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Thinking about the Role of Religion in Foreign Policy: A Framework for Analysis
Carolyn M. Warner, and Stephen G. Walker Arizona State University
The article outlines a framework for the analysis of religion and foreign policy. Despite the increased attention to religion in international relations, questions remain. Particularly controversial, yet relatively unexplored, is the role of religion in the foreign policies of states. We extrapolate from theories in the ﬁelds of international relations and comparative politics to explore religion’s potential avenues of inﬂuence on foreign policy. There are potential tools of analysis in these ﬁelds, which can be fruitfully extended and applied to understand the role of religion in foreign policy. We propose a framework within which various causal pathways and mechanisms can be situated. We also show how contributions from the ﬁeld of religion and politics might be used to frame theories and specify further hypotheses about religion and foreign policy. After identifying the main threads of these lines of research, we discuss how to apply them to the question of the role of religion in foreign policy and set out a new research agenda. We conclude that the potential of these theoretical approaches to the analysis of religion has not yet been exploited.
Religion’s inﬂuence in the interactions of states is one of the great and least understood security challenges of the twenty-ﬁrst century. Religion’s role in international politics also presents an intellectual challenge to scholars of international relations and religion and politics. While religion has emerged as a signiﬁcant factor in some analyses of international relations, controversial and unexplored questions remain concerning the role of religion in the foreign policies of states (Huntington 1993; Albright 2006; Mead 2006; Mearsheimer and Walt 2006a, 2007; Haynes 2008; Hurd 2008; Inboden 2008; Shaffer 2006). Many empirical studies have attempted to assess the opinions that adherents of different faiths hold about foreign policy and to assess whether international conﬂicts since the end of the Cold War have occurred along religious lines (Jelen 1994; Russett, Oneal, and Cox 2000; Henderson and Tucker 2001; Chiozza 2002; Roeder 2003; Zunes 2005; Furia and Lucas 2006; Grim and Finke 2007; Barker, Hurwitz, and Nelson 2008; Haynes 2008). Both sets of studies leave open questions of whether religion actually has a noticeable effect on foreign policy in some circumstances, and if so, how that
Authors’ note: An earlier version of this paper was presented at the annual meeting of the Society for the Scientiﬁc Study of Religion ⁄ Association for the Study of Religion, Economics and Culture, Tampa, FL, 2007. This paper beneﬁted from earlier extensive discussions with Mark Woodward and George Thomas. We thank Linell Cady, John Carlson, Roxanne Doty, Elizabeth Shakeman Hurd, Ramazan Kilinc, Halit Mustafa Tagma, Robert Mochrie, Mark Vincent, Murat Somer, Yoav Gortzak, and Carolyn Forbes for helpful comments and the Center for the Study of Religion and Conﬂict at Arizona State University for providing research support for the initial phase of this project. We appreciate as well the comments of three anonymous reviewers and the editors at Foreign Policy Analysis.
doi: 10.1111/j.1743-8594.2010.00125.x Ó 2010 International Studies Association
Thinking about the Role of Religion in Foreign Policy
effect is generated, and what are the possible mechanisms or means of religion’s inﬂuence? President Dwight D. Eisenhower, baptized Presbyterian while in ofﬁce, was well known for having framed the Cold War in religious terms: ‘‘When God comes in, communism has to go’’ (in Inboden 2008:259). It has been assumed by most that Eisenhower meant ‘‘God’’ was a Christian God. Yet Eisenhower also reached out to the Muslim world and opposed the US’s Judeo-Christian allies of Israel, France, and Great Britain in the Suez Canal crisis (Inboden 2008:290–8). Was his faith irrelevant to his foreign policies, or did it lead him to see an expansive community of faith? George W. Bush, in his ﬁrst speech after September 11, used religious rhetoric familiar to Christians but took pains to stress that the United States was not at war with Muslims or Islam (in Lincoln 2003:99-101). Studies have described both Bush and Jimmy Carter as having an evangelical presidential style, but the two had strikingly different foreign policies toward the Middle East (Daalder and Lindsay 2003; Guth 2004; Berggren and Rae 2006). Was that due to different interpretations of their faith, or different geopolitical circumstances, interest group pressures, and electoral conditions at the time of their presidencies? The same puzzle also occurs in assessing religion’s role in the foreign policies of other states. Under the guidance of an Islamic party, Turkey in recent years seemed to have turned toward the West. Then, by some popular accounts it turned to the Middle East (Friedman 2010). Did its population become more Islamist in the past year, or are elected Turkish leaders responding to geopolitical circumstances and opportunities? Is a leader’s religion a reason (cause) of his or her foreign policy decision or a rhetorical rationalization used to persuade others? Is knowing the religious afﬁliation of a leader ever a predictor of which side a leader will take in a dispute that could have religious overtones (see Dunn 1984)? These examples illustrate the problems of causal inference from rhetorical argument or simple correlational models and the need to ‘‘unpack’’ the dimensional properties of religion rather than simply use the ID tag that names the religion and sees a possibly spurious correspondence between the religious label and a policy choice. While there have been a number of studies on religion and foreign policy by several scholars, whose contributions we note throughout this essay, we suggest that the time is ripe for the development of a framework within which to better situate this research and assess progress in the ﬁeld. In this essay, we survey theoretical perspectives from the ﬁelds of international relations and comparative politics and offer such a framework to understand the role of religion in foreign policy. We contend as well that contributions from the ﬁeld of religion and politics may be used within this framework to specify further hypotheses about religion and foreign policy. We conclude from our review that these research possibilities have not yet been fully exploited. Foreign policy is deﬁned initially here simply as the formal policies of a state which affect various military, economic, humanitarian, social, and cultural dimensions of its relations with other states and nonstate actors. This focus excludes from consideration the role of religion in extraneous phenomena, such as rebellions, civil war, NGOs, transnational organizations (including terrorist), unless it is from the purview of a state’s foreign policy. Religion as the other half of our topic is also a multifaceted phenomenon (Bellin 2008). As Fox and Sandler (2004:176-7) suggest, religion plays various roles in peoples’ lives: it is a source of world views and values, as well as a source of identity and legitimacy, and is also ‘‘associated with formal institutions.’’ This conceptualization complements Bruce Lincoln’s deﬁnition of religion, which recognizes that religion is a set of collectively held spiritual beliefs articulated in a discourse, perpetuated and interpreted by institutions, communities, and associated practices (Lincoln 2003).
