module specification

GI7076 - Religion and International Relations (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18, but may be subject to modification
Module title Religion and International Relations
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 200
155 hours Guided independent study
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Essay
Unseen Examination 50%   Unseen exam
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Thursday Evening

Module summary

Examines role of religion in international relations, especially since the end of the Cold War, the deepening of globalisation and the impact of 9/11

Module aims

  • Examines transnational and international religious actors to assess the claim that their activities undermine state sovereignty and threaten good civilisational relations;
  • Enables students to evaluate differing interpretations of the political importance of religious actors in international relations.


Section 1: Religion and international relations: Conflict and order

1. Religion and politics
2. Theorising about religion in international relations
3. Religion and globalisation
4. Religion and international conflict
5. Religion and international order
6. Religious ‘fundamentalism’ and international relations

Section 2: Religion and international relations: Regional case studies

7. Islam and the West
8. The Roman Catholic Church in Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa
9. India’s international relations and Hindu nationalism
10. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in the Middle East
11. Conclusion

Learning and teaching

Lecture sand seminars augmented by copious material on weblearn site, inviting students to reflect on what they are learning and to engage with each other interactively.

Learning outcomes

  • Understand and analyse the roles of religion in contemporary international relations, including in the context of the United Nations;
  • Determine the forces that shape the characteristics of religious involvement in contemporary international relations;
  • Assess the nature of the relationships between state and non-state actors in relation to the activities of religious activities in international relations.

Assessment strategy

One essay (3,500 words), one unseen exam (two hours)


Indicative bibliography

P. Broadhead and D. Keown (eds.) Can Faiths Make Peace: Holy Wars and the Resolution of Religious Conflicts (Tauris, 2007)
J. Fox, An Introduction to Religion and Politics: Theory and Practice (Routledge, 2013)
J. Haynes, An Introduction to International Relations and Religion, 1st ed.(Pearson, 2007)
J. Haynes, An Introduction to International Relations and Religion, 2nd ed.(Pearson, 2013)
J. Haynes, Series of four videos for the Tony Blair Faith Foundation (2014): ‘The Impact of Globalisation on Religion’, available at:
J. Haynes, ‘Faith-basedorganisationsattheUnitedNations’,RSCAS 2013/70,RobertSchuman CentreforAdvancedStudies/RELIGIOWEST,Florence:EuropeanUniversity Institute,17,500words,September2013.Availableat:
S. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations (1996) (Also see his: ‘The clash of civilizations, Foreign Affairs, 72, 3, pp. 22-49)
J. Snyder (ed.), Religion & International Relations Theory (Columbia University Press, 2011)
S. Thomas, The Global Resurgence Of Religion and the Transformation Of International Relations: The Struggle For The Soul Of The Twenty-First Century (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2005)
J. Troy (ed.), Religion & the Realist Tradition. From Political Theology to International Relations theory and back (Routledge, 2014)

On-line resources

E-IR (Religion and culture)
Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs
ECPR Religion and Politics Standing Group