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Politicization of Religion in Global Perspective

In 2015, Jocelyne Cesari started a unique project on politicization of religion in a comparative perspective based on qualitative and quanitative methods with the support of the Georgetown University Vice President for Academic Research. This project is designed to identify patterns of politicization of religion across countries and traditions. The research combines a conceptual history of religion with an analysis of modern political institutions and contexts. An initial phase of the project, which culminated in the book What is Political Islam? (2018), built on scholarship that considers both the nation-building processes in postcolonial Muslim countries and the reformation of Islamic thinking that accompanied it as codependent factors in the development of political Islam. Current research expands these initial findings to the politicization of other religious traditions in various national and international contexts, with case studies from China, India, Russia, Turkey, and Syria.

It also involves a data-mining aspect using big data to achieve the following goals:

  • Bring religious and cultural studies to the political analysis of religion.
  • Provide a unique methodology to capture longue durĂ©e, contextualized processes of religious politicization.
  • Combine big data and contextualized qualitative scholarship.
  • Overcome the national/international divide in the analysis of religion and politics.
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Project Leader

Jocelyne Cesari headshot

Jocelyne Cesari

Senior Fellow
Department of Government

Publications

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