Religion & Security: The New Nexus in International Relations
Leitich, Keith A., Journal of Church and State
Religion & Security: The New Nexus in International Relations. Edited by Robert A. Seiple and Dennis R. Hoover. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2004. 198 pp. $22.95.
While many books have addressed the role that religion plays in international relations, Religion & Security: The New Nexus in International Relations brings together an impressive collection of scholars and policy practitioners to examine the challenge brought forth by religious-based radicalism. Divided into four parts: (1) religious violence and religious repression; (2) religious pluralism and political stability; (3) religious influences on military intervention and post-conflict reconciliation; and (4) religious freedom and civil society-this small volume carefully lays out a template to reassess the realpolitik policies pursued by the United States, thoughtfully arguing for a re-examination of American foreign policy as our disregard for religious motivations has left the United States ill-equipped to deal with religious-based conflicts of the twenty-first century. In order to understand the underlying force, policymakers have to understand the intersection of religious ideology and group interests that threaten to undermine the international system.
The book begins with the editors' critique of current American foreign policy strategy and an argument for its reexamination. Contrary to the expectation that modernity would lead to a "third-wave" of democratization, the collapse of communism was accompanied by a resurgence of religious fundamentalism and religious nationalism. Globalization further challenged the Westphalien state system as sub-state actors used religious ideology and symbols to consolidate and mobilize their supporters. From Bosnia to Iraq, the rise of religious intolerance and the politicization of religion left the United States ill-prepared to face religiously-motivated communal violence as the failure of ideologies and institutions left a vacuum that religion easily filled.
In Section I, Otis skillfully makes the case for religion to become a salient component of diplomacy, arguing that as a result of the separation of church and state, the United States has neglected religion in its analysis of international relations, thus leaving the United States ill-equipped to deal with religiously inspired violence. Jenkins then analyzes the persecution of religious minorities and asserts that persecution creates an embittered minority …
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Publication information: Article title: Religion & Security: The New Nexus in International Relations. Contributors: Leitich, Keith A. - Author. Journal title: Journal of Church and State. Volume: 47. Issue: 4 Publication date: Autumn 2005. Page number: 870+. © 1999 J.M. Dawson Studies in Church and State. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.