/​ EN/​Issues/​FreedomReligion/​Pages/​Standards​.aspx). See Bielefeldt et al. (2016) for an analysis of UN Special Procedure and Treaty Body interpretations of FoRB. 4. See Bielefeldt and Wiener (2019) and Bielefeldt (2013) for an analysis of the various debates around, and critiques of, FoRB. 5. Disclaimer: As a researcher at the Danish Institute for Human Rights, I have myself been directly and indirectly involved in foreign policy efforts to promote FoRB, most importantly through commissioned work for the Danish Foreign Ministry’s Office for Freedom of Religion or Belief, including regular advice, writing of a report and facilitation of an expert consultation process (see Petersen and Marshall 2019; Petersen 2020). 6. See Sullivan et al. (2015) for case studies of ‘the politics of religious freedom’ in e.g. Tunisia and South Africa. See also Grüll and Wilson (2018) for an analysis of two NGO projects of FoRB in India and Indonesia. On the state of religious minority discrimination globally, and the causes of this, see e.g. Fox (2020). Specifically on the state of FoRB in Muslim-majority countries, see Philpott (2019). On the relationship between FoRB violations and conflict, see Grim and Finke (2011). See also the Pew Research Center’s annual reports on religious restrictions and social hostilities in all the world’s countries. 7. For an account of the emergence of the North American religious freedom movement, see Hertzke (2004). 8. In 2016, legislation was strengthened through the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act, mandating the US executive to introduce a Special Watch List, and introducing the categories ‘Entities of Particular Concern’ and ‘Designated Persons List’ aimed at non-state actors violating FoRB (Haynes 2020; Marsden 2020). 9. Interviews, independent consultant, Egypt, 23 May 2018; representative from Sri Lankan FBO, 6 June 2018. 10. Many conservative religious women’s organisations, on the other hand, were also deeply sceptical of the secular women’s rights movement, finding the rights language alienating and irrelevant. This

226  Handbook on religion and international relations obviously did not mean that they did not engage in struggles for equality and justice, but that they did so in other ways than, and sometimes in outright opposition to, secular women’s rights actors. At the same time, recent decades have also witnessed the emergence of feminist movements in various religious traditions, see e.g. Karam (1998, 2011), Kirmani (2011) and Nyhagen (2019) for nuanced analyses of the complex relations between conservative religious actors, religious feminists and secular women’s organisations in respectively Egypt, India and Europe. See also Marshall (2016) and Tadros (2011) for analyses of the nexus between religion, rights and gender more generally. 11. On the role of the Vatican at the World Conference on Women in 1995, see Buss (1998); on religion-based reservations to CEDAW, see Çalı and Montoya (2017); on conservative religious actors’ lobbying against sexual and reproductive health and rights in the UN more generally, see Vik and Moe (2019). 12. UN Commission on Human Rights, Defamation of Islam, E/CN.4/1999/L.40, 1999. See Skorini (2019) for a comprehensive analysis of the defamation of religion debate. On the OIC’s approach to human rights more broadly, see Petersen and Kayaoglu (2019). 13. UN Commission on Human Rights, Compte rendu analytique de la 61 seance, E/CN.4/2001/SR.61, para. 2 (author’s translation). 14. In its 2008 resolution, for instance, the OIC argued that ‘defamation of religions is among the causes of social disharmony and instability, at the national and international levels, and leads to violations of human rights’, and urged states to ‘take actions to prohibit the dissemination, including through political institutions and organizations, of racist and xenophobic ideas and material aimed at any religion or its followers that constitute incitement to racial and religious hatred, hostility or violence’ (UN Human Rights Council, Combating Defamation of Religions, A/HRC/7/L.15, 2008, preamble and para. 8). 15. The statement can be found here: https://​norskpen​.no/​en​_GB/​2009/​03/​25/​joint​-ngo​-statement​-on​ -danger​-of​-u​-n​-defamation​-of​-religions​-campaign/​. 16. Human Rights Council, Resolution 6/37, Elimination of all forms of intolerance and of discrimination based on religion or belief, 2007, para. 18(a) and (c). 17. UN General Assembly, Combatting intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against persons based on religion or belief, A/ HRC/RES/16/18, 2011. 18. Resolution A/HRC/RES/16/18, para. 5. Authors’ italics. 19. Upon the 2020 republication of the Danish cartoons in the French Charlie Hebdo magazine, for instance, the Secretary General of the OIC emphasised that ‘Islamophobic acts [such as the republication] violate the freedom of religion and belief guaranteed by international laws’ (OIC 2020). 20. For reports on the various meetings, and on the process as such, see the website www​ .istanbulprocess1618​.info, hosted by Universal Rights Group and Article 19. 21. Some concrete examples: in 2013, the Council of the European Union launched its Guidelines on the Promotion and Protection of Freedom of Religion or Belief. In 2015, the International Contact Group on FoRB was established, spearheaded by Canada. In 2019, the International Religious Freedom and Belief Alliance was created, spearheaded by the USA. The USA has also organised annual Ministerials on International Religious Freedom since 2018. In 2016, the European Commission created the position of Special Envoy for the Promotion of FoRB outside of the EU, and more than 15 countries have established special envoys, ambassadors or offices specifically on FoRB and/or religious minorities, or on related issues, e.g. religious affairs, religious diplomacy and dialogue (Barker et al. 2019; Toft and Green 2018). Recent years have also witnessed increasing attention to FoRB in development and humanitarian aid; the EU, US Agency for International Development, Department for International Development and others have earmarked funds for FoRB-related projects (Tadros and Sabbates-Wheeler 2020; Marshall 2013). An International Panel of Parliamentarians for FoRB has been established, alongside regional and national networks. Various non-governmental initiatives have been launched, including the FoRB Learning Platform, the Coalition for Religious Equality and Inclusive Development, the FoRB Leadership Network and the International Religious Freedom Roundtables; a number of NGOs, faith-based as well as secular, are implementing FoRB-focused programmes and projects. 22. As noted in a letter from 48 members of the European Parliament to the President of the European Commission, in connection with the Commission’s decision to renew the mandate of the EU Special

The international promotion of freedom of religion or belief  227


24. 25.



Envoy on FoRB, the creation of ‘a separate mandate solely for the protection of FoRB runs the risk of an unnecessary siloing of this right from others and discouraging it to be treated in an inclusive and intersectional manner’ (European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights 2020). The report was heavily criticised by human rights organisations and individual experts; an open letter to the Commission, organised by Human Rights First, had more than 200 signatories (find the letter here: www​.humanrightsfirst​.org/​sites/​default/​files/​CUR​%20Report​%20Comment​%20NGO​ %20Letter​%20Final​%2020​.07​.30​.pdf). See e.g. the website of the Danish Office of the Special Representative for FoRB, https://​um​.dk/​en/​ foreign​-policy/​office​-of​-the​-special​-representative​-for​-freedom​-of​-religions​-or​-belief/​. Interestingly, there does not seem to be much international criticism of the OIC’s almost exclusive focus on Muslim minorities outside of its own member states, and its lack of attention to the often rampant discrimination against non-Muslim as well as Muslim minorities in the OIC’s own member states, probably reflecting the organisation’s decreasing influence in the international community as well as the relatively weak civil society in many of its member states. Ivan Jurkovic, Statement by the Holy See, Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, 43th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council, UN Web TV, 2020 (the session can be watched here: http://​webtv​.un​.org/​search/​id​-sr​-on​-religion​-15th​-meeting​ -43rd​-regular​-session​-human​-rights​-council/​6137865940001/​?term​=​freedom​%20of​%20religion​&​ lan​=​English​&​cat​=​Human​%20Rights​%20Council​&​sort​=​date​&​page​=​3​#player). The OIC, as well as a number of its member states, also expressed similarly strong concerns. In October 2020, a group of conservative Christian organisations launched a campaign against the Special Rapporteur, urging religious leaders to sign a petition (see the website https://​prot​ectreligio​usfreedoms​.org). See Ghanea (2017) for an analysis of ‘synergies and complexities’ in the relationship between FoRB and women’s rights in a UN context. See Wiener (2017) for an analysis of how various Special Rapporteurs on FoRB have dealt with sexuality and SOGI minority rights over the years.

REFERENCES Barker, Jeremy P., Bennett, Andrew and Farr, Thomas (2019) Surveying the Landscape of International Religious Freedom Policy, Religious Freedom Institute. Basu, Amrita (2004) Women’s Movements and the Challenge of Transnationalism, Curricular Crossings: Women’s Studies and Area Studies, Amherst College. Bayes, Jane H. and Tohedi, Nayereh (2001) Globalization, Gender, and Religion: The Politics of Women’s Rights in Catholic and Muslim Contexts, Palgrave Macmillan. Bettiza, Gregorio (2019) Finding Faith in Foreign Policy: Religion and American Diplomacy in a Postsecular World, Oxford University Press. Bielefeldt, Heiner (2013) Misperceptions of Freedom of Religion or Belief, Human Rights Quarterly, 35(1). Bielefeldt, Heiner and Wiener, Michael (2019) Religious Freedom under Scrutiny, University of Pennsylvania Press. Bielefeldt, Heiner, Ghanea, Nazila and Wiener, Michael (2016) Freedom of Religion or Belief: An International Law Commentary, Oxford University Press. Borchert, Thomas (2016) Buddhism and Religious Freedom: A Sourcebook of Scriptural, Theological and Legal Texts, Berkeley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs. Buss, Doris E. (1998) Robes, Relics and Rights: The Vatican and the Beijing Conference on Women, Social and Legal Studies, 7(3). Çalı, Basak and Montoya, Mariana (2017) The March of Universality? Religion-Based Reservations to the Core UN Treaties and What They Tell Us about Human Rights and Universality in the 21st Century, Universal Rights Group. Commission on Unalienable Rights (2020) Report of the Commission on Unalienable Rights, Commission on Unalienable Rights.

228  Handbook on religion and international relations European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (2020) Mandate of the EU Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief: Call to improve transparency and to appoint a candidate with a strong human rights record, Open letter to the President of the European Commission, September 14. Evans, Malcolm (1997) Religious Liberty and International Law in Europe, Cambridge University Press. Evans, Malcolm (2013) Introductory Overview. In: Evans, Malcolm, Rehman, Javaid, Meral, Ziya, Ghanea-Hercock, Nazila, Cash, Katherine and Oliver-Dee, Sean (eds), Article 18. An Orphaned Right, UK All Party Parliamentary Group on International Religious Freedom. Evans-Hills, Bonnie (2018) A Response to the Bishop of Truro’s Independent Review for the Former Foreign Secretary of FCO Support for Persecuted Christians, Final Report and Recommendations, United Society Partners in the Gospel and University of Birmingham. Experts Working Group on Engaging Religious Actors and Promoting Religious Freedom in US Diplomacy (2018) Statement and Recommendations, Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, Georgetown University. Farr, Thomas (2013) Our Failed Religious Freedom Policy, First Things, November. Fox, Jonathan (2020) Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me: Why Governments Discriminate against Religious Minorities, Cambridge University Press. Ghanea, Nazila (2017) Women and Religious Freedom. Synergies and Opportunities, US Commission on International Religious Freedom. Greenacre, Ben (2019) The Arc of the Covenant: The Unfinished Business of UN Efforts to Combat Religious Intolerance, Universal Rights Group Blog, March 1. Grim, Brian and Finke, Roger (2006) International Religion Indexes: Government Regulation, Government Favoritism, and Social Regulation of Religion, Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion, 2(1). Grim, Brian and Finke, Roger (2011) The Price of Freedom Denied: Religious Persecution and Conflict in the Twenty-First Century, Cambridge University Press. Grüll, Christoph and Wilson, Erin (2018) Universal or Particular … or Both? The Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief in Cross-Cultural Perspective, Review of Faith and International Affairs, 16(4). Gunn, Jeremy (2000) A Preliminary Response to Criticisms of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, Brigham Young University Law Review, 841. Gunn, Jeremy (2013) The Politics of Religious Freedom: Competing Claims in the United States. In: Annicchino, Pasquale (ed.), Freedom of Religion or Belief in Foreign Policy, European University Institute. Haynes, Jeffrey (2020) Trump and the Politics of International Religious Freedom, Religions, 11(385). Hertzke, Allen D. (2004) Freeing God’s Children: The Unlikely Alliance for Global Human Rights, Rowman and Littlefield. Hurd, Elizabeth Shakman (2013) What’s Wrong with Promoting Religious Freedom? Foreign Policy, June 12. Hurd, Elizabeth Shakman (2015) Beyond Religious Freedom: The New Global Politics of Religion, Princeton University Press. Karam, Azza (1998) Women, Islamisms and the State: Contemporary Feminisms in Egypt, Palgrave Macmillan. Karam, Azza (2011) Globalization, Women, and Religion in the Middle East. In: Briggs, Sheila and McClintock Fulkerson, Mary (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Feminist Theology, Oxford University Press. Karijo, Arya (2020) Don’t Queer Kenyans Have a Right to Religion? OpenDemocracy, October 3. Kirmani, Nida (2011) Beyond the Impasse: Muslim Feminism(s) and the Indian Women’s Movement, Contributions to Indian Sociology, 45(1). LaGrone, Matthew (2015) Judaism and Religious Freedom: A Sourcebook of Scriptural, Theological and Legal Texts, Berkeley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs. Limon, Marc, Ghanea, Nazila and Power, Hilary (2014) Combatting Global Religious Intolerance: The Implementation of Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18, Universal Rights Group. Lindquist, Linde (2014) Shrines and Souls: The Reinvention of Religious Liberty and the Genesis of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Bokbox.

