'Four religions of foreign policy: Modelling political interactions between secular and religious interests'


The paper addresses whether, and how, ‘religion’ can be a strategic category employed in the making of foreign policy. Three arguments are presented: firstly, the sustained discourse on religion in IR, and several notable foreign policy initiatives by states, suggest that religion should be a regular rather than an occasional category employed in foreign policy thinking; second, the strategic judgements of policy makers toward religion require a working knowledge of the complex interplay between secular and sacral interests occurring in world politics; third, foreign policy development that is guided by a nuanced approach toward religion can inform the strategic behaviour of states. The paper culminates by proposing a quadrant model that will enable foreign policy makers to understand and categorise the political interactions between secular and religious interests for strategic benefits.


foreign policy, religion, secularism, international relations, strategy, international security, diplomacy

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