It was ten years ago that the Journal of International Affairs examined religion's role in the post-Cold War period. At the time, new theories--such as the "end of history" and a "clash of civilizations"--influenced and divided much of the thinking as scholars struggled to define this new moment in the international relations system. In that Summer 1996 issue, many of our contributors argued that the Cold War had obscured the deeper, cultural roots of numerous global conflicts and found religion to play a central role in many of them.
Why revisit the subject of religion one decade later? First, the attacks of September 11 and the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have warranted renewed scrutiny of religion's relevance in international affairs. We have also witnessed a rise in political participation from religious groups throughout the world and, consequently, the challenge to encourage toleration and cooperation between secular entities (whether it be states or political parties) and those that represent religious constituencies. The increasing geopolitical influence of religious states also demands international affairs scholars to revisit this ever-evolving subject.
According to Scott M. Thomas, a contributor to this new …
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Publication information: Article title: Editors Forward. Contributors: Not available. Journal title: Journal of International Affairs. Volume: 61. Issue: 1 Publication date: Fall-Winter 2007. Page number: v+. © 1997 Columbia University School of International Public Affairs. COPYRIGHT 2007 Gale Group.
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