9.2.Religion in IR (2016)

Apunte Inglés
Universidad Blanquerna (URL)
Grado Relaciones Internacionales - 2º curso
Asignatura Theory of International Relations
Año del apunte 2016
Páginas 3
Fecha de subida 04/05/2016
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The Arab Spring, influences of Theories on religion.

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Marta Busquets Theory of IR 2016 9.2. Bringing Religions into IR 9.2.1. REALIST PARADIGM and RELIGION I.
Focus on power, material factors (military power) and national security (survival trumps religion). This means that power trumps religion: Religion is an important factor, but they will always adapt their religious discourse in order to achieve their interests. Religion as a tool to achieve power. 
 Saudi Arabia will leave religion aside for negotiating with United States if this is the way of achieving their interests.
II. Marginalisation of non-state actors: Religious actors within the state are forgotten, as they only focus on states and don’t take into account other important non-state actors.
III. Rationality of States: States behave rationally in order to increase their power. Religion per se is not rational, as it cannot be quantified and that can be related to your identity.
Inter-subjectivity: What matters is the way the subjects consider reality. We consider things in international relations as important only because we give them the chance to be important. It is a social construction, something we accept and allow.
II. Importance of ideas, interests and values. They are the main driving forces that construct reality. Mutually constitution of identities and interests. The way you act is influenced by your interests, but also by your identity. 
 Identities and interests are linked: If I am a liberal, I will set my agenda in order to pursue my liberal interests.
III. Culture, religion and identity as a new object of study in IR.
IV. Actors may seek influence by referring to religious background. Political Islam, for example: How Islam plays an influence in the way states behave in the international sphere.
9.2.3. HUNTINGTON’S CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS His most important contribution on resurgence of religion in international politics (1993): A. At the core of a civilization, there is culture but mostly religion. There are 7/8 different civilizaitons that explain how the world works. They are different between them in terms of culture and religion.
B. There are possible common religious-cultural patterns across societies (civilizations). These civilizaitons are consistent over time.
C. Conflict between civilizations as a permanent feature of international politics.
D. Fault-lines where civilizaitons touch each other will be the places where there will be more conflict. 
 Marta Busquets Theory of IR 2016 As an example, Ukraine, as a fault-line between Westerns and Orthodox. 
 Also, Bosnia is a fault-line between Western, Orthodox and the Islamic.
9.2.4. CRITICISM TO HUNTINGTON • Is religion the main defining future of a civilization? For example, he considers Africa as the same civilizaiton when, in fact, Africa has many different religions.
• The object of study of civilizations is not well-defined according to Huntington.
• He puts a lot of emphasis in the fact that identities are defined by religion. In fact, identities are diverse and religion is not necessarily at the core. 
 French Revolution and Industrial Revolution have much more to do with Western civilization than Christianity. Ex.You can be a Christian, but your identity can also be defined by the fact that you are a Catalan nationalist woman from F.C.Barcelona.
• Civilizations are not consistent over time. It is very difficult to understand that civilizations have always been there and that they will always be: Culture and identities evolve over time. There are changes within civilizations over time.
• Conflict happens more within civilizations rather than between civilizations. Conflict between groups of the same civilizations are very common, such as the Sunni-Shia conflict.
• Halliday: Cultural reductionism. If everything is reduced to cultural aspects of your identity, then you are producing something untouchable. 
 Ex. Hezbollah wants to reproduce the Islamic Revolution of Islam to the rest of the Middle East, but then it changes its identity by saying that the main driver is its fight against Israel, rather than the expansion of Islamic Revolution to the Middle East.
9.3. A Case Study: The Arab Spring 9.3.1. In relation with Huntington “Clash of Civilisations” Marta Busquets CLASH OF CIVILISATION = ARAB SPRING Context Theory of IR 2016 CLASH OF CIVILISATIONS ≠ ARAB SPRING -Cleptocracies: Seeking the interests of the leaders at the expense of the population -Existence of exclusive institutions that were only benefiting a few.
-Little political participation -Democracy was inexisting, as the little expressions of it were repressed.
-Geopolitical interests: Outside support to these autocracies because of the geopolitical interests that the rest of countries have there. [Ex. Suez Canal], Western ideas trying to be exported to Islamic states.
Rule of law, democracy and human rights are universal, as they are values that everybody wants.
Islamic regimes will neves succeed in adopting Western ideas, as Islam will always win = Religion before the nation-state.
Muslim Middle-Class emerging that is fighting for their rights, democracy, openess and diversification.
Every civilisation has its own values.

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