Peace, Politics, and Religion

  • Jeffrey HaynesEmail author


In recent years, religion has made a remarkable return to political prominence. Confounding the expectations of both secularists and proponents of secularization theories, it is often said religion has a durable and, many would say, growing significance as a strong source of identity for millions of people in various parts of the world. This includes both religious individuals and faith-based organizations, which are purveyors of religious ideas, play important roles in many societies, and can be a source of conflict and a tool for conflict resolution and peacebuilding. This chapter looks at the multifaceted roles of religion in relation to both conflict and cooperation and argues that it is necessary for religious actors to work assiduously to increase cooperation and decrease conflict.


  1. Appleby, R. S. (2000). The Ambivalence of the Sacred: Religion, Violence, and Reconciliation. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  2. Appleby, R. S. (2006, March 17). Building Sustainable Peace: The Roles of Local and Transnational Religious Actors. Paper Presented at the Conference on New Religious Pluralism in World Politics, Georgetown University, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  3. Bartoli, A. (2005). Conflict Prevention: The Role of Religion Is the Role of Its Actors. New Routes, 10(3), 3–7.Google Scholar
  4. Bottici, C., & Challand, B. (2012). The Myth of the Clash of Civilizations. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  5. Bouta, T., Kadayifci-Orellana, S., & Abu-Nimer, M. (2005). Faith-Based Peace-Building: Mapping and Analysis of Christian, Muslim and Multi-Faith Actors. The Hague, Netherlands: Institute of International Relations.Google Scholar
  6. Brewer, J., Higgins, G., & Teeney, F. (2011). Religion, Civil Society, and Peace in Northern Ireland. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Conflict and Resolution Forum. (2001, April 10). Faith-Based Peacemaking: The Role of Religious Actors in Preventing and Resolving Conflict Worldwide. Washington, DC: Conflict and Resolution Forum.Google Scholar
  8. Esposito, J. L. (2007, May 2). It’s the Policy, Stupid: Political Islam and US Foreign Policy. Harvard International Review. Retrieved from:
  9. Fukuyama, F. (1992). The End of History and the Last Man. Harmondsworth: Penguin.Google Scholar
  10. Gopin, M. (2000). Between Eden and Armageddon: The Future of World Religions, Violence and Peacemaking. New York and London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Gopin, M. (2005). World Religions, Violence, and Myths of Peace in International Relations. In G. ter Haar & J. Busutill (Eds.), Bridge or Barrier: Religion, Violence and Visions for Peace (pp. 35–56). Brill: Leiden.Google Scholar
  12. Gunaratna, R. (2004). Defeating Al Qaeda—The Pioneering Vanguard of the Islamic Movements. In R. Howard & R. Sawyer (Eds.), Defeating Terrorism: Shaping the New Security Environment (pp. 1–28). Guilford, CT: McGraw-Hill/Dushkin.Google Scholar
  13. Hammond, P. (2003). Review Article: Making War and Peace. Contemporary Politics, 9(1), 83–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Holenstein, A.-M. (2005). Role and Significance of Religion and Spirituality in Development Co-operation: A Reflection and Working Paper (Translated from German by W. Tyndale). Bern: Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation.Google Scholar
  15. Huntington, S. (1993). The Clash of Civilizations? Foreign Affairs, 72(3), 22–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Huntington, S. (1996). The Clash of Civilizations. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  17. Hurrell, A. (2002). “There Are No Rules” (George W. Bush): International Order After September 11. International Relations, 16(2), 185–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Keohane, R. (2002). The Globalization of Informal Violence, Theories of World Politics, and the “Liberalism of Fear”. Dialog-IO, 2, 9–43.Google Scholar
  19. Kurtz, L. (1995). Gods in the Global Village. Pine Forge: Sage.Google Scholar
  20. Mirbagheri, S. M. F. (2012). War and Peace in Islam: A Critique of Islamic/ist Political Discourses. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mollov, B. (2006, November 1). Managing Conflict: Can Religion Succeed Where Politics Has Failed? An Israeli Addresses a Global Peace Forum in Malaysia. Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Retrieved from:
  22. National Commission on Terrorist Attacks. (2004). The 9/11 Commission Report. Washington, DC: National Commission on Terrorist Attacks.Google Scholar
  23. Smith, S. (2002). The End of the Unipolar Moment? September 11 and the Future of World Order. International Relations, 16(2), 171–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Smock, D. (2001, October). Faith-Based NGOs and International Peacebuilding (Special Report No. 76). United States Institute of Peace. Retrieved from:
  25. Smock, D. (2004). Divine Intervention: Regional Reconciliation Through Faith. Religion, 25(4), 46. Retrieved from:
  26. Smock, D. (Ed.). (2006). Religious Contributions to Peacemaking: When Religion Brings Peace, Not War. Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace.Google Scholar
  27. ter Haar, G., & Busutill, J. (Eds.). (2005). Bridge or Barrier: Religion, Violence and Visions for Peace. Leiden: Brill.Google Scholar
  28. United States Institute for Peace. (2003). Special Report: Can Faith-Based NGOs Advance Interfaith Reconciliation? The Case of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Retrieved from:

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.London Metropolitan UniversityLondonUK

Personalised recommendations