Carolyn M. and how it interacts with existing domestic political structures and groups is as yet poorly understood. Philpott 2007). they do not explore more extensively the various mechanisms through which religion leads a state to intervene on behalf of coreligionists. as well as of other countries. We apply these theoretical perspectives in this paper to show how the reasoning in these various explanations can work as theoretical solutions when applied to the puzzle of the role of religion in foreign policy. the extent of its impact. institutions. However. Our goal in this paper is to advance those efforts by shifting the focus from religion as a variable to encompass as well the mechanisms that generate or permit religion’s effects on foreign policy.1 If there is an organization attached. 2 1 . but many of their examples primarily address how religion affects domestic politics. to legitimate foreign policy choices and to build support. but how that effect occurs. Norris and Inglehart 2004. their attention to foreign policy is limited. and in its institutional connections with the state (Gill 1998. Walker 115 Much attention regarding the role of religion in international politics has been paid to religion as a set of beliefs or theology. transnational actor such as the Catholic Church or as a covert terrorist network such as al Qaeda (Hanson 1987. Kniss and Numrich 2007. See Hedstrom and Swedberg (1998) for a discussion of social mechanisms and Axelrod and Cohen (1999) for the analysis of complex social systems. In sum. and states. Hehir 2006). By mechanisms we mean interaction processes between variables in a complex social system of individuals. it is often as a large-scale. Fox and Sandler (2004) provide a general description of how religion might affect international relations. Our assumption is that more attention to various mechanisms linking religion and foreign policy is warranted. what the limits of its role in these processes might be. Although they attribute some causal effects to religion in international affairs. as an organized interest. These views of religion may limit the effects that we see. under what conditions and through which mechanisms various aspects of religion exert more or less inﬂuence. as individual leaders constitute the vortex and domestic organizations are the pathways through which the inﬂuence of religion often passes to inﬂuence political decisions—including those taken in the foreign policy domain. A country’s religious heritage may affect its overall orientation toward foreign policy and which countries are its more likely allies and enemies. These varying manifestations of religion would seem to be signiﬁcant in the arenas in which a state’s foreign policy is formulated. Warner and Stephen G. to make theoretical progress in understanding the role of religion in foreign policy analysis. We want to show See the review piece by Fox (2001). When operationalized as a variable.2 We contend that insights and arguments from theories of international relations and comparative politics have the potential to be applied to the study of the role of religion in foreign policy as part of an emerging ﬁeld of religion and politics. groups. Philpott 2007). an attribute of a culture. to say nothing of developing methodologies for doing so. Gill and Keshavarzian 1999. it is typically measured by religious denomination or frequency of practice. Manza and Wright 2003. which generate foreign policies as outcomes. and a source of values (Huntington 1993. Warner 2000. Walt 2001 ⁄ 02. They analyze the extent to which interventions in domestic conﬂicts are performed by countries of the same religion (on the side of the same religion) and note that leaders can use commonly held religious understandings of their own population. A variety of such studies have suggested that religion matters as a variable in understanding a state’s foreign policy. Ammerman 2003. A variety of theories of religion and politics also tell us we cannot ignore the role of religion as an attribute of individuals and communities. our goal is to create a framework for cumulative research on how religion might operate in speciﬁc foreign policy domains.
More extended discussions of causality in IR theory and the social sciences are Waltz (1959). which are to increase the likely commensurability of insights drawn from these various schools of thought. and ideas (religious heritage and culture) in constructivist theory. The former derives from the neo-Humean regularity approach. including counterfactual reasoning and experimental manipulation. they do not emphasize the same type of causal mechanism. while disagreeing on the exact causal mechanism within these two categories that constrains or speciﬁes foreign policy effects.3 Structural realism emphasizes the distribution of power while structural constructivism privileges the conﬁguration of cultural ideas and norms as ‘‘permissive causes. 4 These IR theories distinguish collectively between two general types of causality. 1998. and institutionalism in North American IR theory (Elman and Elman 2003) and exclude other schools of thought. These mutual commitments allow us to bracket an extended consideration of methodological issues and focus on the identiﬁcation of causal mechanisms that express hypotheses about the sources of foreign policy. Moravcsik 2003). institutionalism. 3 Elster (1998:45. could be a necessary cause. Other scholars note that analytical differences in causality and causal mechanism depend on correlation-based and process-based causal inferences (Collier et al. liberalism. Wendt 1999). feminist IR theory. Collier. in one or more of its varying manifestations. For an extensive discussion of theories of causality in social science. nor are we going to test empirically any hypotheses. and they may also vary by theory as we shall see below. We also do not treat these theories as rivals. constructivism.’’ This conceptualization does not rule out that some causal relations may attain the status of laws within a theory while allowing for the search for causal mechanisms outside an explicit or fully speciﬁed theoretical context. 2004). Liberalism identiﬁes certain values and interests as goals while institutionalism prescribes state-based rules of behavior to shape and direct foreign policy decisions as effects (Keohane and Martin 2003. We limit our theoretical survey to the main positivist schools of realism. Hedstrom and Swedberg (1998). Italics omitted) characterizes the idea of a causal mechanism as ‘‘intermediate between laws and descriptions… frequently occurring and easily recognizable causal patterns that are triggered under generally unknown conditions or with indeterminate consequences. Brady 2008:226–230:Mahoney 2008). While these theoretical approaches are compatible with a mechanistic conception of causality as a process of interaction among variables that produces an effect. the mapping of causal mechanisms identiﬁed by these theories and specifying hypotheses about religion and foreign policy that merit further investigation. These four approaches share some assumptions about the nature of causality in forming hypotheses about the relationships between cause and effect. various Marxist approaches. Ashley 1984). or play yet a more complicated role in a set of causal relations (see. motivational. . and Stark 2010). liberalism. institutions (states) in the ‘‘new institutionalism’’ theory. such as the English school. The cognitive. and constructivism) the respective roles of power (geopolitical position) in realist theory. McGowan and Walker (1981). a sufﬁcient cause.’’ structural mechanisms that permit certain foreign policy decisions as effects while excluding others (Waltz 1979. 241–8. the latter on there being causal mechanisms and capacities to produce an effect (Brady 2008:226–32. permissive and efﬁcient causes (Waltz 1959). see Brady (2008). most especially those mapping with the aid of four general theories (realism.4 It must also be stated that religion. Yee 1996. interests (parties) in liberal theory. Brady. The value of our effort is primarily heuristic. Sekhon. and affective capacities of these agents would be the ‘‘efﬁcient causes’’ that produce decisions occurring under these environmental constraints. and hermeneutic or postmodern schools of thought (McGowan and Walker 1981. All of these theoretical perspectives assume a decision maker that internalizes and actually makes foreign policy decisions on the basis of these structural constraints (Ruggie 1983. Little 1991. Jackson 2010). Alker and Biersteker 1984).116 Thinking about the Role of Religion in Foreign Policy the promising potential of several approaches to religion and politics. Collier. and Seawright 2004.