The international promotion of freedom of religion or belief  229 Little, David (2014) Christianity and Religious Freedom: A Sourcebook of Scriptural, Theological and Legal Texts, Berkeley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs. MacInnis, Laura (2009) UN Body Adopts Resolution on Religious Defamation, Reuters, March 26. Mahmood, Saba (2015) Religious Difference in a Secular Age: A Minority Report, Princeton University Press. Marsden, Lee (2020) International Religious Freedom Promotion and US Foreign Policy, Religions, 11(260). Marshall, Katherine (2013) Religious Freedom in US International Development Assistance and Humanitarian Relief: Ideas, Practice, and Issues, Review of Faith and International Affairs, 11(1). Marshall, Katherine (2016) Religion, Women’s Health and Rights, UNFPA and NORAD. McAlister, Melani (2019) American Evangelicals, the Changing Global Religious Environment, and Foreign Policy Activism, Review of Faith and International Affairs, 17(2). Moyn, Samuel (2015) Christian Human Rights, University of Pennsylvania Press. Nyhagen, Line (2019) Contestations of Feminism, Secularism and Religion in the West: The Discursive Othering of Religious and Secular Women, Nordic Journal of Religion and Society, 32(1). Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (2020) #Faith4Rights toolkit (Version 1.10). Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (2020) Republishing of Abusive Cartoons of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, by French Charlie Hebdo Newspaper, is an affront to Islam and a Provocation to Feelings of Muslims, September 2. Petersen, Marie Juul (2020) Promoting Freedom of Religion or Belief and Gender Equality in the Context of the Sustainable Development Goals: A Focus on Access to Justice, Education and Health, Danish Institute for Human Rights. Petersen, Marie Juul and Kayaoglu, Turan (eds) (2019) The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and Human Rights, University of Pennsylvania Press. Petersen, Marie Juul and Marshall, Katherine (2019) The International Promotion of Freedom of Religion or Belief: Sketching the Contours of a Common Framework, Danish Institute for Human Rights and Berkeley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs. Petersen, Marie Juul and Marshall, Katherine (2020) Promoting Freedom of Religion or Belief: Key Lessons, OpenGlobalRights, December 18. Petersen, Marie Juul and Skorini, Heini (2016) Hate Speech and Holy Prophets: Tracing the OIC’s strategies to protect religion in the UN. In Stensvold, Anne (ed.), Religion, State and the United Nations: Value Politics, Routledge. Philpott, Daniel (2019) Religious Freedom in Islam, Oxford University Press. Saeed, Abdullah (2014) Islam and Religious Freedom: A Sourcebook of Scriptural, Theological and Legal Texts, Berkeley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs. Saiya, Nilay (2015) The Religious Freedom Peace, International Journal of Human Rights, 19(3). Seiple, Chris (2012) Building Religious Freedom: A Theory of Change, Review of Faith and International Affairs, 10(3). Shah, Timothy (2017) Hinduism and Religious Freedom: A Sourcebook of Scriptural, Theological and Legal Texts, Berkeley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs. Shaheed, Ahmed (2020) Report of the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief (Focus on gender-based violence and discrimination in the name of religion or belief), A/HRC/43/48. Skorini, Heini (2019) Free Speech, Religion and the United Nations: The Struggle to Define International Free Speech Norms, Routledge. Sullivan, Winnifred (2005) The Impossibility of Religious Freedom, Princeton University Press. Sullivan, Winnifred, Hurd, Elizabeth Shakman, Mahmood, Saba and Danchin, Peter (eds) (2015) Politics of Religious Freedom, University of Chicago Press. Tadros, Mariz (ed.) (2011) Gender, Rights and Religion at the Crossroads, IDS Bulletin, 42(1). Tadros, Mariz and Sabates-Wheeler, Rachel (2020) Inclusive Development: Beyond Need, Not Creed, CREID Working Paper 1, Coalition for Religious Equality and Inclusive Development. Thames, Knox (2020) Reflections on Twenty Years of Religion and Diplomacy, Interview, Religion and Diplomacy, October 20. Toft, Monica Duffe and Green, M. Christian (2018) Progress on Freedom of Religion or Belief? An Analysis of European and North American Government and Parliamentary Initiatives, Review of Faith and International Affairs, 16(4).

230  Handbook on religion and international relations Vik, Ingrid and Moe, Christian (2019) Weaponizing Faith and Family Opposition to SRHR Policies, NORAD. Wiener, Michael (2017) Freedom of Religion or Belief and Sexuality: Tracing the Evolution of the UN Special Rapporteur’s Mandate Practice over Thirty Years, Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, 6(2). Žarkov, Dubravka (2015) Reflecting on Faith and Feminism, European Journal of Women’s Studies, 22(1).

16. Religiously affiliated organizations Karsten Lehmann

A CONTROVERSIAL FIELD OF ANALYSIS Within the context of international relations (IR), organizations that are described as ‘religious’, ‘faith-based’ or ‘spiritual’ – either by the protagonists inside the respective organizations and/or by others from outside the organizations – are a source of ongoing debate. On the one hand, such organizations are characterized as a ‘spiritual voice’ that adds e.g. a more ‘value-based’ perspective to the power play of international politics (Petito and Hatzopoulos, 2003; Scott, 2005). On the other hand, there are authors who equate these organizations – or at least some of them – with the increasing impact of conservatism or even fundamentalism (Juergensmeyer, 1993; Herriot, 2009). And, finally, critics highlight that the mere presence of these organizations questions the ‘wall of separation’ between religion and politics and that by their very existence they jeopardize some of the most important accomplishments in international politics (Favret-Saada, 2010). With regards to the so-called ‘religious NGOs’ working at the United Nations (UN), Claudia Baumgart-Ochse identifies a central dimension of these discussions by juxtaposing the notions of polarizers and mediators: The term ‘mediating’ is here used in the sense not of a neutralist stance but of a capacity to contribute to the understanding and resolution of controversial issues. ‘Polarizing’, meanwhile, denotes a tendency to thwart tangible outcomes in policy processes. Sometimes, however, polarizers may also precipitate vigorous debate, which, depending on the actors and context involved, may facilitate agreement as well as disrupt it. (Baumgart-Ochse, 2019, p. 3)

The present chapter wants to use this general juxtaposition as a starting point, to argue that one has to add at least three further aspects to the equation to understand the role of ‘religious’, ‘faith-based’ and/or ‘spiritual’ organizations in IR. First, the chapter argues that these organizations are highly diverse. Discussions on their role in IR have to address this diversity in order to clarify the issue. Second, to analyse successfully requires considering religion’s complexity. Finally, it is necessary to reflect upon the general role of organizations within religious traditions. Following this argument, the considerations that follow are divided into three sections. The chapter begins with terminological reflections on the general role of organizations within religious traditions. This will provide insights into the diversity of religiously affiliated organizations within the context of the UN, a key issue. The article ends with some thoughts regarding future research in the field.


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TOWARDS A CONCEPT OF ‘RELIGIOUSLY AFFILIATED ORGANIZATIONS’ As has already been pointed out in the introduction to the present volume, IR scholars have long been discussing the role of religion along the lines of a fundamental distinction between ‘the religious’ and ‘the secular’. While traditional IR scholarship tends to treat these two spheres as incompatible (frequently excluding ‘the religious’ from IR analysis), more recent studies are emphasizing the complex relationship between ‘the religious’ and ‘the secular’, arguing that religion has to develop into a substantive area of IR scholarship (Haynes, 2020; Hurd, 2008; Sandal and Fox, 2013; Snyder, 2011; Toft et al., 2008). These general discussions are mirrored in the more recent debates on the concept of ‘religious’, ‘faith-based’ and/or ‘spiritual’ organizations and their role in IR. Katherine Marshall is one of the most outspoken experts of IR who underlines its important role in that context (Marshall, 2013a). Recently, however, Marshall was criticized in relation to her conception of the religious. Philip Fountain’s critique related to her notion of religion which should, he argues, be subjected to a critique that underlines the power relations at work every time the concept is used (Bosco, 2009; Fontain, 2013a; Fountain, 2013b; Marshall, 2013b). Against the backdrop of this controversy, the present chapter takes an intermediate position. It proposes the notion of ‘religious affiliation’ to describe the role of the respective organizations not only within IR but also within their religious traditions. To understand the underlying reflections, the next section starts with a closer look at major strands of related research within the Academic Study of Religions. Two Strands of Definition For the purpose of this argument, the multifold trends of research within the Academic Study of Religions can be organized around two major types of definition. On the one hand, the so-called ‘substantive definitions’ of religion focus upon specific beliefs to conceptualize religion – e.g. the belief in gods or superhuman beings. On the other hand, ‘functional definitions’ focus upon the social role of religion – e.g. religion as a means to integrate society or to reproduce traditional power structures (Masuzawa, 2005; Taylor, 1998). Both of these traditions have specific advantages as well as disadvantages (Davie, 2013; Kehrer, 1988). Substantive definitions tend to be narrower and more clear-cut. They do, however, question common-sense concepts of religion in so far as they exclude for example non-theistic, such as Buddhist, traditions from the religious field. In addition, substantive definitions have long been based upon a priori categories of ‘the holy’ or ‘the sacred’, thus entering a field of analysis that lies beyond empirical research. Functional definitions also tend to move beyond common-sense concepts of religion in so far as they broaden the field of analysis – including for example football games or jazz concerts in the realm of religion. This opens a perspective on religion that seeks to focus upon individualized and fluid phenomena. Ultimately, this type of definition understands religion as a conditio sine qua non of the individual and/or society, thus questioning, for example, the very foundations of classic secularization theory. The following reflections start from a concept of religion that tries to integrate these two strands. This concept is grounded in a specific reading of Clifford Geertz’s classic definition of religion as a system of religious symbols (Geertz, 1966). For the purpose of the forthcoming

Religiously affiliated organizations  233 considerations, religion shall be defined – in accordance with the German scholar of religions, Burkhard Gladigow – as: a system of symbols that is characterised by its bearers with reference to ‘undeniable, collectively binding, and authoritatively given principles/unbezweifelbare, kollektiv verbindliche und autoritativ vorgegebene Prinzipien’ (Gladigow, 1988, p. 34f; see also: Gladigow, 2005)

To understand the socio-cultural position of organizations that relate to these types of systems of symbols, it is, however, necessary to move beyond general definitions and to have a closer look at the socio-cultural constructions of the symbols in question. Here social scientists traditionally use a heuristic three-levels model. A Three-Levels Model of Religion Generally speaking, a three-levels model of religion such as this one makes an analytic distinction between (a) the micro-level of individual religiosity, (b) the meso-level of organizations and movements and (c) the macro-level of social discourses (Feiermann and Oviedo, 2020; Lehmann and Jödicke, 2016; Usunier and Stolz, 2016). This differentiation is particularly significant within a context such as IR which is very much structured around different forms of formal organizations that tend to be perceived as representations of particular interests and/ or groups. The three-levels model suggests that – despite the claim of general representation – it would be misleading simply to equate religions with religious organizations or religious organizations with religions. Empirical analyses on the meso-level of religion would rather have to take all the different levels into consideration. To be more precise: First, one has to keep in mind that the distinction of the different levels is an analytical not an empirical one. The constructions of systems of religious symbols are taking place on all three levels at the same time. In other words: the different levels are highly interdependent. Second, all components of the three-levels model should be understood as being plural. Almost all systems of religious symbols are highly differentiated. And the same can be said with regards to their constructions on the micro-, meso-, and macro-levels: beliefs and practices tend not to be consistent. Discourses are always contested. Most organizations are, to some degree, fragmented. Third, religions are closely embedded in their respective socio-cultural contexts. There is no such thing as ‘pure religion’. And these contexts are no longer exclusively national or global. Transnational contexts are essential for the understanding of religion – whether as a general ideal to aspire for or as a negative frame of reference to be criticized. Taken together, these differentiations provide a sufficient basis further to assess the socio-cultural diversity of the meso-level of religions. Diversity of the Meso-Level of Religions Sociologists of religion working on organizations or movements highlight that the meso-level of religion is constructed in very different ways: Christian traditions for example tend to put particular emphasis on the establishment of organizations and movements – from a globalized Roman Catholic hierarchy to the transnational networks of local parishes dominating evangelical traditions (Christerson and Flory, 2017; Jenkins, 2011). At the same time, most Buddhist

234  Handbook on religion and international relations traditions are structured around networks of monasteries that comprise only a relatively small portion of Buddhists worldwide (Freiberger and Kleine, 2015; Pokorny and Winter, 2018). In Muslim tradition, organizations tend to establish links to state structures and, at the same time, to prioritize local networks – with the exceptions of Sufi orders or extremist networks (Ende et al., 2005; Mandaville, 2020). All the respective meso-structures are internally diverse: some of these organizations or networks look back upon long histories. Christian and Buddhist orders for example have old, complex and differentiated structures that are in multiple ways connected to other religious (and non-religious) organizations and networks. The same can also be observed with regards to the central organizations and networks of most so-called New Religious Movements – such as the Baha’i International Community and the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University. Even though these organizations are of much more recent origin, they have already developed diverse internal structures. In addition, scholars of religion have identified two further trends that particularly shape the meso-level of religion. On the one hand, this is the process of globalization that has not only produced new forms of global organizations and networks but also new social problems that some religions seek to respond to (Beyer, 2006; Kippenberg, 2013). On the other hand, this is a process of individualization that questions the impact of formalized organizations and movements, and favours individualized forms of religion (Berger et al., 2013). Both of these trends shape the meso-level of religion and are – at the same time – also least influenced by developments on the micro- and the macro-levels. In sum, the above emphasizes two important points: first, organizations and movements are but one dimension of the construction of religion. Despite other narratives, it would be misleading to equate these organizations with specific religious traditions. Second, the respective organizations and movements are highly diverse, with regards to (a) to their particular religious traditions and (b) to the historically contingent processes of organizational development. The concept of ‘religious affiliation’ helps to systematically integrate these two points into empirical research. Religiously Affiliated Organizations As far as the role of organizations in IR is concerned, the concept of religious affiliation adds to the recent deconstructions of the overall concept of religion. Scholars such as Jonathan Z. Smith, Donald Wiebe, Russell T. McCutcheon and Timothy Fitzgerald have underlined that the denominators ‘religious’ or ‘faith-based’ are frequently used in ways that are based upon a simple dichotomy of ‘the religious’ and ‘the secular’ and thus tend to marginalize the complexity of the phenomena in question (Arnal and McCutcheon, 2013; Fitzgerald, 2000; McCutcheon, 1997, 2001; Smith, 1982; Wiebe, 1998). The denominator ‘faith-based’ is particularly ambiguous in so far as its usage focuses on the micro-level of religion (i.e. individual religiosity) to describe the organizations in question. Within this context, the concept of ‘religious affiliation’ intends to underline the complexity of the construction of systems of religious symbols that are characterized by undeniable, collectively binding and authoritatively given principles. In view of the three-levels model of religion, the notion of religious affiliation proposes a more formal approach, underlining that the respective organizations and movements uphold either explicit affiliations to systems of

Religiously affiliated organizations  235 religious symbols in their self-description and/or formal affiliations to all types of organizations and movements that make explicit references to systems of religious symbols. These processes of formal affiliation are, however, (a) analytically distinct from individual beliefs and the constructions of general discourses – as for example human rights or development discourses. As a result, they should (b) not be equated with general characteristics that dominate the activities of these organizations. As far as empirical research is concerned, it seems to be much more useful to grasp religiously affiliated organizations as a group of organizations that is distinct yet highly heterogeneous and with fuzzy boundaries to other groups of organizations or movements. All these terminological reflections provide the basis for the following reflections on the role of religiously affiliated organizations within IR – or rather (as an example) within the context of the UN.

