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Month: July 2014

New Book: Islam, Democracy, and Cosmopolitanism

New Book: Islam, Democracy, and Cosmopolitanism

Islam, Democracy, and Cosmopolitanism:
At Home and in the World


Ali Mirsepassi
Tadd Graham Fernée

Cambridge University Press
May 2014

This book presents a critical study of citizenship, state and globalization in societies that have been historically influenced by Islamic traditions and institutions. Interrogating the work of contemporary theorists of Islamic modernity such as Mohammed Arkoun, Abdul an-Na’im, Fatima Mernissi, Talal Asad, Saba Mahmood and Aziz Al-Azmeh, this book explores the debate on Islam, democracy and modernity, contextualized within contemporary Muslim lifeworlds. These include contemporary Turkey (following the 9/11 attacks and the onset of war in Afghanistan), multicultural France (2009-10 French burqa debate), Egypt (the 2011 Tahrir Square mass mobilizations), and India. Ali Mirsepassi and Tadd Graham Fernée critique particular counterproductive ideological conceptualizations, voicing an emerging global ethic of reconciliation. Rejecting the polarized conceptual ideals of the universal or the authentic, the authors critically reassess notions of the secular, the cosmopolitan and democracy. Raising questions that cut across the disciplines of history, anthropology, sociology and law, this study articulates a democratic politics of everyday life in modern Islamic societies.

Introduction: citizenship, state, and globalization 1. Ways of being in the world: religion and secularism 2. Islams and modernities: Al-Azmeh’s secular critique 3. Talal Asad’s romance with Islamism 4. Arkoun’s The Unthought in Islamic Thought 5. An-Na’im’s Islamic reformation: the reconciliation of equality of rights and the Shari’a 6. Fatima Mernissi: ‘locally’ rooted cosmopolitanism Conclusion.

New Book: Religion, Identity and Human Security

New Book: Religion, Identity and Human Security

Giorgio Shani (2014) Religion, Identity and Human Security (Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge) ISBN: 978-0-415-50906-0.



Religion, Identity and Human Security attempts to articulate a ‘post-secular’ approach to Human Security suited to a globalizing and increasingly post-Western world. It is divided into two sections. The first section provides the theoretical framework for re-conceptualizing Critical Human Security along post-secular lines. The second attempts to apply this framework to three sites of insecurity: the EU, South Asia and Japan. It will primarily be of interest to students of International Relations, Critical Security Studies and Religion and Politics.


Part I: Reconceptualizing Human Security in a Post-Secular Age, 1. Globalization and Identity After the Financial Crisis, 2. Provincializing Post-Secularism, 3. Re-conceptualizing Security: Towards a Critical Human Security Paradigm? 4. De-Secularizing Human Security, Part II: Sites of Human Insecurity, 5. Emancipating Zoe: The Securitization of the Veil in France, 6. Sarva Dharma Sambhava: Religion and Human In/Security in South Asia 7. Tabunka Kyōsei ? Ethno-Nationalism and Human Insecurity in Japan, Conclusion: To be Human is not to be resilient.

Call for Book Chapters: Resistance versus promotion of globalization

Call for Book Chapters: Resistance versus promotion of globalization

Edited Book project – contributions needed for specific chapters:

Resistance versus promotion of globalization: contrasting roles of religious activism in the global economy

The study of religion in international relations has focused on the relationship between religion and modernity, the impact of religion on the secular state system, on both religious and secular violence, and on the role of religious actors in world politics. There is however an absence of inquiry into how religious social movements relate to global capitalism. This is surprising given that politics of austerity, flexibility and economic liberalisation have spread throughout the world further entrenching a global economy. The book will discuss the relationship of religion to global capitalism by taking a novel approach to the study of religious actors. Instead of taking an essentialist definition of religion as its starting point, the authors in the book utilise the close study of specific religious movements and investigate how they see neoliberal globalization. The book will thus show that religion is not an explanatory variable since there are religious social movements that promote and resist neoliberal globalization. Instead the book promotes a constructivist approach to the study of religion and employs concepts from the study of global social movements to study how religious activists frame global political economy questions.

