Religion In Contemporary Global Politics II

Modular value: 20 credits
Duration: Term 2
Teaching: 2 hours per week

Lecturer: Jagbir Jhutti-Johal

This module examines the public policy responses to the global religious revival since 1989. Although traditionally organised religions have been viewed as the source of intractable political conflicts, of introducing a ‘cosmic dimension’ into normal political life, in the last decade there has been an increasing recognition of the need to manage religious differences, to utilise religious resources for conflict resolution.

Theoretically and conceptually this departure is anchored in the inter-related debates on multiculturalism, pluralism and the need for religious dialogue among the world’s great religion. Following an examination of these debates and the assumptions underpinning them, the module will evaluate policy response with reference to:

  • United Nations System
    To what extent have religious concerns permeated the UN policy making system? What has been the impact of the Barcelona Declaration on the role of religion and promotion of cultural peace? Post-September 11, the initiatives taken to promote dialogue among organised religions and the policy outcomes.
  • Transnational Organisations
    Beyond the UN system transnational organisations are increasingly receptive to articulating a religious response to issues such as development, migrations, human rights, and the environment.  
  • National and Local Public Policy Agendas
    In some cases public policy at the national and local levels explicitly accommodates religious representation in recognition of its ability to positively shapely outcomes.   A detailed case study will be undertaken of developments in Great Britain since 1997.

The module concludes by reflecting critically on the achievements and the limitations of integrating organised religions into public policy implementation.

At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Understand international and national policy responses to the religious revival;
  • Demonstrate a competence in the theoretical, conceptual and methodological debates that underpin the new policy; 
  • Appreciate the role of international and national institutions in framing policy to deal with religious conflict and diversity; 
  • Evaluate the political implications of the debates on religious pluralism and inter-religious dialogue in the developed and developing world.  

Assessment

  • One assessed essay of 5-6000 words at the end of the module (100%).

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