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Rethinking Religion and U.S. Diplomacy

Leader: Shaun Casey

Trump-era changes to U.S. outreach in the Middle East, refugee policy, climate change responses, and beyond provided the incoming U.S. presidential administration with a host of challenges in shaping the future of American diplomacy. As the Biden administration charted its foreign policy objectives, issues at the intersection of religion and diplomacy were central. Over the course of the 2020-2021 academic year this project convened scholars, policymakers, and practitioners to examine how religion matters to foreign policy and provide priority guidance for the new Biden administration. It addressed cross-cutting global topics such as reforming U.S. approaches to international religious freedom, rejoining the Paris climate accord, engaging indigenous peoples in U.S. diplomacy, rethinking efforts to counter violent extremism and rising global anti-Semitism, and resetting U.S. peace policy in the Middle East. In connection with the center’s Religion and the Crisis of Displaced Persons project it considered reforms to U.S. immigration policy and the global refugee system, and it also suggested ways to rebuild the U.S. State Department’s policy capacity regarding religion and diplomacy.

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Project Leader



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