RELIGIOUSLY AFFILIATED ORGANIZATIONS WITHIN THE UNITED NATIONS The UN offers a unique space for empirical analyses on religiously affiliated organizations in IR: on the one hand, the UN was among the first political institutions formally to introduce non-state organizations into international politics (Shani, 2009; Willetts, 1996). Using the concept of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), Article 71 of the UN Charter defines formal requirements for the participation of these organizations within the context of the UN – whereby the present procedures foresee no formal differentiation with regards to fields of activity. In other words: there are no formal categories for NGOs working in the field of ‘religion’, ‘peace’ or ‘development’ (Haynes, 2014; Martens, 2005; United Nations, 2011). On the other hand, it has been argued that the UN has developed into a unique working environment – at least for specific types of religiously affiliated organizations that target a global, politico-diplomatic audience (Herbert, 2003; Kennedy, 2007; Schwarz, 2018). The UN provides no formal role of decision making for NGOs, because this is perceived as a prerogative of member states. It offers, however, a stage for respective NGO activities in so far as these organizations participate in UN consultations and have the possibility to present their own agenda. In this sense, the religiously affiliated NGOs formally accredited with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) will now serve as an example for religiously affiliated organizations in general. Religion on the Meso-Level: Organizations and Movements To understand the role of religiously affiliated organizations within the UN, one first has to keep in mind that some states and confederations of states present themselves as having particular links to religion (Bettiza, 2019; Haynes, 2013). As a paradigmatic case, one might name the Holy See, which in the UN has had the status of a permanent observer since 1964. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) would be another case in point which is based upon the ideal of the Muslim ummah (the religious community of all Muslims). Since 1975 the OIC has been invited to participate as observer in the work of the General Assembly and its subsidiary organs (Ahsan, 1988). Furthermore, states such as Egypt, the United States or Russia tend to describe themselves as strongholds of specific religious traditions.

236  Handbook on religion and international relations What is even more interesting for the present argument is the significant number of religiously affiliated NGOs active inside the UN environment. Such NGOs present themselves with explicit affiliations to particular religious traditions – be it in terms of reference to their core symbols or by formal links to other organizations that refer to such symbols (Lehmann, 2015, 2016; Marshall 2013). Up to now, research concerning these organizations has been focused on the topoi of internal differentiation and general impact. As far as the first of these topoi is concerned, scholars have invested quite some effort in constructing typologies – most of them starting from detailed analyses of interviews, participant observations or administrative documents. Together, the existing typological reflections underline two distinct dimensions of the activities of religiously affiliated organizations: (a) with regards to their concrete day-to-day activities, and (b) with regards to their general fields of activities. As for the central fields of activities, a classic point of reference would be the 2006 article by Gerard Clarke, which identifies five specific thematic fields of what he calls faith-based NGOs in international politics: ●● ●● ●● ●● ●●

Faith-based representative organizations. Faith-based charitable or development organizations. Faith-based socio-political organizations. Faith-based missionary organizations. Faith-based radical, illegal or terrorist organizations (Clarke, 2006, p. 840).

Besides the fact that the category of ‘faith’ highlights – as indicated above – the individual level in a very specific (and sometimes problematic) way, Clarke’s typology helps to understand that religiously affiliated NGOs do differ with regards to the explicit emphasis they put on specific activities. On the one hand, they work in very diverse fields. On the other hand, these fields affect their concrete activities as well as the ways in which they present ‘religion’. As far as concrete day-to-day activities are concerned, Julia Berger has presented a widely discussed typology of religiously affiliated NGOs that highlights four general dimensions of their activities, thus underlining that these activities cannot exclusively be explained by religion: ●● ●● ●● ●●

The religious dimension. The organizational dimension. The strategic dimension. The service dimension (Berger, 2003, p. 16; see also: Berger, 2007).

And on top of this, scholars such as Marie Juul Petersen and Jeremy Carrette and Hugh Miall have more recently looked at the religious traditions with which these NGOs are affiliated (Carrette and Miall, 2017; Petersen, 2010). These researchers focus in much more detail upon the structural differences between NGOs affiliated to specific religious traditions that have already been mentioned in the second section of the present chapter. In addition, they highlight the influence of religious affiliation on the thematic outlook of the respective organizations in the context of IR. So far, however, we do not have sufficient empirical data to construct typologies that move beyond the level of formal affiliation (Carrette, 2013; Carrette and Trigeaud, 2013).

Religiously affiliated organizations  237 In total, these multiple typological efforts point the debates on religiously affiliated organizations in two directions: first, they add yet another dimension of heterogeneity to the debates on religiously affiliated organizations. Second, they hint at the formative power of religious affiliation in the field of organizations working in IR. Both of these aspects have significant consequences for the overall assessment of their impact. As far as the topos of ‘general impact’ is concerned, this has so far primarily been approached by scholars dealing with development organizations (Benthall and Bellion-Jourdan, 2003; Ghandour, 2002; Haynes, 2007). The most extended studies have been undertaken by the World Faiths Development Dialogue NGO at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs (Marshall, 2007; World Faiths Development Dialogue, 2018) and the ‘Religions and Development’ Programme at the University of Birmingham (Rakodi, 2014). In addition to those two big groups of researchers, the last decade has seen an increasing number of individual publications by authors who analyse the national and regional role of religiously affiliated organizations in the field of development (Bornstein, 2005; Leurs, 2012). So far, this scholarship has come up with four main results: 1. The studies highlight that the protagonists inside religiously affiliated development NGOs frequently see themselves embedded in wider religiously affiliated networks that shape their activities in different ways. In almost all cases, the respective NGO representatives underline that these affiliations have a significant influence on their recruitment strategies, their core activities and their forms of resource allocation (Deneulin and Banon, 2009). 2. Comparative analyses highlight the influence of the wider cultural contexts on the ways these religiously affiliated organizations shape their field of activities. Empirical studies propose that the strength of civil society, the socio-economic situation, etc. are central to answer the question of influence. The impact of the very same NGOs varies in different contexts (Flanigan, 2010). 3. The existing research underlines the multifold ways in which religiously affiliated NGOs are active in the field of development. Most scholars suggest that development work is hard to understand without the ongoing commitment and impact of these organizations on development activities, and that this field is – at the same time – highly diverse (Haynes, 2007). 4. More recent research has also raised the question as to what extent the work of religiously affiliated NGOs affects their wider religious traditions. Especially historic analyses seem to propose that their emergence in new professional contexts (such as development or human rights) has a considerable impact on the respective organizations and movements (Lehmann, 2021b). In sum, this research on the impact of religiously affiliated NGOs is still restricted to initial case analyses and mapping enterprises dealing with specific fields of activities. Analyses highlight the presence of a group of NGOs that is (self-)described as religious in the context of international organizations and development. In doing so, they stress the complexity of the field as well as the diversity of the actors that makes it difficult comprehensively to assess their impact. Yet this is not even one third of the story. As indicated in the second section of the present chapter, a three-levels model of religion suggests that one has to address the interconnections between the developments on the meso-level as well as the developments at the micro- and macro-levels. Consequently, the present chapter needs to provide at least an initial idea of

238  Handbook on religion and international relations what such an expansion of the analytical frame of reference might add to our understanding of religiously affiliated organizations within IR. Religion on the Micro-Level: Religiosity Within the Academic Study of Religions, analyses of the micro-level of religious individuality have increasingly been gaining significance. Under the general heading of ‘Individualization Theory’, scholars such as Peter L. Berger, Hubert Knoblauch and Abby Day argue that processes of individualization are significantly shaping the present-day structure of religion in two ways. On the one hand, these processes reconfigure the constructions of systems of religious symbols. On the other hand, the respective authors make the point that individualization processes affect the modes of the organizational and discursive constructions of religion (Berger, 1967, 2010; Davies and Thate, 2017; Day, 2008; Knoblauch, 2008). Against the backdrop of these discussions, it is interesting to see that we know almost nothing about the religious beliefs and practices of individuals within the general context of the UN – let alone international politics. There is but a general supposition that the mind sets of the people working at the UN could be described as distinctively secular. To the knowledge of the present author, there is no general survey on religious beliefs and practices within UN circles – and certainly not among diplomats or international civil servants in general. To move beyond anecdotal evidence, we thus have to rely on case studies dealing with this topic. Most prominently, Kent J. Kille’s edited volume on the ethics and religious beliefs of the Secretaries General (SG) of the UN has been very clear that the respective sets of beliefs had – at least for some of the SGs – a significant influence on their professional activities (Ferrara, 2014; Kille, 2007). At the same time, Kille’s book underlines that it would be misleading to single out religion as the driving force behind the SG’s activities. It is interesting to see how the work of the SG has been individually framed in a variety of different ways – especially in the case of Dag Hammarskjöld (Dionigi, 2016; Troy, 2010). In addition, the last decade has seen surveys dealing with the motivations of religiously affiliated individuals within the UN (Bush, 2007, 2017; Knox, 2002). So far, these surveys have focused, however, primarily on official representatives and their work within formal religiously affiliated organizations. These surveys document that religious affiliation is one dimension – among many – that shapes individual approaches towards the work of these organizations within the context of the UN. It is, however, to be expected that within this set of data, the role of religion will be overstated. In sum, the existing analyses propose that religious affiliation might have an influence on individual beliefs and practices within the context of IR – and vice versa. To date, there is still room for further analysis. And as far as empirical analyses on the macro-level of discourse is concerned, the situation is just a little bit better (Lüddeckens and Walthert, 2010). Religion on the Macro-Level: Discourses As the current Handbook underlines most impressively, the general role of religion within the context of IR has become a field of increasing research. Indeed, most of the respective analyses focus on the macro-level of discourses (Banchoff and Wuthnow, 2011; Fitzgerald, 2011). In particular, the debates on the so-called ‘resurgence of religion’ underline that – at least within particular milieus of IR practitioners and researchers – the religion discourse has gained

Religiously affiliated organizations  239 significance. They also underline the media dimension of the respective discourses – within traditional print and electronic media as well as within the so-called new social media (Graf, 2007; Hildebrandt and Brocker, 2008; Hoover, 2006; Riesebrodt, 2014). With regards to the present section, it is interesting to add to these general findings a closer look at the – rather limited – amount of explicit references to religion in UN documents (for the purpose of the argument at hand, limited to the resolutions of the General Assembly of the UN) (Kippenberg, 2019; Lehmann, 2018): for most of its history, the systematic place of the official religion discourse within the UN seems to have been based upon the establishment of religious freedom as it was initially expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and later the Covenants on Civil and Political Rights as well as Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. From the mid-1960s onwards, the UN General Assembly asked the respective commissions and sub-commissions of the ECOSOC to invite states to contribute to a draft declaration and a draft convention on the elimination of all forms of religious intolerance (A/RES/1781(XVII); Normand and Zaidi, 2008; Nurser, 2005). The first of the respective documents reflects a general uneasiness on behalf of the UN’s member states to approach the topic of religion: Bearing in mind the decisions of the Third Committee … (a) Not to mention any specific examples of religious intolerance in the draft International Convention on the Elimination of Intolerance and of Discrimination based on Religion or Belief … A/RES/2295. (XXII)

From this initial attempt, it took the UN more than a decade (up to 1981) to finally decide upon the ‘Declaration on the Elimination of all Forms of Intolerance and Discrimination based on Religion or Belief’ that is today largely perceived as the most significant milestone of the official religion discourse inside the UN (Bielefeldt et al., 2016). This declaration further substantiates the framing of religion in terms of the human rights discourse: 1. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have a religion or whatever belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching. 2. No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have a religion or belief of his choice. 3. Freedom to manifest one’s religion or belief may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others. (A/RES/36/55)

During the last two decades, however, the initial human rights focus has lost its prominence. References to interreligious dialogue as well as interreligious harmony (usually without explicit references to human rights) are increasingly gaining significance (Basset, 1996; Cornille, 2013; Fu and Spiegler, 1989). This has created a second strand of religion discourse within the UN, documented in General Assembly resolutions since the 2002 Resolution on the Elimination of All Forms of Religious Intolerance: The General Assembly … Affirms that mutual understanding and interreligious dialogue constitute important dimensions of the dialogue among civilizations and of the culture of peace. (A/RES/59/23)

240  Handbook on religion and international relations This new framing of the concept of religion adds a specific ambiguity to the religion discourse within the UN. On the one hand, the introduction of the concepts of interreligious dialogue and harmony emphasize the role of religion as a positive contribution to a culture of peace. They thus move away from a simple zero-sum game contrasting ‘the religious’ and ‘the secular’. On the other hand, they draw the attention away from a general right to religious freedom. They are thus establishing notions within the official religion discourse that are much more ambiguous and no longer juridical (Lehmann, 2018; 2021a). It is within this wider context that one has to understand the multifaceted role of religiously affiliated organizations within international politics. They have to be interpreted in relation to the fundamental changes in the religion discourse as well as the multiple forms of individual religiosities. In other words, further analyses of religiously affiliated organizations and movements should take into consideration that individual constructions of systems of religious symbols are – in general – gaining significance and have to ask the question as to what extent this might affect the analysis of international politics. They also have to keep in mind that the wider religion discourse has undergone a phase of dynamic change – first, due to processes of individualization and, second, due to changes in the political construction of religion. Such an approach will open new venues for future research.

POTENTIAL AVENUES FOR FUTURE RESEARCH As indicated in the introduction to the present chapter, the author wants to make the point that any analysis of religiously affiliated organizations within IR has to focus upon two points. First, it needs to start from a complex notion of religion. In the first section of the present chapter, it was argued that a heuristic three-levels model of religion might be helpful to structure the respective analyses. As far as the analyses of organizations and movements are concerned, it emphasizes that meso-phenomena are but one dimension of the construction of religion (or more precisely: the construction of systems of religious symbols). The notion of ‘religious affiliation’ intends to emphasize exactly this point by moving away from essentialist readings of organizations and movements as being ‘religious’ or ‘faith-based’. Second, analysis of religiously affiliated organizations within IR needs to address the diversity of the phenomena in question. The discussions in the second section underlined the fact that affiliation with systems of religious symbols are very complex and that it would be misleading to interpret them as the sole denominators of the organizations and movements in question. Also, they have made the point that the meso-level of religion cannot be understood without analyses on the micro-level (e.g. the increasing impact of processes of individualization) and/or the macro-level (e.g. the fundamental changes of the religion discourse from religious freedom to interreligious dialogue and harmony). Such a broader approach to the analysis of religiously affiliated organizations might help to open up new fields for discussion with regards to IR. To name but two potential areas of future research: First, the above considerations might redirect our attention to the power structures that form the basis of categories such as ‘religious’ or ‘faith-based’ organizations. This is particularly significant within the context of IR in which religious affiliation might form the basis for the inclusion and/or exclusion of specific actors and/or discourse formations. One has to keep in mind that religious affiliation is a multilayered, social process that can be actively strived for

Religiously affiliated organizations  241 or imposed. Analyses have to keep these processes in mind while dealing with religiously affiliated organizations or movements. Second, the idea of religious affiliation puts particular emphasis on processes of formal representation. In international politics, the activities of religiously affiliated organizations are – for very good reason – almost exclusively undertaken by professionals that have a particular expertise to manoeuvre in this context. It would be misleading simply to identify their activities with the overarching activities of specific religious communities. One rather has to empirically analyse the constructions of representation within these organizations and IR. And once again this cannot be done exclusively on the meso-level. Such analyses have to be embedded into analyses on the micro- and macro-levels. In sum, the present chapter supports those voices that ask for a more critical approach to the concept of ‘religion’ within IR. At the same time, it proposes to further increase empirical research in this field that moves away from the reconstructions of general discourses and towards further interpretations of micro- and meso-phenomena.

