Going global: The creation of religion by international organisations


Religion has rapidly emerged as a recognised element of international politics. For instance, religion has become integrated into the policy initiatives of important international organisations (IOs) such as the United Nations, International Labour Organisation, World Health Organisation and the World Bank. This paper explores whether the embrace of religion by globalised actors such as the World Bank limits rather than releases the power of religion. Of particular interest is whether IOs have co-opted - and even helped create - a certain kind of 'multilateral religion' that is palatable to mainstream global interests to the exclusion of more dissident religious views that challenge such interests. The paper incorporates the study of IO behaviour described above with a consideration of Talad Asad’s anthropological argument (1993) concerning ‘authorising discourses’ and the creation of religion.


religion, international organisation, international policy, international development


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