Our discussion outlines relationships and identiﬁes processes as causal mechanisms along these pathways. third. interest groups and parties. by Rosenau (1966) in comparative foreign policy analysis. dimensions. and the logic of state institutions. It follows that if religion is to have a local (direct and immediate) steering effect on foreign policy. its causal impact must be represented in the beliefs and intentions of the agents of foreign policy. and Sapin (1954) in foreign policy decision making. constructivism. second. Walker 117 Theoretical Perspectives: Religion and Foreign Policy The sources of foreign policy are a contested issue. outlining theoretically derived causal pathways as arrows leading to foreign policy outcomes. AGENTS FOREIGN POLICY III. we consider the intervening impact of causal agents between these sources and foreign policy. Smith’s map consisted of six conceptual boxes containing dimensions extracted from each category of concepts. A Macroscopic Map of Religion and Foreign Policy . the nexus of public opinion. POWER Geopolitical Position FIG 1. it is also possible for religion’s inﬂuence on agents to originate in the culture of the society (Box IV) and travel through the IV. Groups Public Opinion VI. it must alter or reenforce the beliefs and intentions of the agents. we identify realism. however. Bruck. and cases accessible and orderly. we address more speciﬁc subcategories of geopolitical position. IDEAS/CULTURE Religious Heritage V. concepts. and institutionalism as general theoretical categories. To reach these points of local impact between agent and action properties.Carolyn M. which might be expected were we to consider systematically the role of religion in foreign policy and then introduce relevant features of religion into each of these causal pathways leading to foreign policy outcomes. INTERESTS Parties. Our project also resonates with previous efforts to map the analytical terrain for studying foreign policy by Snyder. If environmental feedback is to have a similar local learning effect on religion. To keep this tangle of theories. liberalism. we adopt the convention of ‘‘mapping’’ their relationships with the aid of the example set by Smith (1968) and applied by Greenstein (1987) for the study of personality and politics. and by McGowan and Walker (1981) in foreign economic policymaking. domestic culture or heritage. We present a similar mapping strategy in Figure 1. To initiate this examination of linkages between religion and foreign policy. we group arguments into several categories: ﬁrst. Some arrows identiﬁed causal paths by connecting dimensions within each box. Warner and Stephen G. These reciprocal relationships between agents and actions are in Box V and Box VI and represent the steering effects of leaders’ beliefs and intentions on foreign policy actions versus the learning effects of feedback from actions on those beliefs and intentions. INSTITUTIONS Organizations/State Structures I. II. we begin by identifying shared properties of interest at the most immediate site of their interaction. To simplify. and other arrows connected dimensions of one concept to dimensions associated with other concepts.
In this ﬁgure. or the actual mechanisms (processes) represented by the arrows. interests and institutions associated with these theories. information from the worldview contained in a particular religion identiﬁes relevant aspects of the political universe and provides guidance for ethical action in that environment. Furthermore. namely. the arrows linking (Box II) interests. We employ IR theories to analyze mechanisms and distinguish different levels of resolution and magniﬁcation in examining our map with the aid of an optics metaphor (McGowan and Walker 1981). For instance. and (II and III) liberal-institutional theories. They assess their relations with other states and take actions with or . Using different theories. Jervis 1999). In other words. and the arrows around the periphery anticipating relationships between (Box I) power and (Box IV) ideas ⁄ culture and the intervening relationships represented by interests and institutions. (Box III) institutions. each state does what it must to survive in its particular geopolitical position. society.118 Thinking about the Role of Religion in Foreign Policy causal pathways linking groups (Box II) and institutions (Box III). the causal directions of the relationships between dimensions. in which there is no sovereign power that exercises authority over all others. and (Box VI) foreign policy. namely. ideas and culture. based on religious beliefs about human nature. The causal directions for the relationships speciﬁed in the macroscopic view in Figure 1 are the reciprocal arrows between (Box V) agents and (Box VI) foreign policy. The links between the theories and the boxed dimension(s). with signiﬁcant input from religion and politics theories. but it reveals relatively little information about particular dimensions. constructivists and liberals both have conceptions of power. Depending on the receptivity of the agents and the energy in the transmission of this information. we specify known or predicted relationships among dimensions at different locations on the map. we can see the broad outlines of the map (concepts and relationships). holistic overview (the forest) provided by the high-resolution ⁄ low-magniﬁcation map in Figure 1 above. such as power. its message may be relevant and applicable to states as well as individuals. we note that comparativists may see that some of their theoretical frameworks apply to these dimensions. The goal here is to see how these theoretical perspectives. These possibilities raise two questions for investigation: what is the nature (content) of this information and how is it transmitted (with what force and via what channels)? The following analysis focuses ﬁrst on the mechanisms of transmission and then on the content of the messages that link religion and foreign policy. Consequently. power (both military and economic). We hypothesize that what is transmitted about religion along these pathways is information about the appropriate actions to take. the roles are not speciﬁed for particular variables contained within the concepts of power. protect its territory and exercise sovereignty (Waltz 1979. and the world. would conceptualize and hypothesize the role of religion in foreign policy. are not mutually exclusive. Their speciﬁcation in more detail is in the following discussion of these different IR theories and their causal mechanisms. This step requires a lower resolution ⁄ higher magniﬁcation view of some locations (the trees) at the expense of an aerial. (IV) constructivist. Realism and Constructivism: Anarchy and Culture in the International System Mainstream realist IR theory holds that because of the anarchic nature of international relations. These postulated effects are based on theoretical arguments drawn from (I) realist. states are fundamentally concerned with key variables from the concepts in Box I of Figure 1. The impact of feedback from the external environment to reach agents can also follow these pathways as well as the more circuitous route through the cultural matrix (Box IV) of the society.