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17. Religion and the United Nations Claudia Baumgart-Ochse

THE UNITED NATIONS IN A RELIGIOUSLY PLURAL WORLD The United Nations (UN) is the world’s largest international organization, comprising 193 member states. Its purpose is expressed in its charter, signed in June 1945 only weeks after the fighting of World War II in Europe had ended: the UN was established to “maintain international peace and security … to develop friendly relations among nations … to achieve international co-operation” and “to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends” (United Nations 1945, Art. 1). Socio-economic issues, namely the protection of human rights and advancement of international development, were included in the UN’s work in order to indirectly prevent war by “promoting economic prosperity and human dignity” (Weiss et al. 2020, p. 3). Religion or religious norms and beliefs did not play a role in the negotiations preceding the establishment of the UN. In its foundational document, the UN Charter, religion is only mentioned in the assurance that human rights and fundamental freedoms apply to all “without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion” (United Nations 1945, Art. 1). However, when in 1946 the newly established Commission on Human Rights began its work of drafting an international bill of human rights, the 18 delegates entered into a lively debate regarding whether and to what extent religious ideas and norms might serve as a foundation for “human dignity”, the central concept on which human rights were thought to rest. While not fully representative of the religious and cultural plurality of the UN’s member states at the time, the commission featured delegates from Christian, Confucian, Islamic, and other backgrounds: “the range of personnel which shaped the draft drew upon numerous emancipatory traditions, spiritual systems, and political projects” (Burke and Kirby 2018, p. 5). The result was a draft for a declaration which built on norms and ideas from a wealth of traditions, but at the same time transcended these origins and aimed at universality: “As elliptical, fragile, and partial as it was, the fledgling international aspiration for human rights had already acquired a degree of normative power and prestige, balanced precariously above numerous lines of ideological, religious, cultural, and socioeconomic division” (Burke and Kirby 2018, p. 5). Therefore, no single religion served as a foundation for the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). Religion nevertheless figured as an important issue in the Declaration which in Article 18 grants everyone the “right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion”. This right includes the freedom to change one’s religion or belief as well as to manifest one’s religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance both alone or in community with others. The foundational documents of the UN thus express the intention to protect human rights regardless of religious affiliation, and among these rights is the right to freedom of religion or belief. The UN itself, however, was established as a secular international organization, functioning on the grounds of secular norms and principles and following secular rules, in order to achieve and maintain international peace and security. Not least is this secular, non-sectarian 246

Religion and the United Nations  247 character of the organization a necessary condition for the cooperation of states from virtually every cultural-religious tradition of the world as well as for protecting religious freedom without distinction. Against this background of the UN and its foundational documents which confirm the organization’s secular character, the question arises what role – if any – religion plays today at the UN. At the time of its establishment and in the following decades, the UN’s main challenges were ideological in nature rather than religious as it tried to facilitate cooperation between the ideological blocs in the Cold War. When the Cold War ended, religion became far more visible in world politics, albeit in a predominantly negative way. Some observers even argued that the emergent religious nationalisms of the 1980s and 1990s would replace the ideological confrontation of the Cold War (Juergensmeyer 1993) and eventually lead to a clash of civilizations (Huntington 1996). Others highlighted the ambivalent nature of religion which may contribute to peace as well as to conflict and violence (Appleby 2000), paving the way for a burgeoning literature which analyses the changing and multifaceted roles of religion in international politics.1 The UN for a long time seemed reluctant to engage with religion in a more substantial way. The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization pioneered efforts to engage with religion in the 1990s, recognizing the threat of religious conflicts and the debate on the “clash of civilizations”. It convened several conferences and meetings of high-level religious representatives which aimed at boosting interreligious dialogue and cooperation. Other agencies also gradually intensified their engagement with religion (Boehle 2010, p. 393). In 2005, the UN set up the Alliance of Civilization (AoC), following the attacks by Al Qaeda on the United States on 11 September 2001. The AoC was given the task to avert the clash of civilizations and, more precisely, a confrontation between the Western and the Islamic worlds – however, its achievements did not meet expectations (Haynes 2018). Despite these efforts on the part of the world organization, even today, religion is rarely mentioned in mainstream UN studies: the word “religion” has no entry in the indexes of standard introductory textbooks (see, for example, Fraser 2015; Weiss et al. 2020). Research on religion at the UN still occupies a niche in this field. This chapter shows how religion appears in the UN’s work in two ways: firstly, religious or faith-based actors actively engage with the world organization, its agencies and policies. The following section gives an overview of these actors and their ways of access to the UN. Among religious actors at the UN, non-state civil society organizations are those who most vividly bring religious diversity and religious ideas and norms to the UN. Secondly, the UN has to deal with issues that touch upon religion and religious norms, ideas, and principles. Sometimes, these two aspects come together when religious actors are addressing issues that directly affect religious communities and their beliefs. The remaining sections will look more closely at two thematic fields in which various religious actors are actively participating in the context of the UN: international development and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). International development represents the area of UN work in which the largest group of faith-based organizations (FBOs) is involving itself. SRHR is probably the most contested issue among religious actors who can be found on both sides of the divide.

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RELIGIOUS ACTORS AT THE UNITED NATIONS The literature distinguishes three different types of religious or faith-based organizations which engage with the UN. First, some states base their political systems on principles of specific religions such as Iran, Saudi Arabia or the Vatican. Second, one intergovernmental organization defines itself as religious: the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). And third, there are many religious non-governmental organizations (RNGOs) which are either accredited with UN institutions such as the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the Department of Information, or participate in UN conferences and work with UN agencies in their specific fields of action. States and International Organizations As members of the UN, states have of course the most immediate access to the UN’s institutions. They have the right to vote, to put forward resolutions and pursue specific policies, and they may take on active roles in many areas of the UN. The number of states with an established religion is comparatively small, and rarely do these states flag their actions in the UN as religiously motivated; most of the time they comply with the secular rules and regulations of international diplomacy. An exception is Iran’s role in paving the way for the establishment of the AoC. In 1997, then president Muhammad Khatami proposed a “Dialogue among Civilizations” as a response to Huntington’s theory of a clash of civilizations (Huntington 1996). Khatami intended the Dialogue to become a global initiative which should promote respect and dialogue between peoples and states from different civilizations in order to achieve international peace. In particular, he aimed at bridging a growing divide between the Western world and Islam – and in the process enhancing Islam and Iran’s international reputation. In 2005, Khatami became a member of the High Level Group which prepared the guidelines for the AoC’s mission (Bettiza and Dionigi 2015). An even greater exception is, of course, the Vatican. As “the smallest independent nation-state worldwide” (Chong and Troy 2011, p. 335), it holds the position of a permanent observer at the UN. The Holy See is the government of the sovereign Vatican City state in Rome and at the same time the leadership of the Catholic Church, representing more than 1 billion believers throughout the globe. Although the Holy See does not vote due to its observer status, it “enjoys unparalleled soft power by virtue of its extra-sovereign religious influence in diplomatic mediation and good governance” (Chong and Troy 2011, p. 339). Although often neglected by international relations scholars, the Holy See is an increasingly powerful player due to its “multi-layered actorness” as church, state, and diplomat, argues Barbato (2013). The second type of actor is religious intergovernmental organizations. However, only one such organization identifies itself as being explicitly faith-based. The OIC is the world’s largest Islamic organization which claims to represent 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide. Most of its 57 members are Muslim-majority states which are at the same time members of the UN.2 Due to internal tensions between powerful member states’ interests and broader Muslim concerns, the OIC rarely speaks with one voice and its influence in international politics remains limited (Akbarzadeh and Ahmed 2018). In recent years, however, the OIC has become a more relevant actor following major reform initiatives since 2000. In the context of the UN, it has been most active and visible in human rights and the Arab–Israeli conflict (Kayaoglu 2015).

Religion and the United Nations  249 Non-Governmental Organizations An increasing number of RNGOs seeks involvement in UN debate, decision-making, and policy implementation. Arguably, RNGOs most prominently represent the diversity of religion at the UN and seek to bring in their religious views, which in recent years has secured them the greatest attention from scholars researching religion at the UN (Marshall 2013, p. 148).3 According to the latest available data collection, 339 (approximately 9 per cent) of 3937 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) which enjoyed consultative status with ECOSOC in 2012 identified themselves as religious, faith-based, or spiritual. The largest proportion of these RNGOs belong to the Christian faith (59 per cent), followed by Muslim (13 per cent) and Jewish (7 per cent) RNGOs. Interestingly, the total number of RNGOs has more than doubled from 2002 to 2012, but as a proportion of all UN-accredited NGOs, it has remained stable at slightly less than 10 per cent (Beinlich and Braungart 2019, p. 30). ECOSOC-registered RNGOs are active in diverse areas of the UN such as development, education, humanitarian aid, health, or human rights (Beinlich and Braungart 2019, p. 34). In addition, RNGOs register with the Department of Information, participate in UN conferences, or work as partners of UN agencies on the ground. UN-accredited RNGOs do not have the right to vote, but they may submit written or oral statements to many UN committees and other fora. Larger RNGOs which have sufficient resources to fund offices and staff in New York or Geneva maintain personal contact with UN officials and representatives of state missions. RNGOs also enter alliances with other, non-religious NGOs in order to pursue specific policy goals. The UN for its part has stepped up its efforts to engage with RNGOs due to a growing acknowledgement that incorporating religious views makes the organization’s decisions more acceptable to many constituencies around the world (Baumgart-Ochse 2019a, p. 8; Boehle 2010). The series of UN world conferences in the 1990s, major civil society campaigns, and specific efforts at bringing together religious leaders under UN auspices provided opportunities for RNGOs to make their voices heard. An example is the Millennium World Peace Summit in 2000 to which the then UN secretary general Kofi Annan welcomed over 1000 senior religious and spiritual leaders from over 70 different faiths in New York in a bid to advance interreligious understanding and peace. In 2007, an Inter-Agency Task Force on Religion and Development was established, chaired by Azza Karam of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). The aim was to secure “a broad based and deliberate engagement of religious NGOs as a critical part of the civil society representation” (United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Religion and Development 2015). Research has looked at different aspects of RNGO involvement with the UN. Berger’s (2003) and Petersen’s (2010) pioneering studies provided the first quantitative overviews of the relevant groups at the time of their research. Both studies offer multidimensional frameworks which make it possible to give a nuanced account of RNGO engagement with the UN. That this engagement is not devoid of friction is a fact noted by both authors. Petersen, for example, argues that whereas at the national level the different UN organs are able to choose the RNGOs they work with according to their normative orientation and the degree of consensus between the two parties, at the global level the religious connection can result in great tensions between the UN and the religious NGOs. Here, it is about principled and political discussions rather than practical consensus seeking, and as representatives of “absolute truths”, religious NGOs have great potential for being difficult partners in negotiations (Petersen 2010, p. 9). At this level, too, the UN necessarily has to deal with NGOs that are strongly critical

250  Handbook on religion and international relations of its operations. This criticism, says Petersen, comes mainly from “right-wing Christian NGOs from [the] USA” but is also endorsed by a small number of Muslim and Jewish NGOs (Petersen 2010, p. 9). Haynes proposes a general divide between liberal and conservative FBOs which cuts across religious traditions and defies a faith versus secular division at the UN. He argues that RNGOs build coalitions and alliances with both secular and religious actors in order to increase their leverage. FBOs at the UN, then, are “necessarily strategic, goal-orientated actors, using a variety of often-pragmatic approaches to try to achieve their goals” (Haynes 2014, p. 3). According to Lehmann (2016), this adaptation to the UN environment stands in a dialectical relationship to the observation of a general resurgence of religion to the public sphere. RNGOs which have initially viewed the UN itself and issues such as universal human rights as secular phenomena, and addressed them from a religious perspective, gradually allowed them to become part of their own make-up, shifting the perceived boundary between the religious and the secular and transforming their input from one of “church diplomacy” to one of “civil-society activism” (Lehmann 2016, p. 177). Lehmann’s contention is that religious resurgence of the kind in question amounts to a form of secularization (Lehmann 2016, p. 182). A major research project conducted at the University of Kent in the United Kingdom (Carrette and Miall 2017) produced a data-set on RNGOs at the UN and, in addition, examined the ways in which RNGOs acquire legitimacy and influence vis-à-vis the UN and its member states. It looked in depth at the UN processes in which RNGOs seek to be involved, in both Geneva and New York, and conducted a number of case studies of specific religious traditions – Islam, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism – and their patterns of inclusion and exclusion in UN processes. Adopting a discursive view of religion, the Kent group argues that religion “becomes visible and invisible in the UN system as part of strategy and process” (Carrette 2017, p. 11). A Frankfurt-based research project on RNGOs (Baumgart-Ochse and Wolf 2019) focused instead on causes and effects of RNGO advocacy and action at the UN. The researchers asked whether this specific group of actors promotes agreement on contested issues at the UN or hampers it; and looked at the factors that determine which course of action they follow. The comparative study concluded that the widespread assumption that conflicts over policy issues inevitably become “fundamentalized” as soon as religious actors get involved is incorrect. Rather, RNGOs mostly tend to opt for cooperative, mediating stances and non-confrontational modes of behaviour. The project found few examples of polarizing behaviour, for example in the discourse on SRHR. Actor characteristics, external factors, and the configuration of the normative conflict help to explain RNGOs’ positioning and actions.

