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Finding Faith in Foreign PolicyReligion and American Diplomacy in a Postsecular World$
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Gregorio Bettiza

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190949464

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190949464.001.0001

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Theorizing US Foreign Policy in a Postsecular World Society

Theorizing US Foreign Policy in a Postsecular World Society

Chapter:
(p.21) Chapter 2 Theorizing US Foreign Policy in a Postsecular World Society
Source:
Finding Faith in Foreign Policy
Author(s):

Gregorio Bettiza

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190949464.003.0002

The chapter presents the book’s theoretical framework, which is grounded in a sociological approach to international relations (IR) theory. It suggests that to explain the causes and shape of the operationalization of religion in US foreign policy attention needs to be paid to the combined effects of macro-level forces represented by the emergence of a postsecular world society, and the mobilization at the micro-level of a diverse range of desecularizing actors who seek to contest the secularity of American foreign policy through the deployment of multiple desecularizing discourses. The chapter then conceptualizes four different processes of foreign policy desecularization—institutional, epistemic, ideological, and state-normative—which take place as religion increasingly becomes an organized subject and object of US foreign policy. Finally, it advances three hypotheses about the global effects of America’s religious foreign policies: they shape religious landscapes around the world in ways that reflect American values and interests; they contribute to religionizing world politics; and they promote similar policies internationally.

Keywords:   American foreign policy, religion, postsecularism, desecularization, sociology of religion, IR theory

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