Iran's Shia Diplomacy

A Conversation with Edward Wastnidge

October 14, 2020
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. EDT
Location: Online Zoom Webinar

Edward Wastnidge is senior lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Studies at The Open University, where he leads the international studies program. His research primarily focuses on Iranian foreign policy and diplomacy. He recently published a policy brief titled “Iran's Shia Diplomacy: Religious Identity and Foreign Policy in the Islamic Republic” as part of the Geopolitics of Religious Soft Power (GRSP) project, which represents a multi-year, cross-disciplinary effort to systematically study the use of religion in foreign affairs.

In this conversation, Wastnidge joined Peter Mandaville, Berkley Center senior research fellow and director of the GRSP project, to discuss religious identity and foreign policy in the Islamic Republic of Iran. They considered organizations such as the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization and the religious outreach arms of the Iranian state, examining how the outreach and development of such parastatal organizations operating globally highlights a multi-layered articulation of Iran’s combined spiritual and political mission in global politics.

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