While these dynamics could lead to peaceful. One of these inﬂuences is ‘‘values. is constrained by their own capabilities and the distribution of power in the system as a whole. 21) writes. see also Philpott 2007. which determines cooperation or conﬂict between states. Religion may have a role in international conﬂicts.Carolyn M. regardless of their domestic political characteristics. . 518). Roeder 2003. One can point to differences in Morgenthau. face the same security dilemma in the form of threats because of power and geography. States. they could also lead to aggression if one state uses a common 5 Realism has a variety of interpretations. Morgenthau 1985. states with common religious values would be expected to be less likely to go to war with each other. Although the Huntington thesis has been extensively tested and thoroughly critiqued. For Huntington. One hypothesis resulting from the ‘‘clash of civilizations’’ approach is that a common religious heritage may provide common norms which. even if it is not the determining or dominant factor. but see also Henderson 1998. surprisingly few studies (including Huntington’s) have explicitly assessed the role of religion in ‘‘civilizational conﬂict’’ (Fox and Sandler 2004:118-125. which cover this ground more extensively than realism. Chiozza 2002. Space constraints prevent us from analyzing and extrapolating from all of its intellectual variants. Russett 1993). for instance (Carr 1964. The approach assumes religion dominates and determines a country’s culture and ‘‘identity’’ and therefore speciﬁes the state’s international allies and enemies. In turn. Warner and Stephen G. to protect. collaborative. Waltz 1979. culture is part of the larger construct of ‘‘civilization’’ in Huntington’s argument. The latter schools of realism share insights with domestic analyses and psychological analyses of agents by other theories discussed later in our essay. Fox and Sandler 2004). as represented by the arrows directly connecting Boxes IV and V as well as them with Boxes I and IV. and Mearsheimer. classical. neorealist analyses in this paper while omitting agent-centered.’’ Religion in any form in this view has little impact on the security dilemma and states’ responses to that dilemma.’’ which might be expressed in culture. Extrapolating from a milder version of the ‘‘clash of civilizations’’ thesis. Huntington (1993) famously argued that a country’s religious heritage determines its enemies and allies in the postCold War era. and to enhance their power. Grim and Finke 2007). As Stephen Krasner (1993a. ‘‘The behavior of individual states. in turn. which fosters a common identity that mitigates the ‘‘us versus them’’ dynamic of the international system (Johnston 1995a. Doyle 1986. Carr. By extension. Lake 1996). States with the same religion or religious heritage see that they have a common cultural bond. other inﬂuences should not be so readily dismissed. As many readers will recognize. Oren 2009). The security threat a state faces might be motivated by cultural differences. and neoclassical variants of realism. The causal mechanism in this argument postulates that countries of the same religion may have a signiﬁcant level of ideological afﬁnity. States with common cultural values are argued to be less likely to go to war against each other (Kant 1939. no matter their culture or religious heritage. religion enters as a deﬁning feature of the culture concept in Box IV of Figure 1. We focus primarily on structure-oriented. this argument is a restatement of Samuel P. although fundamental to each is an emphasis on power and state survival. Walker 119 against them based on a clear calculation of power and survival (Jervis 1978. This causal mechanism may also operate at the level of realpolitik: a state may use claims to a common heritage to foster alliances. one might expect that religion could lead a country to relate differently to other countries depending on whether they have the same or a different religion. might facilitate convergence on policy. Mearsheimer 2001. including religious ones.5 Yet scholars have noted that there are various ways for states to survive. including international treaties (Gehler and Kaiser 2003. Huntington’s ‘‘clash of civilizations’’ thesis. or cooperative foreign policies.
120 Thinking about the Role of Religion in Foreign Policy religious background to justify taking over another. Religion is typically viewed as one aspect of culture. Religions have systems of moral authority that rationalize and prioritize certain interests while refuting and dismissing others. one might further hypothesize that if a religion is regarded as an integral part of the state’s identity and if particular mechanisms are present. such as Huntington’s ‘‘clash of civilizations’’ thesis.’’ might miss differences within Islam and their varied potential inﬂuences on the foreign policy of Pakistan. it is much less likely that religious factors will affect foreign policy.’’ he noted that religions vary in their expression across countries and that religious practices vary markedly within countries (Laitin 1986). or to assist foreign insurgencies and civil wars. Warner and Wenner 2006. For countries of different religions. which is derived from its culture (Wendt 1992. precisely because that heritage has bequeathed several politically important strands of Protestant Christianity (mainline. the lack of ideological afﬁnity may make cooperation more difﬁcult. The religion embedded in a country’s national identity. The main proponents of culture as a variable in international relations have been (Box IV) constructivist theorists who argue that the very essence of a state is its identity. At the level of realpolitik. If religion is one aspect of culture. as in France. To . governments are more likely to take religion into account in formulating foreign policy. an effort to assess the inﬂuence of religion on foreign policy by searching for the effects of a monolithic religion in a particular case. Collins 2007. norms. evangelical) to American culture. and thus in the international relations literature its inﬂuence is theorized in the context of culture. A narrower version of the constructivist approach would contend that culture can provide ‘‘the logic through which interests are rationalized and prioritized’’ (Ansari 2006:259). though it still needs a means of understanding how culture or identity affects policy in different issue domains. ‘‘Islam and the foreign policy of Pakistan. Thus. conversely. fundamentalist. it may contribute to that logic because religions are characterized by a system of beliefs. Although this thesis is a decided advance upon essentializing arguments. State actions in the international arena are derived from that identity: ‘‘The identity of a state implies its preferences and consequent actions’’ (Hopf 1998:175). Philpott and Shah 2006. religious differences may be used instrumentally as one justiﬁcation for aggression or noncooperation with another or to fund foreign insurgencies or civil wars. Emphasizing religion as a key factor in foreign policy. and practices (Lincoln 2003. Pakistan’s complex religious culture likely interacts with other aspects of its culture and political history. it is because the ‘‘background of social ⁄ discursive practices and meanings which make possible the practices as well as the social actors themselves’’ has been universalized in the system of international states (Doty 1993:298). Any religion (especially the major world religions) is instead comprised of myriad interpretations. If the state’s identity has been deﬁned as strictly secular. like Huntington. To add more speciﬁcity. that cultures or civilizations based on the same world religion have a similar set of norms (Katzenstein 1996). Some argue that religious norms are too broad and vague to account for policy speciﬁcities if one simply asserts. Hehir 2006. organizational structures. which shaped its institutions. Kniss and Numrich 2007). communities. If states react similarly to similar threats and other foreign policy situations regardless of identity or culture. Walter Russell Mead (2006) argues that the Christian religious heritage is important in the United States. When Max Weber wrote of the ‘‘practical religion of the converted. In addition. and practices that provide a guide to right living (Lincoln 2003). Recent works on religion and politics have argued that religions cannot be analyzed as monolithic entities. Finnemore 1996). for example. would be expected to shape how that country deﬁnes its foreign policy interests.
