Conflict, Ethics and Human Rights: Assessing the role of Religion in International Politics

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2014

The end of the Cold War was characterized not only by the collapse of old Empires and the rise of new economic forces, but also by the emergence of ethnic and religious groups in world politics. Everywhere we witnessed greater tensions and confrontations between cultures or religious based politics and the international system based on secular ethics. This course will address the following questions: Why has secular nationalism failed? Why is religion seen as a legitimate alternative form of politics nationally and internationally? Is there a proclivity to violence from religious militants? Is religion a positive or negative factor of political development? It will provide a comprehensive overview of thirty years of religious militancy throughout the world as well as the various religious traditions associated to it. It will be built on case studies from different regions: Middle East, Africa, India, Africa, South Asia, Europe, and the USA. Each session will assess the influence of religion in the democratization process, the intersection of culture and religion, its competition with secular moral actors and its consequence for political and economic development.