Thesis on Religion and politics in International relations

The focal point of this research paper is on the examination of the re-emergence of religions in international politics. Outcome of the research has been determined through arguments and counterarguments of conventional wisdom and alternative explanation. Conventional wisdom substantiates the separation of religion and politics. Alternative explanation justifies existing intimate connection and increasing participation and influence of religions in politics. This paper takes in the theory of constructivism and theoretical implication encompasses the alternative explanation, the assertion about the increasing religious revivalism in international politics.In recent years the role of religion in politics has turned into an important analytical phenomenon of international relations. Various religious actors are being paid weight from the early 1980s and especially from the mishap of September 11. The changing pattern of international relations is being described by IR scholars as the re-emergence of religion, de-secularization of international relations, religions’ return from exile or the post-Westphalian era of religious persuade.
Religious ideologies are aimed to depict the present situation of complex global world order from its transnational disposition. Think tanks and scholars are now more apprehensive about conceptualizing the religious stimulation in political sphere on the other hand. National, regional or global politics could never be absolutely secluded from the sway of religion even in the period of triumphant victory of secularism and this sway is now flourishing ostensibly.
The theme of this present work is to offer a time line based analysis from pre-Westphalian period on religion and politics and their comparative influence over constructing and upholding international relations. By and large this paper explore, whether religion will come up with the overriding form in the nexus of religion and politics in international relations.

Aim of the Study
This paper aims to understand international relations from a different and rehabilitated dimension. It tries to explain international political issues through religious understanding, because religion as an ethical, moral and cultural component of human life is intimately interweaved with every micro level of political sphere. Moreover, historically engagement of religion was apparent in national administration and international cooperation before the treaty of Westphalia. This paper also examines the influence of religion on some other crucial parts of international relations of Westphalian era. Another aim of this paper is to see whether religions, particularly Christianity and Islam are getting a dominant role in international political agenda.

Religions were the determinant of politics in pre-Westphalian period throughout the human history of civilization. “In the evolution of civilization religion and politics were inseparable part which was split due to the ruthless exploit of power and forgery of Catholic Church.”[1]

It is also argued that, “the churches, which had been the main providers of social care, welfare and progressive reform, were drastically excluded from the public policy arena, except perhaps in the areas of education and palliative care.”[2]

The enlightenment period promote the notion of secularism that eventually expanded beyond Europe. This secularization outlines the politics, statecraft and international relations in Westphalian epoch. Many scholars argue that this separation of religion and politics is artificial; even though these two components could not be separated exclusively rather they continued in concert in a latent mode and these have blown up to integrate from the end of 20th century.
Some scholars have identified it as the post-Westphalian era. For general people religion is a key part of their fundamental identity. Therefore, both for national and international socio-politics it is essentially needed to re-think the religion.

[1] For Detail See Torbjorn L. Knutsen, A History of International Relations Theory (New York: Manchester University press, 1997), 36-54.
[2] Chris Baker et al., “Values, Beliefs and Attitudes in the Era of Late-Capitalism: A Consideration of the Re-Emergence and Re-Positioning of Faith and Spirituality as Spiritual Capital in the Workplace” (United Kingdom: University of Chester, and France: IDRAC) , 4, (accessed February 23, 2012) ,