Warner and Stephen G. sovereign force. Collectively held ideas. ‘‘secularist authority is an inﬂuential part of the socio-cultural context within which US foreign policy is formulated’’ (Hurd 2008:106). lending credence to Elizabeth Shakman Hurd’s (2004. Hurd and Philpott emphasize with constructivists the historical contingency of the state system. Its secularism is also the expression of the religious norm in the Protestant Reformation of locating authority at the local level of agents (individuals or states) rather than in a universal organization such as a catholic.Carolyn M. that is. 1999. states make choices. and foreign policymakers’ decisions. which characterizes much of international politics. Liberalism: Ideas. ideas operate in a more limited way. 2008). Combined with the argument of other IR theorists. is not morally superior or otherwise better than some other system that conceivably could have evolved were it not for haphazard historical events. one needs to start by differentiating between the strands and understanding their different implications for attitudes toward foreign policy. Indeed. providing a set of concepts or beliefs about a political issue area. as the latter tends to argue that culture includes symbols. Hurd then argues that the state system. thus structuring the policy arena and privileging those ideas embedded in institutions (Sikkink 1991. Philpott argues that without such a move. As conceived by a variant of liberal IR theory. As Hurd reasons about the United States. However. the traditional positivist research agenda will ﬁnd inevitably that religion does not have any or much inﬂuence (Hurd 2004. hence. rituals of meaning. Scholarship on the role of ideas in foreign policy turns on the point that. the Hurd and Philpott perspective is a powerful reminder that we may not be seeing much religion in foreign policy because it has been deﬁned out of the system as a legitimate. universal. is embedded in the international system and in national identities that suffuse the foreign policy bureaucracy. Yee . secularism is a tenet derived from religion—the Protestant Reformation. such as foreign policy (Goldstein and Keohane 1993a:3). In other words. The Reformation’s deﬁnition of a state and its authority underlies a system that accepted that matters of religion were internal affairs of state. It posits that the whole arena for foreign policy has been deﬁned to be secular. the military. Another constructivist argument challenges the simple or nonexistent role of religion in realist international relations theory. and Institutions Because religion can be said to have as one deﬁning feature a set of ideas (theology). That is to say. ideas pushed by speciﬁc interest groups or coalitions (parties) with access to policymakers. which privileges the secular in international relations. church or a Holy Roman Empire (Krasner 1993b. a key place to think about the role of religion in foreign policy is to consider the role of ideas within institutions. Carlson and Owen 2003). and the ideas of leaders inﬂuence those choices (Goldstein and Keohane 1993b. Secularism. Walker 121 research the role of religion in US foreign policy. religion’s role is limited in foreign policy because the international system is based on the Westphalian secular state. therefore. Daniel Philpott (2000) argues that the Protestant Reformation gave rise to the system of sovereign statehood. Goldstein 1988). 2008) claim that the system is premised on a false secularity. even in traditional security areas such as war. 2006. Interests. norms. based on particular histories and understandings of religion and coming under different forms. The Protestant Reformation detached religious authority from state (secular) authority. Philpott 2001. This perspective is distinct from a constructivist approach emphasizing the role of culture. it deﬁned the state as an entity distinct from theology and from religious authority and institutions. and other social practices. the Treaty of Westphalia and the resulting system of states would not have been possible. that shared ideas can be ‘‘encased’’ by institutions.
Precisely because the realist view of the world holds that the international system is anarchic. Even if states and leaders are rational. This approach ‘‘requires an analysis of the ideational causal mechanisms or capacities that render the meanings of ideas and beliefs compelling to actors’’ (Yee 1996:102). the situations they face are complex and uncertain.122 Thinking about the Role of Religion in Foreign Policy 1996. thus characterized by high uncertainty and complexity. and even power must be understood in terms of the constitutive capacity of religious ideas. the analysis must include speciﬁcation of religion’s role in creating identities and values. agents. Dimensions of interests. Second. see North 1999:248–50. IR theorists might counter that while preferences and ideals are domestically derived. as Philpott (2007:507) argues. Comparativists might note that IR seems to have ‘‘discovered’’ domestic politics. to the extent that religion is a part of those shared beliefs. A religion has vocabularies and concepts which ‘‘proscribe and prescribe speech’’ and . which proclaims and describes the religion and ‘‘provides guidance for living a moral life consistent with the religious conceptualizations’’ (Laitin 1986:25). Houghton (2007) notes that the potential of ideas to have causal inﬂuence in foreign policy had been articulated much earlier by Snyder et al. it will affect foreign policy. and what the legitimate range of actions and purposes of state power vis-a ` -vis other states are. states and their policymakers cannot make strictly rational judgments. Thus. such an approach would focus on the ideas that the religion might have about who or what constitute enemies of the state or the religion or its religious followers. (1954). Constructivists might go further to argue that the foreign policy arena and all participants in foreign policy-making would be inﬂuenced by shared beliefs as a subset of ideas about the ‘‘national interest’’ (Finnemore and Sikkink 2001). relations in the international system depend on the distribution of preferences and values across states and how states can interact with other states to reach their goals. The costs and beneﬁts of policies and actions can vary. as well as an explication of the doctrine and practices of the entities in question. Elman 2008). one should ask what does it mean for religion to be an idea? First. Legro 2005). One has to model the decision maker as holding a mental model’’ (quoted in Legro 2005:26. it would mean that religion is the theological doctrine. it would mean that the religion’s political theology describes what it sees as ‘‘legitimate political authority. which is why elements of both liberal and constructivist theory overlap. under such circumstances ‘‘substantive rationality results do not hold. Constructivists agree and argue that ideas construct ‘‘both identities and interests’’ (Houghton 2007:29). depending on the conceptual or ideational lens through which they are viewed or the ideational scale on which they are weighed. institutions. Malici 2008b).’’ answering questions about who may hold power: ‘‘To what degree ought the state to promote faith? What is justice? What is the right relationship between religious authorities and the state?’’ Extended to foreign policy. with the ideational variant of the theory focusing on ‘‘domestic social identities and values as a basic determinant of state preferences’’ and thus of foreign policy (Moravcsik 2003:168). To investigate religion’s role in foreign policy. To start. Carried over to religion in foreign policy. a basic ideational approach would suggest that different religions—or (more precisely) different religious groups practicing their version of a religion—will have different ideas about goals and assign different weights to trade-offs on the means ⁄ ends scale to reach those goals (Warner 2000. As Douglass North argues. It makes ‘‘truth claims’’ based on an understanding of a ‘‘transcendent authority’’ (Lincoln 2003:5-6). Kniss and Numrich 2007. Contemporary liberal theory in IR posits that states pursue preferences and ideals derived from domestic political considerations and constrained by domestic and international institutions.
