Reassessing the role of religion and secularism in US and European foreign policies – Free e-print

Dear Colleagues,

Today my review on the role of religion and secularism in US and European foreign polices came out on Global Affairs. It reviews three books:

Beyond Religious Freedom. The New Global Politics of Religion. Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2015 ISBN: 9780691166094

Securing the Sacred. Religion, National Security and the Western State. Robert M. Bosco, University of Michigan 2014, ISBN: 978-0-472-11922-6

Secular Wars. Myths of Religion, Politics and Violence, Stacy Gutkowski, IB Tauris, 2013. ISBN: 9781780765358

Abstract: ‘Religion plays a role in politics – not always for good, not always for bad. Religion can be part of the process. What makes the difference is whether the process is democratic or not’, declared the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR) Federica Mogherini (Mogherini, 2015). Referring to the role of Islam during the Arab uprisings, this statement proves the rising awareness of European foreign policy-makers for religion in international relations. Although this has been common practice for US foreign-policy makers, where religious groups are more influential, since 9/11 secular European foreign affair ministries are getting to grips with religion. The Foreign Commonwealth Office has developed a toolkit on the Freedom of Religion of Belief (FoRB) and French laïc foreign-policymakers are developing strategic expertise on religious issues. The European External Action Service is also training its diplomats on religious issues (Wolff, 2015) and promoting ‘religious literacy’ (EEAS, 2016). From a research perspective, these developments are rarely being analysed. Europe remains indeed the most secularized continent in the world, and its academics were late in acknowledging that modernization does not necessarily leads to more secularization. Globalization, migration and democratization provide religious actors with a rehabilitated voice on the international stage (Cochran Bech and Snyder, 2011). However empirical in-depth studies substantiating these claims are seldom. The three books under study fill in this gap and analyse how religion, faith and their corollary secularism impact international relations but also states’ and international organizations’ behaviour. They all consider that religion and secularism are factors of international relations that merit to be further researched.

You can freely download an e-print with this link



Help SOS Méditerranée!!!!

Dear followers, colleagues and friends,

This time I use this blog to encourage you to make donations to SOS Méditerranée, a European organization that saves migrants in the Mediterranean. It is a citizen initiative and needs your solidarity to continue their work. Their vessel the Aquarius is saving lives and as citizens it’s very easy to help them. Already more than 1000 migrants have died in the Mediterranean since January. This number is going to increase sharply in the Summer.  You can make a difference and donate here

Aujourd’hui j’utilise ce blog pour faire appel à votre solidarité et vous encourager à faire une donation à SOS Méditerranée, une organisation européenne, citoyenne qui sauve des migrants en mer. Déjà plus de 1000 migrants sont morts en Méditerranée depuis Janvier. Le nombre ne fera que s’accroitre pendant l’été. Il s’agit de faire preuve de solidarité et il est très facile de les aider en faisant une donation ici. 

Et merci au billet de Charline Vanhoonacker de France Inter, qui a inspiré ce post ce matin 9 juin
Check out videos on their work here and here

You can make a difference!



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