For this book project to be more representative – I need a chapter on prosperity religion, if possible on the African continent, a study of the Hindutva movement, specifically its economic success in Gujarat (alongside its authoritarianism), and a study of indigenous thought developing on the American continent with notions such as buen vivir and a completely different conceptualisation of the role of an ‘economy’.

So far we have covered the Gülen movement, Ennahda in Tunisia, AKP in Turkey, the Interfaith initiative in Tanzania against mining regulations, US evangelical groups activism to prevent global climate change, religious groups in the occupy movement and World Social Forum. Interestingly enough, the Christian movements we covered are all opposing neoliberal globalization whereas the Islamic activists are promoting further integration into the global economy. But I do not want to have another chapter on the anti-capitalist Muslims in Turkey, they will be integrated in the general discussion of the Turkey/AKP chapter. The list also shows that we utilize a broad understanding of social movements.

We have received an informal expression of interest from a publisher but need a stronger proposal to actually submit this to a preliminary review. Your commitment would only be finalised once we have a positive feedback from the publisher. If this works out, a first, rough, draft of the chapter would have to be submitted within 9 months.

Please contact Sabine Dreher, Department of International Studies, Glendon College, if you are interested in contributing to this project.

Ph.d. and post-doc fellowships – University of Oslo

Ph.d. and post-doc fellowships – University of Oslo

Ph.d. and post-doc fellowships at the University of Oslo, Norway:

1. Two Doctoral research fellowships in Politics and Society in the Middle East

2. Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship – Ideological and cultural development in the Middle East after ca 1850

3. Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship in the study of central aspects of the development of Islam as a religious tradition

4. Doctoral research fellowship in Semitic Studies with emphasis on language, religion and societal changes

RC43 panels at the IPSA Montreal Conference

RC43 panels at the IPSA Montreal Conference

Towards the end of July, Political Scientists from all over the world will gather in Montreal for the 23rd World Congress of Political Science. The Research Committee 43 on Religion and Politics hosts the following 12 panels*

Civil Society and Religion
Chair: Prof. Jeffrey Haynes
Palais des congrès – 512d
Wednesday, July 23rd – 13:00-14:45

Governance Implications of EU Integration for Post-communist States
Chair: Prof. Jeffrey Haynes
Palais des congrès – 522b
Tuesday, July 22nd – 11:00-12:45

Individual Attitudes towards Religion and Politics
Chair: Mr. Lieuwe Kalkhoven
Palais des congrès – 514a
Sunday, July 20th – 17:00-18:45

Political Leaders’ End Games and Military Engagement: Political-Military Relations in Mobilizing Societies
Chair: Prof. Aurel Croissant
Palais des congrès – 522c
Monday, July 21st – 13:00-14:45

Religion, Democratization and Democracy
Chair: Prof. Jeffrey Haynes
Palais des congrès – 513c
Sunday, July 20th – 15:00-16:45

Religion, International Relations, and Foreign Policy
Chair: Dr. Carimo Mohomed
Palais des congrès – 522c
Monday, July 21st – 11:00-12:45

Religious Criticism and Protest: Two Driving Forces for Socio-Political Change?
Chair: Dr. Julia Enxing
Palais des congrès – 522b
Tuesday, July 22nd – 13:00-14:45

Religious-motivated Criticism and Democratic Protest Movements
Chair: Dr. Massimiliano Livi
Palais des congrès – 515a
Tuesday, July 22nd – 15:00-16:45

Secularization and Its Discontents: Debates over the Legitimacy of a Historical Category
Chair: Prof. Jeffrey Haynes
Palais des congrès – 512g
Thursday, July 24th – 9:00-10:45

The Arab Spring: Three Years On
Chair: Prof. Jeffrey Haynes
Palais des congrès – 512g
Thursday, July 24th – 11:00-12:45

Thought, Action and Faith in an Age of Governance
Chair: Mr. Colin Cordner
Palais des congrès – 522c
Monday, July 21st – 9:00-10:45

Turkey: Politics, State, and Governance
Chair: Dr. Yusuf Sarfati
Palais des congrès – 512g
Thursday, July 24th – 13:00-14:45

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