The point ‘‘is not to show that ideas ‘trump’ other traditional factors—speciﬁcally power or interest groups —in explaining foreign policy change and continuity. Aldrich et al. Lai and Slater 2006. would shape a state’s foreign policy. without specifying the mechanisms that encapsulate and channel these inﬂuences in politics. they legitimated political practices that were already facts on the ground’’ (Krasner 1993b:238). Scholars have debated whether publics generally have strong opinions about foreign policy and by extension whether different religious denominations have different opinions about the same subject—and if so. Milner 1997). Schmidt 2008).Carolyn M. italics in original). Warner and Stephen G. however. Oldmixon. Instead. one would need to focus on the institutional features of a religion and its connections with the state. interests and institutions embodied by interest groups. Philpott (2000) argues to the contrary that the idea of such an arrangement preceded the ‘‘facts on the ground. based on a common idea. In this section we examine the impact of ideas. fueled by the concepts of power and ideas. We begin by investigating the impact of the attitudes and opinions of the mass public on policymakers’ choices. and political parties or movements in the society and by organizations and institutions of the state. Gourevitch and Shinn 2005. Baumgartner. see Yee 1996:92-94). organized religions. The counterpoint to an emphasis on ideas is that. Feaver. and Morris 2008. Findings are mixed. In the signiﬁcant case of the Westphalian state system. Froese and Mencken 2009. particularly in the . Extending this approach to the study of religion and the foreign policies of states. Nelsen. The preceding account of the relationship between religion and foreign policy is a relatively ‘‘thin’’ account. there is a complex process in which the differential power of competing societal groups and the institutional structures of a state’s political system affect whether and how ideas affect foreign policy (Katzenstein 1978. Ideas must have an ‘‘organizational means of expression’’ to ‘‘acquire force’’ (Hall 1986:280. Baum and Potter 2008). Moravcsik 2003. (2008:307) ﬁnd that those in the United States who adhere to a Christian ‘‘messianic militarist’’ belief are more likely to have hawkish attitudes on foreign policy and that ‘‘as belief in the authority in the Bible increases. (2006:496) conclude that public opinion affects US foreign policy through the electoral and party system. Scholars who emphasize (Box III) institutions in international relations and domestic politics argue that ideas do not simply infuse the spirit of the culture or the collectively held national understandings and then result in policy. Gelpi. Moravcsik 2003). and Fraser 2001. Baumgartner and Leech 1998. Gourevitch 1986. Warner 2000. relative to domestic issues. Barker et al.’’ Some recent studies have gone a step further and tried to examine how public opinion would impact policymakers’ decisions (Aldrich. The ways the policies and actions of states and other international actors are interpreted by national policy-makers are constrained and formed by those shared understandings. so does the perceived electoral salience of foreign policy issues. ‘‘Ideas have not made possible alternatives that did not previously exist. but instead to make sense of how ideas interact with other factors in speciﬁc ways to cause outcomes’’ (Legro 2005:13. Rosenson. and Wald 2009). Walker 123 thus how policies are formulated. which IR scholars would recognize as variants of republican liberal theory. and comparativists as interest group politics and the new institutionalism (Hall 1986. Guth. though they tend to show that the institutional context ﬁlters how public opinion affects leaders. here religious. Furia and Lucas 2006. and Thompson Sharp 2006. and even whether they can be thought of to be formulated (Yee 1996:95).’’ Shared social identities. what those views are (Jelen 1994. Doing so moves us to considerations of (Box II) domestic-level sources of foreign policy emphasized by liberal IR theory (Doyle 1986. Immergut 1998. which transmit ideas and power within the architecture of their respective structures. Reiﬂer. Francis. These levels of analysis are the domestic locations for mechanisms.
foreign policy is constituted through an institutionally constrained struggle between different groups. One approach emphasizes the role of institutional differentiation between religion and state power in understanding the role of religion in politics. Therefore. one would surmise that democratic political systems would give religion the opportunity to be inﬂuential in foreign policy. Wald. If such a party has a religious base and ideology. legal separation of religious and state authority as in France or Turkey. although the extent to which they can. the overt inﬂuence of a religion in a state’s foreign policy may be lower in a state in which there is high differentiation through a formal. Freedman 2009). they may steer foreign policy in their direction (Elman and Warner 2008. Kaarbo and Beasley 2008). Extrapolating to foreign policy. For instance. Political structures would mediate such factors as the relation of religion to the legitimacy of the state. This approach focuses on the legal arrangements governing ‘‘how religion and political authority are related’’ (Philpott 2007:505) and would be familiar to scholars who study ‘‘church-state’’ arrangements and their effects on issues ranging from the boundaries between sacred and secular. they have to deal with the speciﬁcities of their domestic populations. in a democracy if the electoral system is proportional. or are part of the ‘‘selectorate’’ of the . the religiosity of the population. If they become critical to the formation of coalition governments and they have strong preferences. Jelen and Wilcox 2002. Naoi 2009. Fox 2008. Even though states operate in the international system of states. informed by the religion and politics literature on religious beliefs. Indeed. and the presence of mobilized religious groups. Others have examined whether some interest groups have had more inﬂuence than others (Jacobs and Page 2005. Zunes 2005. it needs an institutional channel or outlet. and Fridy 2005. Scholars who have studied public opinion and foreign policy tend to agree that in order for public opinion to have an impact on foreign policy. the nature of the religious heritage. There are a number of possible institutional effects. Rakel 2007). see also Elman 1995. Warner and Wenner 2006. Yavuz 2003. If the political system is structured such that organized interests have a formal role in foreign policy (Haynes 2008). Stinnett 2007). religiously informed public opinion. Silverman. affect whether and how religion inﬂuences foreign policy formation (Jelen 1991. the preferences of organized religious minorities may be taken into consideration as a state formulates its foreign policy in a particular issue area. Another institutional aspect is the structure of the political system. scholars of foreign economic policy argue that ‘‘political institutions determine how power over decision-making is allocated among national actors’’ (Milner 1997:99. but rather a proposition generated from insights in the religion and politics literature. 2007). Warner 2000. This claim is not a statement of fact. Kuru 2008). Jacobs and Page 2005). the place of religion in public life (Casanova 1994). All other things being equal.124 Thinking about the Role of Religion in Foreign Policy processes by which a state formulates its foreign policy (Philpott and Shah 2006. Putnam 1988. Policymakers can exploit the positions of their domestic constituency to achieve their aims (Moravcsik 1993:24–7. and the domestic factor is ampliﬁed in democratic systems (Evans et al. Elman 2008. as well as the organizational structure and mobilizational capacities of religious institutions. Warner and Wenner 2006. McGowan and Walker 1981). institutions and their effect on domestic politics. Kalyvas 2000. single-issue parties may be able to win seats in the legislature. Thus. Mearsheimer and Walt 2006a. 1993. we would expect that political institutions. depends on what kind of political system they are leading (Lai and Slater 2006) and whether domestic events are undermining their authority (Fravel 2005). to accommodation of minority religions (Fetzer and Soper 2005. Milner 1997. small. In line with this view. we need to analyze how institutions affect whether religion has an impact on foreign policy. see Sprecher and DeRouen 2005.