RELIGION AND UNITED NATIONS POLICIES While religious actors – states, international organizations, and NGOs – are participating in virtually all of the UN’s debates and operations, there are some areas of the UN’s work in which religion and religious actors have been particularly relevant and visible in recent years. In these areas, religious or faith-based groups advocate for certain goals, participate in debate, and cooperate with member states and UN agencies in the implementation of UN policies. To name just a few: FBOs are very active in the field of climate change, bringing a holistic, ethical-religious perspective to the debate in the UN Framework Convention Change which is mostly dominated by scientific and technical arguments as well as differing views on global

Religion and the United Nations  251 justice and South–North burden sharing (Glaab 2017; Glaab et al. 2019). They may be found on both sides of a controversy about the need to protect religion from defamation and curb freedom of speech for this end: between 1999 and 2011, the OIC pursued a campaign to establish the ban on defamation of religion as a new norm in the UN human rights regime while RNGOs vigorously fought against the ban (Baumgart-Ochse 2019b; Beittinger-Lee and Miall 2017; Bettiza and Dionigi 2015; Haynes 2014, ch. 6). Faith-based groups engage with the International Criminal Court and participate in the controversy over retributive versus restorative justice (Boesenecker and Vinjamuri 2011; Braungart 2019). The Israeli–Palestinian conflict has long been a controversial issue at the UN. Recently, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim organizations have begun to advocate for or against the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Campaign against the state of Israel (Baumgart-Ochse 2017). In the following sections, two thematic fields of the UN’s portfolio will be introduced which are of particular interest to religious actors: international development and SRHR. International Development Caring for the weak and vulnerable in society has deep roots in religious traditions. Mercy, compassion, and solidarity both among believers of the same faith and even beyond their own religious community are deeply engrained in religious belief and practice across the globe. Until today, in many countries of the global South schools, hospitals, and institutions of social welfare are often run by religious communities. When the idea of humanitarianism4 was born in the nineteenth century, religion was instrumental in its establishment, “and it is only a slight exaggeration to say ‘no religion, no humanitarianism’” (Barnett and Stein 2012, p. 4). European expansionist politics were mainly driven by the pursuit of profit and power; but they also had a strong missionary and “civilizing” component to them which was wrapped in Christian language and ethics. The Christian missionaries wanted to convert and save souls, but also to bring what they thought to be the enlightenment of civilization and the betterment of living conditions. Over the course of the centuries, the proselytizing component in many cases has faded away and most of the organizations have undergone a process of professionalization and bureaucratization which has led to their downplaying of their religious heritage and motivation. This secularization process was mirrored by a secular, liberal, and largely technocratic understanding of development in the second half of the twentieth century which was deeply influenced by theories of modernization (Goorha 2010) which establish a causal link between secularization and modernization. However, as Barnett and Stein (2012) have observed, there has been a significant surge in faith-based action and advocacy in humanitarian aid and development since the 1990s, predominantly driven by Christian churches and organizations.5 Other religious traditions have followed suit (Petersen 2012). Since then, religious or faith-based organizations have “benefitted from a revision or erosion of the secularist policies of multilateral organizations and of the Western governments which provide much of their funding” (Clarke 2019, p. 84; Jones and Petersen 2011). Today, the interface between faith and development is far more institutionalized and accepted, not least due to the World Bank’s pioneering engagement with religious communities in the World Faith Development Dialogue, later on followed by the UN Development Program. Among the faith-based actors in development and humanitarian aid are organizations with huge budgets and a global reach, such as Caritas Internationalis, World Vision, or Islamic Relief, as well as a number of smaller faith-based actors on the ground:

252  Handbook on religion and international relations “There are literally hundreds of thousands if not millions of such organizations, and many of them are transnational” (Marshall 2013, p. 156). In the context of the UN, the vast majority of RNGOs which are ECOSOC-accredited indicate as their fields of activity development-related issues (Beinlich and Braungart 2019, p. 34). The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in particular, the UN’s agenda for development which was institutionalized in 2000,6 provided a welcome platform for religious organizations to engage with UN work. Faith-based or religious organizations are “active across the board on MDGs, whether the topic is hunger or extreme poverty, water and sanitation, child and maternal survival, major communicable diseases, and perhaps most significant, education” (Haynes 2014, pp. 123–6; Marshall 2013, pp. 156–7). In humanitarian relief, FBOs are today much appreciated partners for UN agencies such as the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Despite the fact that the former reciprocal antipathy between FBOs and official secular development agencies has given way to a more productive and respectful relationship, there remain areas of division, as Clarke summarizes: For official, including UN, agencies, these include the sexual and reproductive rights of women; appropriate measures to fight the spread of communicable diseases and to support those affected; proselytising by Christian and Islamic organizations; the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender individuals and communities; and the necessary civic or peaceable basis of public religion … For FBO leaders and representatives, they include a continuing lack of faith literacy in development agencies; the enduringly secular language used in initiatives such as the UN SDGs; the liberal or cosmopolitan attack on traditional family values; and competing emphases on the non-material (including spiritual) versus the material dimensions of poverty, deprivation, and exclusion. (Clarke 2019, p. 85)

Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Following the end of the Cold War, the 1990s were marked by an enthusiastic embrace of the idea of establishing a “new world order”. Promoted by the United States and other liberal countries of the West, this new order was to promote supposedly universal norms such as democracy, human rights, gender equality, and social justice. The aim was to transform the mechanics of international power politics to encourage multilateral cooperation as well as civil society participation. The emergence of what scholars call “global governance” (Dingwerth and Pattberg 2006; Nye and Donahue 2000; Rosenau and Czempiel 1992) provided the opportunity structure for launching debates on fundamental issues of human coexistence. A series of UN world conferences in the 1990s served as important platforms for these debates between states, civil society, and UN agencies. Of these debates, the one on SRHR gave rise to an intense and ongoing struggle at the UN between secular liberals and feminists on the one hand and cultural and religious traditionalists on the other (Beattie 2014). Marshall has argued that this fight shapes the ways in which many governments, UN officials, and secular NGOs view religion’s role at the UN. The concept of SRHR was developed in the context of two world conferences. The International Conference on Population and Development in 1994 in Cairo marked a turning point in the discourse on issues of gender and reproductive health. The women’s rights movement, which had forcefully advocated for women’s rights in the preceding decades, succeeded in “getting these rights on the agenda of a major UN conference, and the intense debate on population policies, particularly those relating to fertility-control, gave the rights increased prominence” (Beinlich 2019,

Religion and the United Nations  253 p. 68). For the first time, population and development policy were linked. In previous conferences, family planning had been regarded as a strategy to manage population growth. The new rights-based approach of the International Conference on Population and Development “facilitated a changing view: away from seeing people – especially women – as ‘agents’ rather than ‘objects’” (Haynes 2014, p. 89). In the conference’s Programme of Action (PoA), a broad range of issues is subsumed under SRHR: family planning, HIV/AIDS, sexually communicable diseases, sexuality, and gender relations (Beinlich 2019, p. 66). While SRHR encompasses a broad range of controversial issues, the main argument boils down to opposing views about contraception and abortion – and religious actors can actually be found on both sides of the divide: “FBOs at the UN adopt one of two approaches, depending on their ideological perspective: conservatives refer to ‘family values’ and/or ‘the rights of the unborn child’ while liberals emphasize the importance of a ‘woman’s right to choose’” (Haynes 2014, pp. 87–8).7 The Cairo Conference saw the first major battle in this controversy. The Holy See came out as the leading critic of the inclusion of contraception and abortion in the PoA. It used its status as permanent observer at the UN to delay the discussion of SRHR. The delegation of the Holy See managed to mobilize allies for its campaign: Latin American Catholic countries, but also conservative Muslim states such as Libya, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan supported the Holy See’s obstructive politics. On the other hand, as Beattie puts it, the Holy See “made virulent enemies at Cairo, not only among feminists and liberal member states, but also among some Islamic states” (Beattie 2014, p. 1081). In the end, the Holy See and its allies ensured that the PoA made no reference to sexual rights, but the document did refer to sexual and reproductive health and to reproductive rights. The Holy See endorsed the PoA, but entered numerous reservations regarding SRHR provisions. At the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, SRHR again proved to be a highly controversial issue – this time in the context of women’s rights rather than population and development. The Holy See, although it acted in a much less confrontational style than in the year before, again garnered the support of Catholic and Muslim countries in order to oppose SRHR and placed reservations against respective passages in the Beijing Plan of Action. The seminal conferences in Cairo and Beijing set the stage for a conflict which is still being fought at the UN between pro-life and pro-choice actors. “Preparations for and attendance at both Cairo and Beijing were foundational in creating, developing, and embedding networks of conservative FBOs at the UN” (Haynes 2014, p. 102), initiated and led by the Holy See. The majority of these FBOs which make up the pro-life network at the UN are evangelical, Catholic, and Mormon organizations with bases in the United States. They maintain ties with several Islamic governments which share their ideas on the “traditional” or “natural family”. NGOs such as the Center for Family and Human Rights, the Family Research Council, or the Howard Center from the so-called Christian right comprise the core of a powerful network which regularly torpedoes “progressive” policies on contraception and abortion. At the opposing end, the majority of organizations which seek to curb the religious conservatives’ influence on SRHR are secular feminist and liberal in outlook. Only one religious organization advocates for abortion and contraception: the Catholic NGO Catholics for Choice (CfC). Referring to Catholic practice on the ground which in many cases does not conform to the strict Catholic teaching on contraception and abortion, CfC’s president Jon O’Brien declares the Church’s official position as outdated, outmoded, and unjust (Beinlich 2019, p. 76). CfC’s positions on SRHR serve as a way to challenge the Catholic Church as a whole. To this end, CfC started

254  Handbook on religion and international relations the campaign “See Change” which aimed at depriving the Holy See of its status as permanent observer at the UN. At the UN today, the conflict’s new stages are the UN Commission on the Status of Women and the UN Commission on Population and Development. Among the UN agencies which have the task of implementing SRHR policies in their operations on the ground, UNFPA stands out as the agency which was the first to “recognize the importance of religious actors as potential partners in development cooperation” (Beinlich 2019, p. 75). Under its executive director Thoraya Obaid, UNFPA reached out to local religious communities and leaders in order to facilitate the flow of aid and information. In addition, the agency began to hold workshops and seminars with faith-based advocacy organizations in order to address contentious issues of SRHR and gender roles which touch upon UNFPA’s core mandate (Marshall 2013, p. 149). UNFPA’s pioneering role in engaging religious or faith-based communities can also be seen in the agency’s lead in the Inter-Agency Task Force on Religion and Development which was established in 2007.

CONCLUSIONS The UN is certainly not religious. But religion is at the UN: individual states with established religions, the OIC, and a myriad of religious communities and organizations – both on the ground and as accredited NGOs at UN headquarters – address the UN’s debates and operations from their distinctive religious perspectives. Sometimes they are in full accordance with UN policies and serve as reliable partners for the UN and its agencies; and sometimes they are highly critical of the UN’s secular-liberal outlook and seek to induce normative and practical change in the UN’s work. Most faith-based actors would probably position themselves somewhere in between these poles. The differences in orientation and outlook cut right through religious traditions, as the example of CfC versus the Holy See regarding SRHR demonstrates. In addition, the UN often has to deal with situations and challenges which have in one way or the other to do with religion. The UN has recognized that a large percentage of the world’s population adheres to a religious faith; therefore, the UN has stepped up its engagement with religious communities and organizations in order to improve its various policies which affect these people. The vibrancy of religion and religious actors at the UN is not least due to the fundamental transformation of global politics after the Cold War. In hindsight, the 1990s seem to have been the golden age of civil society participation both in countries across the world and in the world organization itself (Keck and Sikkink 1998; Willetts 1996). In parallel to the enormous increase of secular NGOs at the UN since the 1990s, religious communities and organizations increased their presence in New York, Geneva, and other venues of the UN. However, it now seems that this window of opportunity for civil society participation appears to have narrowed. In an increasing number of states, populist and nationalist governments have been elected. Multilateral cooperation and international law are increasingly giving way to the return of great power rivalries. The human rights regime has come under intense pressure by a populist agenda which is often “avowedly nationalistic, xenophobic, misogynistic, and explicitly antagonistic” to human rights (Alston 2017, p. 2). As a consequence, the space for civil society is shrinking in many countries (Wolff and Poppe 2015). In

Religion and the United Nations  255 these changing geopolitical circumstances, the “complex and troubled relationship between the UN and organized civil society becomes even more precarious” (Anheier 2018, p. 293). The shrinking space for civil society does likewise affect religious and faith-based organizations. In the case of development, Clarke (2019) observes that donors such as the United States have recently reduced their budgets for development on grounds of ideological preferences and a more general retreat or reorientation regarding multilateral commitments. The Trump administration severely cut the budgets for a number of UN agencies which is highly problematic for secular and religious organizations alike that rely on such funding. In Europe, the British withdrawal from the European Union (EU) (‘Brexit’) has affected faith-based development agencies as they will lose access to EU funding and will have to compete to a greater extent with other organizations for funding by the British government. Brexit means that the EU’s budget loses British funding for the EU’s development cooperation budget, which amounts to a “potential fall of about 14 per cent in its development cooperation spending” (Clarke 2019, p. 98). At the same time, conservative religious voices at the UN might be strengthened by the rise of populist and nationalist governments in countries such as the United States, Brazil and Turkey. These governments often rely on conservative religious constituencies which have much in common with their faith-based counterparts at the UN. In short, geopolitical changes and the rise of right-wing populism may have a double effect on religious and faith-based organizations: side-lining or significantly reducing progressive, human rights, and social justice organizations while strengthening faith-based actors with socially conservative and potentially nationalist outlooks. The result would be a fundamental change at the religious-secular interface at the UN.

NOTES 1. See for example Schwarz and Lynch (2016), Haynes (2007), Philpott (2009), Snyder (2011), and Sandal and Fox (2013). 2. See for an overview Kayaoglu (2015), Ahmad (2016), and Bacik (2011). 3. Recent studies of RNGOs/FBOs include Berger (2003), Petersen (2010), Haynes (2014), Lehmann (2016), Carrette and Miall (2017), and Baumgart-Ochse and Wolf (2019). 4. According to a definition by Belloni, humanitarianism denotes “the worldview, aspirations, professional vocabularies and actions affirming the common dignity of humankind regardless of differences in race, gender, religion, national belonging, political creed, or any other accident of birth or contextual circumstance” (Belloni 2007, p. 451). Barnett and Stein use the formula “compassion across boundaries” to describe humanitarianism which encompasses both the provision of life-saving relief in emergency settings and the treatment of the underlying and long-term causes of suffering (Barnett and Stein 2012, pp. 11–12), thus subsuming disaster relief and development. 5. With the new surge of Christian humanitarian and development organizations, the debate about their propensity to proselytize also resurfaced. However, Lynch and Schwarz (2016) argue that there exists an even more pervasive proselytism: donor pressures to conform to neoliberal approaches of development. 6. The MDGs were established following the 2000 UN Millennium Summit and guided the UN’s efforts in development for over a decade. They were replaced by the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015. 7. While “pro-life” or “pro-choice” are the dominating and most loudly expressed positions of faith-based organizations in the SRHR debate, Beinlich (2019) shows that there is a group of religious actors that occupies a sort of middle ground. They support SRHR but keep their counsel on the critical issue of abortion.

