Politics in a Religious World: Building a Religiously Literate U.S. Foreign Policy

Author: Eric Patterson

September 29, 2011

After the Cold War, it became evident that religion was a key factor in many conflicts, including Bosnia, Rwanda, and Afghanistan. However, the US failed to correctly appreciate this role, for example predicting the failure of the Iranian theocrats in 1979. Today, most of the security and foreign relations challenges faced by the US are infused with religious factors, from its relations with Iran to the Iraq war and jihadist terrorists. Religion, however, can also play a transnational role when it comes to human rights, conflict resolution, and political mobilization.

Eric Patterson's book analyzes why the US deliberately avoids the religious dimension of international affairs and proposes a comprehensive approach to a religiously literate US foreign policy. It addresses a needed area and will appeal to anyone studying US foreign policy as well as the interaction of religion and international affairs.
Table of Contents

Preface
1. Politics in a Religious World
2. International Relations‘ Next Great Debate: Bringing Religion In
3. The Failings of Secularist Foreign Policy Approaches
4. New Opportunities for Liberalism and Realism
5. The Religious Dynamics of War and Peace
6. Enhancing U.S. Foreign Policy with Religious Literacy
7. Liberty, Democracy, and Development
8. America‘s Comparative Advantage: Religious Capital
Notes
Bibliography
Index

External Link

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