religion needs structural mechanisms to inﬂuence foreign policy. Gill 1998.b). ‘‘There is no necessary connection between a nation’s religious composition and the relationship of church and state. it may be possible to appease them with patronage or domestic policies (Elman and Warner 2008). which affect their strategies vis-a ` -vis state institutions. now is not the time to enter into or attempt to settle the debate about the relative explanatory power of structure 6 See. by their constituencies (Lai and Slater 2006). Catholic France. decides. as well as its inﬂuence within the belief systems of the people who actually make the decisions. which by their power as voters or active societal groups attempt to inﬂuence foreign policy. Warner and Stephen G. Bueno de Mesquita. Organized religions often have interests.’’ Protestant United States. Thomas 2005). As Jelen and Wilcox (2002:315) remind us. which force them to negotiate. material needs. Catholic Ireland and Muslim Pakistan do not. Foreign policy is ultimately conﬁgured by a set of decision units within government itself. or compete with political authorities to further their organizational survival and advance their moral project. Countries may have organized religious interests present in representative institutions. 2009. see also Keohane and Martin 2003). Siverson. Lieberman 2009a. However. one might expect to ﬁnd religious interests expressed in foreign policy. an institutional perspective would expect the impact of organized religious groups to be attenuated by a strong. Thomas and others give to the way that ‘‘religion constitutes the very identity of politically inﬂuential social movements’’ (Philpott 2009:196. . its political inﬂuence on foreign policy may be constrained or facilitated by institutional structures. Focusing on the decision-making process within the state brings attention to the various ways religion might be present within a state’s foreign policy decisionmaking apparatus. This institutional approach directs attention to the fact that religious beliefs are typically carried and promoted by organized religions and that these religious organizations have seemingly secular interests. An analysis of this debate and speciﬁc pathways of the inﬂuence of certain interests groups on US foreign policy is beyond the scope of this essay.b. They are more likely to succeed where the states are relatively unstable and very dependent on societal forces such as organized religions (Gill and Keshavarzian 1999. secular military. This is not to deny the emphasis Scott M. Trejo 2009).6 To the extent that such interests must be catered to by the regime. and implements foreign policy’’ (Hermann 2001:47. In short.Carolyn M. Gill 2008). Smith. Agent-Based Theory: Personalities and Beliefs in the International System Political psychologist Margaret Hermann moves the institutional argument inside the state apparatus. for instance. namely in organizational maintenance and possibly expansion. Thus. the debate about the role of the ‘‘Israel lobby’’ in US policy toward Israel and the Middle East (Mearsheimer and Walt 2006a. for instance. arguing that the various international and domestic factors which affect foreign policy ‘‘are necessarily channeled through the political apparatus of a government that identiﬁes. Walker 125 regime (those groups and ⁄ or individuals who choose the state’s leadership. by the powers and interests of the head of government ⁄ state. Vague cultural identities must be organized and galvanized by societal and political institutions and leaders. and Muslim Turkey have legal and institutional separation of religion and state. pressure. and by the economic and political-military (geopolitical) vulnerabilities of the country. Authoritarian regimes are also constrained. and institutional relationships. Lu 2008:137-53. to a lesser extent. These interests may compromise or seem to contradict the organization’s espoused religious beliefs or even lead to changes in doctrine (Kalyvas 1996. Protestant Britain. and Morrow 2003). It is to note that while religion can constitute the very being of a social movement or interest group.
While the inﬂuence of the religious beliefs of leaders is constrained by state structures. cultural beliefs about the nation’’ (Hudson 1999:769). New leaders may bring them along into social or political institutions in a transfer of power and leadership through elections. 1999. It is also plausible that leaders could activate some elements of religion or be forced to incorporate them (Mead 2006). Carlsnaes 1992). the religious beliefs of leaders can be inﬂuential in shaping leadership style (how dogmatic or pragmatic a policy might be) and in directing leadership attention (how salient or irrelevant a particular historical relationship or event may become). Schafer and Walker 2006). then religion would inﬂuence foreign policy. Leadership decisions have been rigorously analyzed in the operational code literature. Their interpretations and calculations in the exercise of power may be affected by the nature and extent of their reliance upon organized religious groups. A leader’s beliefs may inﬂuence foreign policy to the extent that they include a religiously informed answer to questions such as. While it would be an injustice to the strategic culture literature to argue that it is merely a cross between leaders’ operational codes and cultural-ideationist approaches. Conclusion What have we learned from this tour of the research horizons in Foreign Policy Analysis. Wendt 1987. revolutions. Thus. International Relations. Existing leaders may either learn or teach these identities via communication with the public or spread them to others. It is sufﬁcient for our purposes to note that foreign policy decisions are ultimately made by individuals in leadership positions. If the origins of these identities can be traced back to religious roots. the structure of the international or domestic system versus the individual. Feng 2007).b. religious) constructs (Johnston 1995a.b. Feng 2007). considerations of geopolitical forces and domestic political interests. which can inform a . To extend such an approach to the role of religion in foreign policy requires a research design that can assess whether or to what extent the state’s strategic culture is informed by religion and whether that culture ‘‘limits the behavioral choices regarding the efﬁcacy of military force or any form of political action in interstate political affairs’’ (Malici 2006:40. ‘‘Is the political future predictable?’’ What is the best approach for selecting goals for political action?’’ (Malici 2006:42). this literature does look at the systematic belief systems of policymakers and whether there exists a particular culture of beliefs about state strategy (Johnston 1995a. and Comparative Politics. suggesting that obvious and important avenues of research in the role of religion in foreign policy are the beliefs of leaders. The strong version of this cultural argument holds that foreign policy elites become leaders only because they do reﬂect the deep-seated beliefs of the nation. then it is possible to say that religion affects foreign policy by incubating and transmitting role identities that govern the foreign policy decisions of elites in the society’s institutions. A state’s strategic culture becomes the subset of role identities in the culture of a society that deﬁnes power relations between self and other in the domain of world politics. Perhaps the beliefs of the foreign policy elite (the decision makers) inhere in ‘‘a vision of the nation’s role in world affairs that corresponds to deep. see also Johnston 1995a). Gray 1999. which suggests that the philosophical and instrumental beliefs of leaders do systematically affect foreign policy decisions (Kaarbo 1997. that is.126 Thinking about the Role of Religion in Foreign Policy versus agency. but rather to show how a foreign policy analysis assessing the role of religion might consider its inﬂuence on leaders and policies (Greenstein 1987. one would expect that if religious beliefs are embedded in a leader’s operational code. Poore 2003. or foreign occupation. The related literature regarding the strategic culture of states focuses on leaders’ beliefs as cultural (or here. coups.
