Do religions belong to the revisionist strategy of Russia, Iran and China against the US-hegemony?

Abstract : Religious issues belong to some of the top priorities of the American foreign policy for 20 years. The Iranian Revolution and 9/11 were decisive factors that made religions and cultural issues central priorities for the US defense agenda. Scholars tried to reengage International Relations (IR) with cultures and faith by criticizing secularism and its supposed shortcomings. In the name of post-secularism, scholars then tried to re-engage International Relations with cultures and faiths by criticizing secularism and its supposed shortcomings. To them, the theories born in the Westphalian context and especially realism suffer from a congenital incapacity to understand the role of belief in world politics. However, developing a convincing theoretical framework able to integrate religions into international relations studies stills represent one of the most pressing challenges for any student of world politics. In what follows, I argue such attempts are deemed to fail because they make from the religious issue on the international stage a specific one, separated from the “secular” politics as if one could separate faith from politics, religiosity from ideology, beliefs from power. The reason is that the very concept of a “religious” turn in international affairs is misleading. In what follows, I challenge the post-secular view. I indeed contend that realism still represents the most powerful theory to grasp how religions and identities shape power distribution in increasingly realist world affairs. My goal is to show that the disputes between secularism and post-secularism represent an important issue, but that it is a post-9/11 debate. We have indeed failed to understand the post-American and the post-liberal world we are increasingly living in. The international priority doesn’t consist anymore in the confrontation between the US-superpower and non-state actors as jihadist groups as in the 1990s and 2000s. My daring proposal is that we have failed to understand the post-American and the post-liberal world we are increasingly living in. The international agenda’s priority doesn’t consist anymore in the confrontation between the US-superpower and non-state actors as jihadist groups. Daech’s threats against its neighbors in the Middle East and Western countries show the terrorist risks cannot be separated from a state apparatus. The central intention of this paper is therefore to illuminate the cooperation, interaction or control strategies that the revisionist state, Russia, China and Iran, follow vis-à-vis religious groups.
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Contributor : Pierre Baudry <>
Submitted on : Monday, April 29, 2019 - 7:39:37 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, July 17, 2019 - 2:35:40 AM

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Pierre Baudry. Do religions belong to the revisionist strategy of Russia, Iran and China against the US-hegemony?. Religious Actors in the International Sphere, EPHE/CERI/IRSEM, Dec 2018, Paris, France. ⟨hal-02114742⟩

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