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World of Faith and FreedomWhy International Religious Liberty Is Vital to American National Security$
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Thomas F. Farr

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195179958

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195179958.001.0001

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The Intellectual Sources of Diplomacy's Religion Deficit

The Intellectual Sources of Diplomacy's Religion Deficit

(p.53) 2 The Intellectual Sources of Diplomacy's Religion Deficit
World of Faith and Freedom

Thomas F. Farr (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores how the premises of the secularization theory have affected the diplomatic climate of opinion. After some cautions about the limits of intellectual history, it surveys the writings of scholars and policy makers in each of the three major schools of thought in contemporary U.S. foreign policy: realism, liberal internationalism, and neoconservatism. Each of these schools avoids the subject of religion, but for very different reasons. Realists, generally uninterested in the internal affairs of nations, see religion only as a “passion” and a drive to power. Liberal internationalists, although interested in domestic issues, see traditional religion as an obstacle to the furthering of progressive goals like human autonomy. Neoconservatives, despite their commitment to democracy promotion, have seen little connection between religion-driven culture and political development.

Keywords:   climate of opinion, realism, power, liberalism, autonomy, liberal internationalism, conservatism, neoconservatism, democracy

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