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REFERENCES Ahmad, I., 2016. The Organization of the Islamic Conference: From Ceremonial Politics Towards Politicization? In: M. Legrenzi and C. Harders, eds. Beyond Regionalism? Regional Cooperation, Regionalism and Regionalization in the Middle East. London: Taylor and Francis, 125–38. Akbarzadeh, S., and Ahmed, Z.S., 2018. Impacts of Saudi Hegemony on the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society, 31 (3), 297–311. Alston, P., 2017. The Populist Challenge to Human Rights. Journal of Human Rights Practice, 9, 1–15. Anheier, H.K., 2018. The United Nations and Civil Society in Times of Change. Global Policy, 9 (3), 291–8. Appleby, R.S., 2000. The Ambivalence of the Sacred: Religion, Violence, and Reconciliation. New York: Rowman and Littlefield. Bacik, G., 2011. The Genesis, History, and Functioning of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC): A Formal-Institutional Analysis. Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, 31 (4), 594–614. Barbato, M., 2013. A State, a Diplomat, and a Transnational Church: The Multi-Layered Actorness of the Holy See. Perspectives, 21 (2), 27–48. Barnett, M.N., and Stein, J.G., 2012. The Secularization and Sanctification of Humanitarianism. In: M.N. Barnett and J.G. Stein, eds. Sacred Aid: Faith and Humanitarianism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 3–36. Baumgart-Ochse, C., 2017. Claiming Justice for Israel/Palestine: The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) Campaign and Christian Organizations. Globalizations, 14 (7), 1172–87. Baumgart-Ochse, C., 2019a. Introduction: Religious NGOs at the United Nations: Polarizers or Mediators? In: C. Baumgart-Ochse and K.D. Wolf, eds. Religious NGOs at the United Nations: Polarizers or Mediators? Milton Park: Routledge, 1–25. Baumgart-Ochse, C., 2019b. Preventing a Global Blasphemy Law. Religious NGOs at the UN and the “Defamation of Religions” Campaign. In: C. Baumgart-Ochse and K.D. Wolf, eds. Religious NGOs at the United Nations: Polarizers or Mediators? Milton Park: Routledge, 148–66. Baumgart-Ochse, C., and Wolf, K.D., eds, 2019. Religious NGOs at the United Nations: Polarizers or Mediators? Milton Park, New York: Routledge. Beattie, T., 2014. Whose Rights, Which Rights? The United Nations, the Vatican, Gender and Sexual and Reproductive Rights. Heythrop Journal, 55 (6), 1080–90. Beinlich, A.-K., 2019. “And You, Be Ye Fruitful, and Multiply”: Religious NGOs and the Struggle over Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights at the UN. In: C. Baumgart-Ochse and K.D. Wolf, eds. Religious NGOs at the United Nations: Polarizers or Mediators? Milton Park: Routledge, 64–83. Beinlich, A.-K., and Braungart, C., 2019. Religious NGOs at the UN: A Quantitative Overview. In: C. Baumgart-Ochse and K.D. Wolf, eds. Religious NGOs at the United Nations: Polarizers or Mediators? Milton Park: Routledge, 26–46. Beittinger-Lee, V., and Miall, H., 2017. Islam, the OIC and the Defamation of Religions Controversy. In: J.R. Carrette and H. Miall, eds. Religion, NGOs, and the United Nations: Visible and Invisible Actors in Power. London: Bloomsbury, 155–74. Belloni, R., 2007. The Trouble with Humanitarianism. Review of International Studies, 33 (3), 451–74. Berger, J., 2003. Religious Nongovernmental Organizations: An Exploratory Analysis. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 14 (1), 15–39. Bettiza, G., and Dionigi, F., 2015. How Do Religious Norms Diffuse? Institutional Translation and International Change in a Post-Secular World Society. European Journal of International Relations, 621–46. Available from: DOI: 10.1177/1354066114542663. Boehle, J., 2010. The UN System and Religious Actors in the Context of Global Change. Cross Currents, 60 (3), 383–401. Boesenecker, A.P., and Vinjamuri, L., 2011. Lost in Translation? Civil Society, Faith-Based Organizations and the Negotiation of International Norms. International Journal of Transitional Justice, 5 (3), 345–65. Braungart, C., 2019. Reconciliation versus Punishment: Religious NGOs and the International Criminal Court. In: C. Baumgart-Ochse and K.D. Wolf, eds. Religious NGOs at the United Nations: Polarizers or Mediators? Milton Park: Routledge, 148–66.

Religion and the United Nations  257 Burke, R., and Kirby, J., 2018. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Politics and Provisions (1945–1948). In: G. Oberleitner, ed. International Human Rights Institutions, Tribunals, and Courts. Wiesbaden: Springer, 1–23. Carrette, J.R., 2017. Introduction: Religion, NGOs, and the United Nations. In: J.R. Carrette and H. Miall, eds. Religion, NGOs, and the United Nations: Visible and Invisible Actors in Power. London: Bloomsbury, 1–17. Carrette, J.R., and Miall, H., eds, 2017. Religion, NGOs, and the United Nations: Visible and Invisible Actors in Power. London: Bloomsbury. Chong, A., and Troy, J., 2011. A Universal Sacred Mission and the Universal Secular Organization: The Holy See and the United Nations. Politics, Religion, and Ideology, 12 (3), 335–54. Clarke, G., 2019. Faith-Based Organizations and International Development in a Post-Liberal World. In: C. Baumgart-Ochse and K.D. Wolf, eds. Religious NGOs at the United Nations: Polarizers or Mediators? Milton Park: Routledge, 84–105. Dingwerth, K., and Pattberg, P., 2006. Global Governance as a Perspective on World Politics. Global Governance, 12 (12), 185–203. Fraser, T., 2015. Maintaining Peace and Security? The United Nations in a Changing World. London: Palgrave Macmillan. Glaab, K., 2017. A Climate for Justice? Faith-Based Advocacy on Climate Change at the United Nations. In: P.J. Smith, K. Glaab, C. Baumgart-Ochse, and E. Smythe, eds. The Role of Religion in Struggles for Global Justice: Faith in Justice? Milton Park: Routledge, 1110–24. Glaab, K., Fuchs, D., and Friederich, J., 2019. Religious NGOs at the UNFCCC: A Specific Contribution to Global Climate Politics? In: C. Baumgart-Ochse and K.D. Wolf, eds. Religious NGOs at the United Nations: Polarizers or Mediators? Milton Park: Routledge, 47–63. Goorha, P., 2010. Modernization Theory. In: R. Marlin-Bennett, ed. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of International Studies. New York: Oxford University Press. Haynes, J., 2007. An Introduction to International Relations and Religion. Harlow: Pearson Longman. Haynes, J., 2014. Faith-Based Organizations at the United Nations. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Haynes, J., 2018. The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and Interfaith Dialogue: What Is It Good For? Review of Faith and International Affairs, 16 (3), 48–60. Huntington, S.P., 1996. The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. New York: Simon and Schuster. Jones, B., and Petersen, M.J., 2011. Instrumental, Narrow, Normative? Reviewing Recent Work on Religion and Development. Third World Quarterly, 32 (7), 1291–306. Juergensmeyer, M., 1993. The New Cold War? Religious Nationalism Confronts the Secular State. Berkeley: University of California Press. Kayaoglu, T., 2015. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation: Politics, Problems, and Potential. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis. Keck, M.E., and Sikkink, K., 1998. Activists beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Lehmann, K., 2016. Religious NGOs in International Relations: The Construction of “the Religious” and “the Secular”. Milton Park: Routledge. Lynch, C., and Schwarz, T.B., 2016. Humanitarianism’s Proselytism Problem. International Studies Quarterly, 60 (4), 636–46. Marshall, K., 2013. Global Institutions of Religion: Ancient Movers, Modern Shakers. London: Routledge. Nye, J.S., and Donahue, J.D., eds, 2000. Governance in a Globalizing World. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press. Petersen, M.J., 2010. International Religious NGOs at the United Nations: A Study of a Group of Religious Organizations. Journal of Humanitarian Assistance. Available from: https://​sites​.tufts​.edu/​ jha/​archives/​847. Petersen, M.J., 2012. Trajectories of Transnational Muslim NGOs. Development in Practice, 22 (5–6), 763–78. Philpott, D., 2009. Has the Study of Global Politics Found Religion? Annual Review of Political Science, 12, 183–202.

258  Handbook on religion and international relations Rosenau, J.N., and Czempiel, E.-O., eds, 1992. Governance without Government: Order and Change in World Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Sandal, N.A., and Fox, J., 2013. Religion in International Relations Theory: Interactions and Possibilities. London: Routledge. Schwarz, T.B., and Lynch, C., 2016. Religion in International Relations. In: W.R. Thompson, ed. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1–24. Snyder, J., ed., 2011. Religion and International Relations Theory. New York: Columbia University Press. United Nations, 1945. Charter of the United Nations. Available from: www​.un​.org/​aboutun/​charter/​ index​.html. United Nations, 1948. Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Available from: www​.un​.org/​en/​ universal​-declaration​-human​-rights/​. United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Religion and Development, 2015. Highlights of FBO Engagement by United Nations Entities 2013–2015. New York. Weiss, T.G., Forsythe, D.P., Coate, R.A., and Pease, K.-K., 2020. The United Nations and Changing World Politics, 8th ed. New York: Routledge. Willetts, P., ed., 1996. The Conscience of the World: The Influence of Non-Governmental Organisations in the UN System. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution. Wolff, J., and Poppe, A.E., 2015. From Closing Space to Contested Spaces: Re-Assessing Current Conflicts over International Civil Society Support. Frankfurt: PRIF Report No. 137.

18. Religion in the European Union Lucian N. Leustean and Jeffrey Haynes

RELIGIOUS DIALOGUE WITH EUROPEAN INSTITUTIONS The European Union (EU) is mainly a political and social project with little apparent concern with religion.1 Key events in the EU’s development, including the Treaties of Rome (1957) and the late 1960s merging of the executive bodies of the three European Communities (EC), took place when most scholars were – with some notable exceptions – convinced by the inevitability of secularization apparently characterizing much of post-war Europe (Berger et al., 2008; Byrnes and Katzenstein, 2006; Chaplain and Gary, 2016; Chenaux, 2007; Davie, 2000, 2002, 2006; Leustean and Madeley, 2010; Madeley, 2009; Martin, 1978; McCrea, 2010; Nelsen et al., 2001; Robbers, 1996; Vincent and Willaime, 1993; Werkner and Liedhegener, 2013). Earlier, soon after the Schuman Declaration (September 1950), a transnational group of Protestants and Anglicans established the Ecumenical Commission on European Cooperation (ECEC) which provided expertise to churches on the process of European integration (Greschat and Loth, 1994; Leustean, 2014). Later, the group changed its name, initially to the Committee on the Christian Responsibility for European Cooperation (1953) and, in 1966, to the Christian Study Group on European Unity, before disbanding in 1974. While concrete steps were taking place in Brussels, the response of churches towards European integration was not publicly expressed, mainly due to the impact of the Cold War. From the beginning the EC was a political project with a defined regional scope and the consequent Western regionalism was perceived by religious leaders as an obstacle to the dialogue between East and West. The original six members of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) countries were predominantly Catholic. Yet, relations between European institutions and the Roman Catholic Church developed through the efforts of local dioceses, at least in France and Belgium, rather than as the policy of the Holy See towards European federalism. The first elections of the European Parliament in 1979 encouraged further developments in the Brussels strategy of engagement with churches. For example, the Quaker Council for European Affairs opened an office that year. In 1980, the Holy See established an official representation named the Commission of Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) which provided a direct link between Catholic bishops in the European Community and European institutions. The exchange of information and expertise between churches and European institutions reflected the private–public nature of religion. Religion was associated with the personal interests of some EU officials and religious representations were seen as part of the body of civil society organizations lobbying in Brussels. EU officials’ involvement in religious representations had a double impact. First, it led to increasing contact between Catholic and Protestant offices which culminated in the 1974 Roehampton Conference. The conference represented the climax of inter-religious relations in Western Europe and was dedicated to the process of 259

260  Handbook on religion and international relations European integration. Second, the Conference led to the establishment of a Joint Protestant– Catholic Working Group in Brussels to provide a theoretical investigation of the ‘purpose’ (finalité) of European integration and a practical analysis of the role of churches, particularly in the field of development policy. This group became an established representation named the European Ecumenical Commission on Development and ran from 1975 to 1996. A new turn in relations between European institutions and religious communities took place in the early 1980s. On the recommendation of Secretary General Émile Noël, President Gaston Thorn of the European Commission appointed Umberto Stefani, Director at the Secretariat General, as Special Counsellor in September 1983, in charge of compiling a census of religious organizations and to act as an informal liaison officer with the Holy See. Stefani retained his position during the first years of Jacques Delors’ presidency and was instrumental in organizing the visits of Pope John Paul II to European institutions in 1985 and 1988. Jacques Delors, President of the European Commission (1985–95), took a strong interest in religious and ethical issues. Increasing religious mobilization on European issues in the context of the Single European Act led to more meetings with religious and ethical organizations. New religious bodies set up offices in Brussels and engaged in an informal type of dialogue. These included the European Union of Jewish Students (1982), the European Jewish Congress (1987) and the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople (1989). In 1990, a report written by an advisor of the European President concluded that, despite the process of secularization, there was an increasing interest in spirituality coupled with science and technology. This was later followed by a European initiative titled ‘A Soul for Europe: Ethics and Spirituality’, which was intended to promote religious dialogue between Christians, Jews, Muslims and Humanists and was administered by the European Ecumenical Commission for Church and Society. The initiative had its origins in Delors’ meeting with religious leaders in 1990 in which he suggested that Europe needed ‘a heart and soul’ and led to regular meetings, many of which took place with the support of the European Parliament (de Charentenay, 2003; Jansen, 2000; Massignon, 2007; Weninger, 2007).2 Establishment of the Convention on the Future of Europe in 2001 and discussions on the Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe brought new religious actors into contact with European institutions. However, the decision to exclude references to ‘God’ and ‘Christianity’ in the Preamble of the Constitution, and debates in the intergovernmental conference between 2003 and 2004, revealed that despite an increase in religious lobbying in Brussels, national governments continued to have a powerful voice in issues related to religion. In June 2013, a working group between the European Parliament and the European External Action Service was instrumental in the adoption by the European Council of the ‘EU Guidelines on the Promotion and Protection of Freedom of Religion or Belief’. As a result, in February 2016, President Jean-Claude Juncker established the position of a Special Envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the EU. Ján Figeľ, the European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth between 2004 and 2009, was appointed the first Special Envoy, a position he held until the Juncker Commission finished its term in November 2019. As part of implementing Article 17, the European Parliament has regularly organized seminars and public events on issues of ‘religion’ and ‘conviction’ with the direct support of one of its vice-presidents (European Parliament, 2018, 2020; Perchoc, 2017).