Schmalian. Hubs are nodes in a network that have a high degree (greater number) of direct (immediate) links with other nodes (elements) in a system of interactions (Mitchell 2009:235). Ball 1987. Interests. Nodes correspond to the individuals in a network (for example. synapses. One reason is that a mesoscopic view of the highly complex relations in Figure 1 decomposes them into simpler and more manageable sets of relations. The other reason is that a mesoscopic. Warner and Stephen G. and Institutions. subsystemic approach may limit the range of likely causal mechanisms in the solution of problems to ones with isomorphic logical assumptions and commensurable empirical characteristics that permit relatively straightforward constructions of theoretical explanations with a common language and set of assumptions (Hanrieder 1967. its elements are all related but some much more strongly than others (Simon 1973. Web sites. Elman and Elman 2003). Arenas. We have explored several of these basic questions and suggested some hypothetical answers during the preceding discussion in this essay. Pines.Carolyn M. The various research triangles in Figure 1 function as mesoscopic heuristics for identifying basic questions about Religion and Foreign Policy. ‘‘In simplest terms. Mitchell 2009). The timescale . Voss 1998). and Wolynes 2000. which is consistent with what is known about the logic of turning ‘‘ill-structured’’ problems into ‘‘wellstructured’’ problems for representation and solution (Newell and Simon 1972. and Institutions and another external (foreign) triangle of Power. As Melanie Mitchell (2009:234) states. In this conceptualization. which reconceptualizes the map more speciﬁcally in Figure 1 as the map for a complex system or network. focuses and works at an intermediate level of analysis between the microscopic levels of local individuals or atoms and the macroscopic levels of global physical or social systems (Laughlin. Interests.’’ that is.’’ The two domestic and foreign triangles divide into several smaller triangles (subsystems or networks) with Agents as one of the points on each triangle. Miller and Page 2007). Stojkovic. The mesoscopic level of analysis. the ‘‘hub’’ of each triangle is the pair of ‘‘high degree’’ nodes formed by Foreign Policy (VI) as decisions made by Agents (V) as leaders. Cummins 1983. called ‘‘the middle way’’ by natural scientists. people) and links to the connections between them (for example. which is embedded in a regional system of states undifferentiated in Figure 1 and represented by the Power node (I) in this ﬁgure. Web hyperlinks. which identiﬁes potential subsystems within a larger global system that is ‘‘nearly decomposable. A mesoscopic approach attempts to identify such clusters of strongly related elements for more intensive analysis and to search for emergent properties or ‘‘system effects’’ associated with the kinds of local causal processes within each subsystem (Jervis 1997. Axelrod and Cohen 1999. What are the potential mesoscopic systems for investigation in Figure 1 and which ones are likely to share common logical and empirical methodological assumptions about how to conceptualize religion. social relationships). foreign policy. We suggest that a mesoscopic approach. Lakatos 1970. neurons. the agents of a state become the hub of a social and geopolitical network of complex adaptive subsystems within a larger social system. In the language of network theory for complex systems. we revisit Figure 1 and the optics metaphor that informs it. Walker 127 coherent research agenda focused on religion and foreign policy? To address this question and bring our investigation full circle. and their causal connections? Religion’s inﬂuence on foreign policy can be conceptualized as elements of our map that form two large research triangles: an internal (domestic) triangle of Ideas. and Sa ´ nchez 2008). It is an approach compatible with complex adaptive systems analysis. We offer a mesoscopic view of our framework as a potentially optimum strategy for the study of religion and foreign policy in the form of different research triangles formed by the various nodes (boxes) in Figure 1. will allow teams of scholars to collaborate more easily for two reasons. Lozano. a network is a collection of nodes connected by links.
The other general conceptualization is agent-centered.’’ that is. speciﬁes. religious power has a different conceptualization as a causal mechanism. or ideas in the constructivist school of IR theory. religion is manifested in the belief systems and actions of individuals who form the mass public or who lead interest groups and institutions. This pattern of symbolic interaction between them constrains and directs their behavior toward one another and the pattern of strategic interaction between them. that is. these processes have a ‘‘framing effect’’ that either passively constrains or actively directs the conduct of Foreign Policy (VI). rivals. One general conceptualization is that religion is structure-oriented. or mediates the range of foreign policy decisions by agents. or among other large social systems within a region. or regional institutions. In turn. Collectively.128 Thinking about the Role of Religion in Foreign Policy and space-scale of observations for the interaction of variables in these mesoscopic research triangles can be disaggregated spatially and temporally either into microscopic research triangles formed by Agents (V). Wendt 1999. rules in the institutionalist school. Ideas become institutionalized when the occupants of existing Institutions (III) politicize the roles deﬁned by religious ideas by taking them on as political identities. reproduces. such as alliances. These causal distinctions are compatible with religion as both the base of social power and its exercise. respectively such as power in the realist school.’’ that is. between states. Foreign Policy (VI). . a systemic cause that limits. Goldstein and Keohane 1993a. conceptualized in the ﬁrst instance as a background condition that constrains choices by agents within a system and in the second instance as a force that directs choices in which agents exercise control over others in social contexts (French and Raven 1959. interests in the liberal school. More generally. morphing into different shapes depending on the location in Figure 1. the dyads formed by self and other in regional politics are affected by the roles assigned to them by religious Ideas (IV) in their discursive space. It is feasible as well to look for broader and gradual secular trends in the interactions inside states. collaborators. to cast individuals. These agents act as an efﬁcient cause that transforms. or enemies and attribute scripts to self or others that create expectations about their behavior (Walker 2004. Walker 2004. 2007. It is possible to focus more minutely on episodic stimulus-response chains of behavior that represent steering and learning processes between individuals inside or between these various nodes. selects. Baldwin 1989). then this dynamic is a representation of foreign policy behavior literally as ‘‘power politics. If their behavior is conceptualized as the exercise of positive and negative sanctions toward one another. and any one of the other nodes in Figure 1 or aggregated spatially and temporally into macroscopic research triangles potentially connected as larger quadrangles and other higher-order conﬁgurations. Wright 1978. Cady 2008). These possibilities can take several forms. a focus on the exercise of religious power is a theme that connects these possible relationships. conditioned as well by the distribution of Power (I) between them (Wendt 1999. groups. Ideas (IV) in a religion have the ‘‘power to name. Interests (II) are often associated with identities so that ideas translate into interests associated with identities (Wendt 1999). Malici 2008a). McClelland 1966. depending on the capacities of Agents (V) to exercise leadership at the microscopic level of analysis in different historical situations within a particular research triangle in Figure 1 (Stoessinger 1979. This type of cause may be either material or ideational. transnational organizations. see also Doty 1993. or organizations into identities as friends. Bachrach and Baratz 1962. Depending on the particular triangular system of interest in Figure 1 and the spatial-temporal scales of aggregation or disaggregation. or motivates particular foreign policy decisions (McGowan and Walker 1981. Greenstein 1987). This process of role-taking transmits simultaneously the corresponding interests associated with the identities. Yee 1996).
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