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Artaud de La Ferrière, Alexis (2020) 'Religion, national identity and foreign policy: The case of Eastern Christians and the French political imaginary.' In: Serrano Cornelio, Jayeel, Gauthier, François, Martikainen, Tuomas and Woodhead, Linda, (eds.), The Routledge International Handbook of Religion in Global Society. Abingdon; New York: Routledge. (Routledge international handbooks)

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Whilst the international system is often described as a secular space, the past 20 years has seen a renewed interest in religious phenomena across the social sciences. As part of this trend, many International Relations scholars have come to reconsider the relevance of religion within their own discipline. Increasingly, International Relations evokes religious themes and identities in its empirical account of international politics. The aims of the present chapter are to 1) present a brief survey of this literature in International Relations and discuss its relevance in terms of ongoing debates within the sociology of religion; 2) critically engage with the idea of religion as a causally efficacious variable in the conduct of international politics; and 3) provide an empirical basis for this theoretical issue by examining an empirical case study of relevance to contemporary geopolitics. The case studied here concerns the relationship between France and Christian minorities in the Middle East and how that relationship has influenced France’s foreign policy in that region. Through this case study, I argue for the relevance of religion as an explanatory variable on the basis that it continues to play a significant role in processes of national identification and in the foreign policy orientations of formally secular states.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Politics & International Studies
ISBN: 9781138182509
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 13 May 2018 13:15

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