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Level 5

5AAT2830 Religion in International Relations

THIS MODULE IS RUNNING IN 2019-20

The modules run in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand so there is no guarantee this module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary depending between years.

Credit value: 15
Module tutor: Dr Ruth Sheldon 
Assessment: One 2,000 word essay (40%) and one two-hour exam (60%)

Students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment and by the same methods as the first attempt.

Teaching pattern: one-hour lectures and one-hour seminars per week over ten weeks
Pre-requisites: none

This is a core second year module for students studying BA Religion, Politics and Society, and an optional module for other BA programmes in the department. A main focus of the module is the question whether and in what ways religion shapes foreign policy, international relations and global politics, both at international as well as transnational levels. It explores the ways in which states, inter-governmental institutions and global civil society organisations deal with issues such as religious pluralism, protection of religious freedom and religious minorities, individual and communitarian rights, sectarian politics, self-determination of ethno-religious communities, humanitarian interventions and religious separatist movements. The module also examines the salience of bottom up transnational religious mobilisation, and different case studies from across the world provide insights into religion as a source of conflict but also cooperation and peace-building. All of these and other topics are examined against the background of theoretical considerations informed by International Relations theory.

Sample Topics

  • INTRODUCTION: RELIGION IN INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
  • RELIGION AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS THEORY
  • RELIGION AND FOREIGN POLICY
  • GLOBAL CONFLICTS
  • PERSECUTION, RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, AND HUMAN RIGHTS
  • RELIGIOUS PEACEBUILDING AND DIPLOMACY
  • DEMOCRATISATION I: GLOBAL WAVES
  • DEMOCRATISATION II: MUSLIM EXCEPTIONALISM
  • INTERNATIONAL FBOS, HUMANITARIAN AID, AND DEVELOPMENT

Further information

Module aims

Generic:

  • to develop students’ ability to make observations and relate them to theoretical knowledge
  • to develop their capacity to assess academic sources critically
  • to improve their analytical, argumentative and oral skills

Module-specific:

  • to introduce students to important political concepts, theoretical frameworks, debates, and cases that will enable them to critically assess the role of religion in global politics in the contemporary world
  • to help students gain a critical understanding of how religion and politics can influence each other  at international and transnational levels  
  • to raise an awareness of differences and similarities of different patterns, developments and political realities in politics and religion across the world in order to facilitate comparative analysis  
  • to develop student’s ability to analyse politics and religion from a Political Science and International Relations perspective 
Learning outcomes

Upon completion of this module, student will:

  • have an understanding of the techniques used to analyse global institutions
  • be able to discuss concepts using appropriate political science theory and communicate in an appropriate academic format
  • be able to perform basic analysis of data from multiple sources and assess evidence within an academic framework
Past syllabi
Previous syllabus document available here for academic year 2015-16.
Please note that module syllabus and topics covered may vary from year to year.
Preliminary reading

Recommended purchase: Haynes, Jeffrey (2013): An Introduction to International Relations and Religion, 2nd ed., Pearson

 

 

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