Religion in the European Union  261

A TYPOLOGY OF RELIGIOUS REPRESENTATIONS IN BRUSSELS Research on material collected from the archives and public documents issued by the European Commission, Catholic, Protestant and Humanist bodies (Leustean, 2012) showed that 120 organizations were in dialogue with the European Commission from 1957 until the early 2010s, 82 of which had representation in Brussels. Although not definitive, and not including the many other religious and convictional organizations that approached the European institutions informally, the relatively high numbers demonstrate the increasing interest in ‘religion’ and ‘conviction’ among policy practitioners. An overview of religious representations in Brussels shows that the increase in their numbers has been directly linked to the political evolution of the EU. Before the 1950s Brussels housed offices for a number of Catholic bodies, such as the European Young Christian Workers and the Conference of International Catholic Organizations. The most significant increase in the number of Catholic organizations was visible after the 1951 establishment of the ECSC and the 1966 Merger Treaty of the European Community. The latter increase was also linked to the Second Vatican Council which led to a new stage in inter-church mobilization towards European institutions. While the Roman Catholic Church has remained the dominant confession in terms of the number of religious representations in Brussels, after the 1986 Single European Act the non-Catholic, other faith and other convictional bodies experienced a steep rise. Religious representations in the EU are divided into diplomatic representations; official representation of churches; inter-religious organizations or networks; confessional or convictional organizations; religious orders; and single-issue organizations (Table 18.1; Leustean, 2012). Diplomatic Representations The Roman Catholic Church is the only religious confession with a diplomatic representation in Brussels, and a Papal Nuncio for the European Community was appointed in 1970. According to diplomatic law, the Papal Nuncio represents the Holy See and has a symbolic mission as the Doyen of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to European institutions. Concurrent with the increasing number of representations after the 1992 Maastricht Treaty, the Order of Malta entered into contact with the European Commission in the early 1990s and opened a diplomatic representation in 2003. In 2006, the European Commission opened an EU diplomatic delegation to the Holy See and, in the following year, the delegation was given diplomatic attributions regarding the Order of Malta. Official Representations of Churches A distinct entity is the ‘official representation of churches’. Churches have been represented both by pastoral bodies and by inter-church organizations. Although the Roman Catholic Church was in contact with European institutions through the Jesuit European Office (OCIPE), the European Catholic Centre and other Catholic agencies in Brussels, only in 1980 did it establish an ‘official’ representation, COMECE. COMECE is in direct contact with a large number of Catholic bodies and represents the official voice of the Roman Catholic Church to European institutions.

262  Handbook on religion and international relations Table 18.1

A selection of religious and convictional representations in dialogue with European institutions in Brussels

Type of representation


Diplomatic representation

The Holy See

Office in Brussels 1970

Diplomatic representation

Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of


Official representation of churches

Commission of Bishops’ Conferences of the European

Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta (Order of Malta) 1980

Community Official representation of churches

The Brussels Office of the Evangelical Church in


Germany Official representation of churches

Church of England


Official representation of churches

The Liaison Office of the Orthodox Church to the


Official representation of churches

Representation of the Church of Greece to the

European Union (Ecumenical Patriarchate) 1998

European Union Official representation of churches

Representation of the Russian Orthodox Church to the


European institutions Official representation of churches

Representation of the Romanian Orthodox Church to


the European institutions Official representation of churches

Orthodox Church of Cyprus


Inter-religious or convictional

The Conference of European Churches (which merged



with the European Ecumenical Commission on Church

Inter-religious or convictional

Quaker Council for European Affairs


Muslim Council for Cooperation in Europe


European Humanist Federation


European Jewish Congress


Jesuit Refugee Service Europe


and Society) organization/network Inter-religious or convictional organization/network Inter-religious or convictional organization/network Inter-religious or convictional organization/network Religious orders/single-issue organization Single-issue organization

CEJI – A Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe


Single-issue organization



Single-issue organization

Caritas Europa



A number of these representations have offices in Strasbourg and other European cities.

The first Protestant church to have an independent office was the Evangelical Church in Germany (Evangelischen Kirche in Deutschland (EKD)) in 1990.3 The office has provided legal expertise to the Church and Society Commission of the Conference of European Churches and has represented the EKD to European institutions. After the Maastricht Treaty, a large number of churches followed a similar pattern. Although they were and remained part of inter-church structures, they gradually opened their own offices. In some cases, churches chose to be more visibly part of the structure of an inter-church organization by sending an officer to represent them (for example, representatives from Sweden and Finland working in the Conference of European Churches). Others decided to maintain contact with their previous inter-church partners while setting up offices of their own, such as the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople (1994), the Orthodox Church of

Religion in the European Union  263 Greece (1998), the Romanian and the Cypriot Orthodox Churches (2007) and the Church of England (2008). Inter-Religious or Convictional Organizations/Networks Inter-religious or convictional organizations/networks have a large membership and represent confessions within a specific branch of a faith. From the beginning of the process of European integration, churches were grouped into organizations or networks which represented their interests. The World Council of Churches (1948) and the Conference of European Churches (1959) had informal contact with offices in Brussels. Some inter-religious networks separated from these organizations and established their own representations, such as the European Evangelical Alliance (1994) and the Pentecostal European Fellowship (2005). A number of non-Christian and convictional communities set up offices in Brussels. The main distinction between this type of structure and the official representation of churches is membership. The confessional/convictional organizations/networks represent either a community within a larger confession (for example, B’nai B’rith Europe) or a group of confessional/ convictional organizations (for example, the European Union of Jewish Students or the European Humanist Federation). A large number of organizations/networks were established before the ECSC but only became engaged in dialogue with European institutions after the Single European Act. Religious Orders Although the religious orders present at the European institutions are exclusively Catholic, they do not fit into the above categories due to their nature and operation. Their prime activity is pastoral, though some of them engage in advocacy work which is independent of the official policy of the Holy See. The Jesuit order has been the most active in monitoring the activities of European institutions, opening a religious office in Strasbourg in 1956 and in Brussels in 1963. A European office of the Jesuit Refugee Service was opened in 1990; the Dominican order established an association in 2001. Single-Issue Organizations The majority of religious and convictional organizations represent single-issue groups, such as education, humanitarian aid and advocacy. They operate either on an exclusive ‘single’ issue or work on a cluster at the same time. Single-issue organizations span all churches, religions and communities of convictions and are actively engaged in EU policy areas. Most of them are in dialogue with European institutions either through diplomatic representation, official representation of churches or inter-church or convictional organizations/networks. For example, the majority of Christian single-issue organizations maintain close relations with, and are represented by, COMECE and the Conference of European Churches in their own dialogue with European institutions.

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RELIGION AND PUBLIC POLICY IN THE EUROPEAN UNION An insight into the policy interests of religious and convictional communities is provided by the annual statements published in European Issues produced from 1950 until 1974 by ECEC, the first transnational religious network in dialogue with European institutions. The analysis of topics showed that in the 1950s the main area under review was the rather broad topic of ‘the meaning of Europe’. Finding a commonly agreed perception of what Europe was and the direction of the European project represented a key milestone for both religious and political leaders. ECEC was interested in raising awareness among churches at the national level, and most statements were directed towards identifying the benefits and weaknesses of EC membership for EC member states and prospective candidates. This type of policy engagement placed a considerable emphasis on national awareness rather than a systematic supranational dialogue and was influenced by divisions between East and West during the Cold War period. The process of identifying concrete policy areas in which churches could make a specific contribution remained underdeveloped in the 1950s and 1960s. Topics such as youth and aid appeared sporadically. At its last meeting in Roehampton in 1974, ECEC set up a transnational religious network on ‘development issues’, indicating the future avenue of joint work between Catholic and Protestant organizations. A more visible engagement of churches with EC policy became evident in the 1970s and 1980s when, in addition to ‘development’, churches raised concerns on the impact of intra-European ‘migration’ as a common area for churches and European institutions. In the 1990s and 2000s, President Delors’ encouragement of dialogue between EU institutions and religious and convictional organizations led to greater professionalization of the sector. New policy areas were put forward as areas of interest for European institutions and religious/ convictional bodies, including ‘education’, ‘institutional and legal affairs’, ‘bioethics’, ‘advocacy’, ‘inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue’, ‘climate change’, ‘humanitarian aid’, ‘technology’ and ‘investment’. An analysis of meetings between religious/convictional organizations and the European Commission (Leustean, 2012) showed that three key terms have been common for ‘religions, churches and communities of conviction’, namely ‘education’, ‘advocacy’ and ‘rights’ (broadly defined, ranging from ‘human rights’ to ‘social’ and ‘environmental rights’). An additional point is worth noting. Policy areas not only reflected the interests of a wide range of religious/convictional bodies anxious to assert their own agenda but, more importantly, they emerged from the deepening of the EU integration process itself. Topics such as ‘Islam’, ‘political Islam’ (Roy, 2004; Silvestri, 2009; Tibi, 2012), ‘foreign policy’, ‘climate change’ and ‘financial reform’ were novel for both religious representations and EU officials and demonstrated the growing range of issues which were linked with ‘religion’. The institutionalization of religious dialogue in 2009 was followed by meetings organized in a variety of ways: as working groups (bringing religious and convictional experts based either in Brussels or at the national level together with EU officials working on specific issues); as dialogue meetings (seminars); and as annual meetings between the highest level of political and religious leadership in Europe (the presidents of the European Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament and religious and convictional leaders).

Religion in the European Union  265 Religion and European Union Membership At supranational level, predominantly Catholic countries have generally favoured the deepening of the European integration process while Protestant countries were more sceptical. Predominantly Orthodox countries more or less fitted the Catholic model, but with an increasing number of religious leaders criticizing the EU approach to minorities (Nelsen et al., 2001). The tension between pro-integration and sceptical approaches has been evident throughout the history of the EU as demonstrated by the ways in which religious communities engaged with the idea of a united Europe. In the early stages of the European integration process, the European Community was criticized for becoming a ‘fortress’. Religious communities were encouraged to alleviate this perception and to develop humanitarian programmes which would link European and non-European countries. This view gradually changed after the 2004 and 2007 EU enlargements to Central and East European countries in which religion played a significant role in shaping both national identity and political discourse. In 2004, at the time of referenda on EU membership taking place in East European countries, the European Commission held an unusually high number of meetings with Catholic clergy. The high number was evident due to the political influence of religious communities in these countries. In Poland, Cardinal Jozef Glemp, the highest authority in the country, went so far as to encourage people to vote for EU membership – adding, however, the rather ambiguous words, ‘but only with God’ (Leustean, 2012: 22). Rather more equivocal was the dissatisfaction expressed in the corridors of power in Brussels towards the departure of the United Kingdom from the EU – a leave taking which had a religious undertone. On 31 January 2020, the day when the United Kingdom officially left the EU, Donald Tusk, who, as President of the European Council oversaw negotiations during the Brexit debate, issued a short message to the British people: ‘My dear British friends. We were, we are, and we will always be a Community. And no [B]rexit will ever change that’ (Holden et al., 2020). The reference to ‘Community’ was poignant. As the political history of religious dialogue in the EU has shown, the founding fathers emphasized the vision of a united Europe as a ‘Community’, particularly because this term had both political and religious meanings. During the Brexit debate, public discourse in the United Kingdom was split between ‘Leavers’ and ‘Remainers’ with church commentators frequently approaching the departure with reference to theological reflections on marriage and divorce (Nixon, 2019). It seems, moreover, that marriage and divorce resonated rather more among the British public than ‘community’ – a term intended to bring the people of Europe together. Tusk’s words not only came too late, but failed to catch the imagination due, at least in part, to the inability of religious and political leaders to fully engage with this idea (Grebe and Worthen, 2019). Religion and the Refugee Crisis After the post-2011 Syrian crisis and the 2014 Russian takeover of Crimea, the movement of forcibly displaced populations from eastern Ukraine, the Middle East and North Africa posed a direct challenge to the EU. In August 2015, the EU’s Migration Commissioner, Dimitros Avramopoulos, claimed that ‘Europe is facing the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War’ (Euronews, 2015) with hundreds of thousands of refugees arriving in the EU; over 2,600 died that year trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea. The response from religious communities was fragmented along national lines. In September 2015, Pope Francis issued a robust chal-

266  Handbook on religion and international relations lenge: ‘May every parish, every religious community, every monastery, every sanctuary in Europe host a family, starting with my diocese of Rome’. His words would have led to over 100,000 refugees immediately finding shelter in 27,000 Catholic parishes in Italy with many others following suit across Europe (Li, 2015). In May the following year, in a sign of inter-religious solidarity, Pope Francis, together with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the leading spiritual figure of the Eastern Orthodox world, and Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens, visited the Moira refugee camps on the island of Lesbos. Inter-religious mobilization was visible across the continent. In Cologne, the Catholic Church used a refugee boat as an altar, while the Evangelical Church in Germany sent a ship to the Mediterranean Sea to rescue refugees. In Sweden, the Katarina Church and the Stockholm Mosque, two of the largest Christian and Muslim communities in the country, worked together to provide aid and accommodation to newly arrived Syrian refugees (Islamic Relief Worldwide, Undated). Similarly, albeit on a smaller scale, the Muslim Council of Britain launched joint programmes with Christian organizations. Near the EU border, in Serbia, cooperation between Catholic and Orthodox humanitarian bodies provided direct aid to people stranded in reception centres (Leustean, 2019). These examples have not been the norm across Europe. The EU decision to redistribute refugees among member states was criticized in many East European member states, particularly the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Bulgaria. Bulgaria stood out with the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church, the highest religious authority in the country, issuing a statement which not only denounced the EU’s migration policy but also presented the arrival of refugees in the country as ‘an invasion’. Metropolitan Hilarion Alfayev, Head of the Department of External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, issued a similar statement encouraging the Orthodox churches of South-Eastern Europe to choose between traditional values promoted by Russia and European liberalism (Leustean, 2019). Fear of the ‘other’ and the perception that a distinction should be made between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ refugees which takes into account their religious identification characterized the ambivalent responses of many religious and political authorities (Mavelli and Wilson, 2017). Religious identification between different categories of refugees and migrants was evident when, after more general visa liberalization, Poland accepted nearly 2 million ‘Christian’ migrants from Ukraine while refusing to accept ‘Muslims’ from the Middle East (Trofimov, 2019). Religion and Populism The struggle of religious communities to support the concept of a united Europe has been equally evident in the rise of populism and right-wing nationalism with a direct impact on minorities of all kinds. Populist parties, both right and left, bring together populations expressing distrust of political elites, of growing immigration and of a united Europe. Right-wing parties are largely unrelated to religious institutions; in their speeches, however, many political leaders employ a wide range of religious symbolism (Guth and Nelsen, 2019). In Italy, Matteo Salvini, leader of the right-wing Northern League (Lega Nord), has regularly advanced religious symbols at party rallies to the extent that an article in Foreign Policy presented his discourse as being ‘more Catholic than the Pope’ (Momigliano, 2019). In Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán repeatedly condemned the arrival of refugees in his country deploying the concept of illiberal democracy which linked traditional values with the idea of ‘Christian liberty’. And in 2019, Archbishop of Kraków, Marek Jędraszewski, encouraged people to

Religion in the European Union  267 vote in national elections by endorsing the anti-LGBT campaign of the Law and Justice Party, stating that a ‘rainbow plague’, similar to the ‘red plague’ of communism, was spreading throughout Europe (Scally, 2019). Populism – it should be noted – has not only affected European societies but has become a worldwide phenomenon with religious and political leaders regularly making references to religion, ranging from the United States to Russia and Brazil (Marzouki et al., 2016). In the United States, Steve Bannon, former president Donald Trump’s chief strategist, has advanced ‘Judeo-Christian’ reasons to support the advancement of exclusion, division and the fear of the ‘other’ as a means of government in the United States, thus supporting the fragmentation of the EU (Haynes, 2019). One year later, during the coronavirus pandemic spreading around the world, Pope Francis took an unprecedented public stance against populism and the lack of EU solidarity which could lead to the breakdown of the EU. In his Urbi et Orbi Easter message, he poignantly stated that ‘The European Union is presently facing an epochal challenge, on which will depend not only its future but that of the whole world … The only alternative is the selfishness of particular interests and the temptation of a return to the past’ (Francis, 2020). The support for the disintegration of the EU among populist leaders has shown that religion can easily be manipulated for political reasons. Thus, the misinterpretation – or misappropriation – of religion is likely to be one of the most significant challenges facing the European project in the years to come.

