Religion and foreign policy

Authored by: Nukhet A. Sandal

Routledge Handbook of Religion and Politics

Print publication date:  January  2016
Online publication date:  January  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138826991
eBook ISBN: 9781315643922
Adobe ISBN:


 Download Chapter



The role of religion in the making and practice of foreign policy has been at the center of heated debates. We can attribute this interest to two main factors. The first is the rise in the number and prominence of religious actors in the international arena, and an increasing awareness on the part of the policy circles that religion is here to stay. In a message to State Department diplomats in Washington and overseas, the Secretary of State John Kerry said, “In every country, in every region of the world, and on nearly every issue central to US foreign policy, religious institutions and actors are among the drivers of change”. 1 The second is the rise in the number of academic publications on the issue of religion and international relations that goes beyond the relationship between religion and violence. In 2002, Philpott argued “with few exceptions, international relations scholars have long assumed the absence of religion among the factors that influence states”. 2 This long-term neglect has recently transformed into a vibrant research agenda. Political science scholars have written about religion and its connections to international relations theory, 3 military, 4 peacebuilding, 5 and international organizations. 6 This renewed interest in the study of religion and politics spills into the field of foreign policy as well.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.