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Palgrave Macmillan

Towards a Postsecular International Politics

New Forms of Community, Identity, and Power

ISBN 9781137341778
Publication Date August 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Culture and Religion in International Relations

This volume explores the postsecular as a momentous transformation of the international system which affects existing forms of political community, identity, and power. It encompasses a set of theoretical investigations of the postsecular, an analysis of four case studies (Europe, Russia, the United States, and Egypt), and an examination of the role and strategies of transnational actors in a postsecular world. Written by world-renowned and emerging leading scholars, these essays offer a lively engagement with the formidable challenges of the postsecular transformation of international politics.

Luca Mavelli is Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the University of Kent, UK.

Fabio Petito is Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Sussex, UK.

Table of Contents
1. Towards a Postsecular International Politics: An Introduction; Luca Mavelli and Fabio Petito
2. Achieving Political Legitimacy in the 21st Century: Secular and Postsecular Imperatives; Richard Falk
3. Trauma and Dislocation in the Postsecular World: Religious Fervour and the Problem of Methodology; Stephen Chan
4. A Post Secular Global Order: Metaphysical Not Political?; Nick Rengger
5. The Golden Rule on the Green Stick: Leo Tolstoy's International Thought for a 'Postsecular' Age; Alexandre Christoyannopoulos
6. Post-secularity and the Contending Visions of the European Political Imagination in International Relations; Scott Thomas and Anthony O'Mahony
7. The Clash of Post-Secular Orders in contemporary Russia; Richard Sakwa
8. The Politics of Postsecular Borders: Everyday Life and the Ground Zero Mosque Controversy; Stacey Gutkowski
9. Secularism, Postsecularism, and States of Exception in the 2011 Egyptian Revolution and its Aftermath; Luca Mavelli
10. Faith-based Organisations at the European Union and United Nations: from Marginalisation to Significance; Jeffrey Haynes
11. Faith-based Organisations and Post-secularism in Contemporary International Relations; Erin Wilson
12. Postsecularism, Islam, and Religious Freedom: Cases from the European Court of Human Rights; Turan Kayaoğlu


"This is a timely and most welcome collection of essays that explores the implications of the thesis of a postsecular world order. Challenging the dominant Western narrative of progress and secularism, the volume examines how traditional forms of community, identity, and power are being re-configured by religious ideas. Striking a happy balance between theoretical expositions and in-depth case studies, this fascinating and analytically sophisticated analysis will be valuable to IR scholars, political and social theorists, and members of the attentive public who realize that the contemporary challenges require a new thinking 'outside of the box.'' - Friedrich Kratochwil, Emeritus Professor, European University Institute, Florence, Italy
"The belated entry of postsecular perspectives in contemporary international relations is a welcome development to which this volume makes a valuable contribution. This book shows how postsecular discourse can be productively harnessed to deepen theoretical inquiry, the study of national and international contexts, and the role of non-state actors. In this sophisticated collection of essays, we see more clearly often neglected but important features of an elusive and rapidly changing international landscape and we gain a firmer grasp of the daunting normative challenges posed by an emerging postsecular future." - Joseph A. Camilleri, Emeritus Professor, La Trobe University, Australia
"A welcome contribution to the growing interplay between political theory and international relations. Written by leading experts and drawing on recent discussions about 'postsecularity,' the volume contests and rethinks the traditional bifurcation between reason and faith, religion and politics, and questions the modern Westphalian paradigm focused on interacting secular states, thereby opening the path to a new 'multicultural international society' where different cultural and religious traditions are respected and brought into dialogue." - Fred Dallmayr, Emeritus Packey J. Dee Professor, University of Notre Dame, USA
"After years of struggling in the dark, IR scholars are not just discovering religion, they also are beginning to adopt theories, tools, and sensibilities that can begin to chart its presence in world politics. This volume shines an important light on how the religious and the secular operate in world affairs." - Michael N. Barnett, Professor of International Affairs and Political Science, George Washington University, USA
"Towards a Postsecular International Politics provides a series of insightful essays that address a major transformation in international politics in which the traditional line between the secular and religious is often blurred." - John L. Esposito, Professor of Religion and International Affairs, Georgetown University, USA
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