FAITH-BASED ORGANIZATIONS IN EUROPE: FROM MARGINALIZATION TO SIGNIFICANCE The chapter’s final section examines European faith-based organizations’ (FBO) attempts to influence public policy formation and execution in the EU. It presents two main arguments. First, it argues that the EU has a consolidated policy-making structure, with a strongly secular preference. The EU decision making is characterized by established institutional secular preferences, which have traditionally ignored faith-based concerns. Recently, however, publicly accountable officials in the EU have begun to engage systematically with selected FBOs in the context of a more general ‘democratization’ of the EU, including opening up to and interaction with selected civil society organizations. FBOs have thus gained significance, improving their ability to engage with public officials and encouraging them to make policy in accord with FBO preferences (McGinnis, 2010). Second, FBOs often compete with each other in the EU. This is manifested in two ways. First, it can imply an inter- or intra-religious competitiveness. In addition, competitiveness can relate to ideological issues, including schisms between, on the one hand, ‘conservative’ and, on the other, ‘liberal’ or ‘progressive’ FBOs (Bob, 2012). As a consequence, Berger (2003) notes, FBOs often compete with each other, pushing ‘for change from both liberal and conservative platforms’. Petersen (2010) notes that to pursue their goals, FBOs regularly engage in alliances with various secular actors – including states and other sources of influence, such as secular non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Before examining current involvement of FBOs at the EU in relation to public policy, it may be useful briefly to trace FBO involvement in the EU over time, to see how things have changed. The forerunner to the EU, the six-member ECSC, was established in 1951, following the Schuman Declaration (1950) (Leustean, 2012: 5–6). The key aim of the ECSC was to build cooperation among a group of previously warring states, so as to make the likelihood of another

268  Handbook on religion and international relations war remote.4 The ECSC sought to do this through functional policies covering production of steel and coal, integral raw materials for war making which, if satisfactorily pooled among the six constitutive states, would make conflict far less likely than if their production was done autonomously in each country. During the last seven decades, the original six-member ECSC developed into today’s pan-European 27-member EU. In sum, the driving force for the EU’s formation was emphatically secular: to avoid future wars by building sustained and emphatic inter-state cooperation. It is however worth noting that several of the EU’s ‘founding fathers’ (including Robert Schuman, Konrad Adenauer and Alcide de Gasperi) were all personally religious men (Sutton, 2013). As the EU evolved, its secular bias was reflected in the fact that leading EU institutions, notably the Commission and Parliament, were ideologically and culturally unwilling to deal with faith-based actors. The reluctance of EU policy makers to engage with faith actors underlines the importance of the EU’s traditionally secular ideology, reflected in diplomacy, policy making and policy execution. Things began to change during Delors’ presidency of the European Commission (1985–95). He was keen to establish ‘channels of “dialogue” between the EU and selected faith actors which shared the norms and values of the EU’. Following Delors’ precedent, several further initiatives were launched in the mid-1990s to engage with faith entities. This policy change was ‘driven primarily by the political agendas of the various presidents of the Commission’ (Carrera and Parkin, 2010: 3). While the EU has long engaged with secular NGOs,5 the palpable shift to include FBOs in dialogue was significant. It reflected the fact that the EU was now keen to build soft power, based on shared values – including democracy, the rule of law and a market economy. The EU wishes to engage in a sustained fashion with selected FBOs sharing these principles, as their ideological commitment to EU core values is seen as highly valuable to the EU’s desire to increase its soft power. Following the EU’s lead, many FBOs publicly assert commitment to the EU’s core values. In addition, reflecting globalization’s significance, many EU-based FBOs are transnational in focus and activity, expanding their activities from national to regional fora. In doing so, their aim is to influence public policy in relation to various issues, typically centring on various aspects of human rights (McCrea, 2010). The EU is keen to interact with ‘like-minded’ FBOs in its search for ‘improved’ values to mould regional public policy and governance; what FBOs bring to the table is a focus on ethics and morals which, many people feel, has been missing from politics in Europe, including at the EU, to the region’s detriment (Böllman, 2013). In July 2010, Herman van Rompuy, then President of the European Council,6 stated that the EU is a ‘secular’ organization. He did however also add that the EU should exhibit ‘moral significance’, implying the desirability of both ‘spiritual and religious input’. Van Rompuy went on to assert that the ‘European Union has to be a union of values. That is our added value in the world. That is the soft power of Europe in the world’ (Swalec, 2010). How to explain van Rompuy’s assertion that the EU ‘should’ be a moral actor, drawing on its foundational historical, cultural attributes, reflecting both ‘spiritual and religious input’? Van Rompuy links the importance of ‘values’ in the EU’s ‘soft power’, implying that faith can make a significant contribution in this regard. Van Rompuy’s contribution was not the only one stemming from an authoritative EU source. Three years earlier, in September 2007, the then EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso highlighted the importance of the EU developing from ‘a community of interests to a community of values and asked for the support of the Church organizations in that process’ (Vlieger and Tananescu, 2012: 448). The concerns of van Rompuy

Religion in the European Union  269 and Barroso were reflected in the Treaty of Lisbon (2007) which stated: ‘Recognizing their identity and their specific contribution, the Union shall maintain an open, transparent and regular dialogue with these Churches and organizations’ (Treaty of Lisbon, 2007, Article 15b.3). In sum, public policy and governance in the EU are today significantly informed by both moral and ethical issues, often with faith connotations, especially those deriving from Europe’s historically and culturally dominant faith: Christianity. Today, the EU has regularized links with dozens of selected FBOs. As already noted, Leustean (2012) lists 120 religious and ‘convictional’ bodies ‘in dialogue with European institutions’. Of the 120, 80 are Christian entities, that is, two-thirds of the overall number. Specifically, 39 (33 per cent) are ‘Catholic bodies’, and 41 (34 per cent) are ‘other Christian’ entities. In addition, there are 17 non-Christian FBOs ‘in dialogue with European institutions’: eight (7 per cent) are Jewish, four (3 per cent) are Muslim, three (2.5 per cent each) are Buddhist, and there is one Hindu and Bahá'í entity. Finally, there are 20 (17 per cent) ‘convictional bodies’, that is, ‘humanist, laicist, and freemason’ entities regularly engaged in interactions with the EU (Leustean, 2012: 12–17). In sum, most of the 120 religious and ‘convictional’ entities are Christian, reflecting Europe’s core historical and cultural faith tradition. This is not of course particularly surprising given that all 27 EU member states trace their cultural and historical roots to various expressions of Christianity. Following a rancorous debate in the 2010s about the relationship between the Christian faith and European values, the importance of ‘religion’ in the EU – especially the significance of Christian ‘values’ – was recognized in the Lisbon Treaty. It followed French and Dutch voters’ rejection, respectively in May and June 2005, of the putative European Constitution. Controversially, Article 17 established conditions for an ‘open, transparent and regular dialogue’ between ‘churches, religions and communities of conviction’ and EU institutions, notably the Commission. What this implies is that even though ‘the EU has no explicit legal competence in the sphere of religion and the management of relations with faith communities’, following the promulgation of the Lisbon Treaty, ‘religious concerns have taken on increasing importance within the legal and institutional framework and policy discourses of the European Union’ (Carrera and Parkin, 2010: 1). Reflected in the numbers of Christian FBOs with institutionalized access, it is clear that ‘European Churches have a privileged relationship with the European Commission’, often linked to ‘interest representation offices in Brussels’. The result is that various Christian churches ‘participate extensively in the policy making and decision-shaping processes of the European Commission … Church organizations are engaged in a constant dialogue with the European Commission’ (Vlieger and Tananescu, 2012: 447). The Commission’s rationale for its increased involvement with Christian FBOs was a desire to show willingness increasingly to interact with representative civil society organizations. It was an important component of the Commission’s development of a wider framework of ‘consultations with third parties, linked to the principle of “an open and all-inclusive understanding of participation” which over time evolved into a more institutionalized, partner-specific and instrument-based interaction’ (Vlieger and Tananescu, 2012: 447). Leustean points out that ‘the topics for discussions within working groups indicate that representations are required to provide expertise on a wide range of European policy issues, such as climate change, migration, development and financial reform’ (Leustean, 2012: 30). In addition, the Commission was keen to engage with FBOs beyond those representing important strands of Christian thought and membership. The Commission recognized that ‘religion’ more generally had an

270  Handbook on religion and international relations important civil society role which might be harnessed to help fight some of Europe’s major concerns, including poverty and social exclusion (Böllman, 2013). As noted earlier in the chapter, Muslim immigration into EU member states is a controversial issue.7 However, the issue of Islam and Muslims in the EU does not only reflect associated immigration patterns. In addition, there is the collective impact on European perceptions of Islamist terror attacks on, inter alia, the United States on 11 September 2001, the March 2004 Madrid bombings, the London bus and tube bombings in July 2005, the Charlie Hebdo and Bataclan attacks in France in 2015 and so on; all were undertaken by ‘Islamic terrorists’. For some Europeans the attacks served to tar all Muslims with the brush of extremism. As a result, taken together, which they often implicitly seem to be in the media, these events focused attention on the issue of relations between Europe and Islam, and more widely between the West and the Muslim world, with ramifications for the wider issue of faith in Europe. As Lousewies van der Laan, then Member of Parliament for The Netherlands, noted in 2001: After September 11th, and the subsequent rise in religious intolerance, no one will deny the importance of religion in international politics … With the upcoming enlargement of the European Union, diversity will increase and so will the impact of religious differences on the debate. It is high time we had an open discussion about these issues. (Quoted in Catholics for a Free Choice, 2001)

The aftermath of the terrorist attacks also fed into a second issue: should there be a reference to Christianity in the (abortive) European Constitution? This in turn fed into a post-9/11 debate about the extent to which the values of ‘European-ness’ overlap with Europe’s Christian cultures, history and traditions. In short, as Schlesinger and Foret (2006: 59) note, ‘[t]he debate over whether Christianity should be seen as constitutive of European identity has been framed by wider concerns about collective identities and memories in Europe’.

CONCLUSION Religious communities have long had a complex relationship with the EU. During the Cold War, political tensions between the two blocs followed religious divisions. After the fall of communism, things became easier and a large number of religious and convictional communities opened offices in Brussels and engaged in dialogue with European institutions. More informal exchanges, however, have a long history going back to the first days of the European project after World War II. Article 17 of the 2009 Lisbon Treaty institutionalized a mechanism of religious dialogue with European institutions. It is unclear, however, if this should be perceived as ‘business as usual’ or simply an attempt to increase the EU’s visibility. The European External Action Service, the European Parliament and the European Commission organized meetings with religious bodies aiming to raise awareness among both EU officials and the general public of the role of religion in international affairs. However, finding the right way to engage with a wide variety of religious and convictional bodies that advance their own values remains problematic. Will the EU adopt a pan-European policy on religion which emphasizes the term ‘community’ and transcends national frameworks of religion–state relations? Will European institutions mobilize against the politicization of religion emerging from populist and right-wing nationalist discourses? Or will ‘religion’ and ‘religious divisions’ be used to

Religion in the European Union  271 advance further the fragmentation of the European project? These are – and will remain – open questions. The EU’s change in direction vis-à-vis FBOs does not necessarily suggest that the EU is becoming more generally attuned to religious concerns and away from secular foci. The issue is much more about engaging – and being seen to engage regularly – with civil society organizations per se, and FBOs are plausibly regarded as important components of a wide and diverse civil society in Europe. Christian FBOs in particular have successfully presented themselves as important in this regard, consistently making the argument that they represent millions of Christians in the EU and thus have a ‘right’ to be heard. Moreover, while the EU still has no direct proficiency or capability in relation to faith issues, nor is it likely to get any, it is aware that secular and religious issues now frequently overlap. For example, various issues – including human rights, culture, education and geopolitics – are now central to the involvement of FBOs at the EU, concerns which have become more significant in recent years with the enlargement of the EU and increased migration in the context of globalization and regional economic crises.

NOTES 1. The first two sections of the chapter draw on Lucian N. Leustean, ‘Religion and Politics in the European Union’ in Grace Davie and Lucian N. Leustean (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Europe, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021. 2. The initiative was set up in 1993 and ended in 2004. 3. The EKD was one of the founding members and the largest financial contributor to the establishment of the Consultative Commission of Churches in the European Communities in 1964. After the Merger Treaty, the EKD aimed to establish an independent office in 1969 but this was discouraged by the president of the European Commission who suggested that churches are better represented by an inter-church organization. 4. The roots of this ambitious and controversial goal are to be found in the fact that Western Europe was the region where, in the first half of the twentieth century, two world wars began and ended. 5. Defined here as private, not-for-profit, non-governmental groups, with specific delimited concerns and interests. 6. ‘The European Council brings together EU leaders to set the EU’s political agenda. It represents the highest level of political cooperation between EU countries. One of the EU’s 7 official institutions, the Council takes the form of (usually quarterly) summit meetings between EU leaders, chaired by a permanent president’ (http://​europa​.eu/​about​-eu/​institutions​-bodies/​european​-council/​index​_en​ .htm). 7. The Pew Forum claimed that in 2010 the total number of Muslims living in the EU was about 19 million (c. 3.8 per cent of the EU’s overall population). See Pew Forum, ‘The Future of the Global Muslim Population’, January 2011 (www​.pewforum​.org/​The​-Future​-of​-the​-Global​-Muslim​ -Population​.aspx).

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19. Struggling with jihad over Jerusalem: The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s approach to war and peace Turan Kayaoglu

INTRODUCTION The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is the leading Islamic intergovernmental organization. Its 57 members include all Muslim-majority states and a few states with Muslim-minority populations. Since its establishment in 1969, this “Muslim United Nations” has addressed issues related to peace and conflict. It has attempted to solve intra-Muslim conflicts, such as Iran–Iraq, Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)–Jordan, and Pakistan– Bangladesh, as well as conflicts between membe