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In a new article published in The Review of Faith and International Affairs, Professor Jocelyne Cesari argues in favour of Norbert Elias's historical and relational sociology to rehabilitate the notion of civilisation in the study of international affairs, suggesting it has two major advantages of avoiding the use of de-historicized models of political development that project a western-centred approach as universal and secondly, it brings into focus the central role of the nation-state in the shaping of the contemporary religious dimension of politics at the national and international levels. This relational and historical perspective will be applied to the case of postcolonial nation-states to explain the rise and expansion of political Islam from national to global forms of political expression.