Faith-Based Diplomacy: Trumping Realpolitik by Douglas Johnston

By Douglas Johnston

For many of the 20th century, the main severe issues of nationwide safety were stability of energy politics and the worldwide hands race. The assaults of September eleven, 2001 and the causes in the back of them, despite the fact that, call for an intensive holiday with this custom. If the U.S. is to succeed in its long term contest with extremist Islam, it'll need to re-evaluate outdated assumptions, extend the scope of its pondering to incorporate faith and different "irrational" components, and be keen to go away from earlier perform. A in simple terms army reaction in response to such assaults will easily now not suffice. what is going to be required is a long term technique of cultural engagement, subsidized by way of a deeper knowing of the way others view the area and what's vital to them. In non-Western cultures, faith is a main motivation for political activities. traditionally pushed aside via Western policymakers as a divisive impact, faith actually has major strength for overcoming the stumbling blocks that bring about paralysis and stalemate. The incorporation of faith as a part of the answer to such difficulties is so simple as it truly is profound. it's lengthy late. This ebook seems at 5 intractable conflicts and explores the potential for drawing on faith as a strength for peace. It builds upon the insights of faith, the lacking measurement of Statecraft (OUP,1994)--which tested the position that non secular or non secular elements can play in fighting or resolving conflict--while reaching social switch in response to justice and reconciliation. The world-class authors writing during this quantity recommend how the peacemaking tenets of 5 significant global religions could be strategically utilized in ongoing conflicts within which these religions are concerned. ultimately, the commonalities and alterations among those religions are tested with an eye fixed towards extra purposes in peacemaking and clash answer.

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Further, they point to the Prophet Muhammed’s conciliatory attitude toward non-Muslims with whom he was in conflict and cite a number of precedents from Islamic jurisprudence in making a compelling case for why the dictates of conflict resolution should carry the same normative weight in disputes with non-Muslims as they do with Muslims. In the concluding chapter, Scott Appleby, a widely respected religious scholar, provides comparative insights on the potential contributions of these religions to the resolution of longstanding political problems.

To give it its just due, however, new approaches that are not yet in place will be required. 22 Wherever one looks in the world today—Kashmir, Chechnya, Nigeria, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, the Middle East—one often finds a religious dimension to the conflict. That being the case, it becomes important to assess how the positive influence of religion might be brought to bear in an effective strategy of preventive engagement. In considering this challenge, three mutually reinforcing possibilities come to mind: enhancing the State Department’s capabilities in matters of religion, utilizing existing military assets to achieve new ends, and capitalizing on the contributions of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

L. Seneviratne explores how each of the several different expressions of Buddhism in Sri Lanka could be engaged to steer the civil conflict in that island nation toward a peaceful and lasting resolution. Rabbi Marc Gopin, in turn, makes a compelling case for why religious leaders should be included in the Middle East peace process and cites a range of scriptural resources from Judaism that could be brought to bear in ameliorating that conflict. On yet another front, David Steele draws on his extensive involvement in training religious clergy and laity in the Balkans to illustrate how the peacemaking tenets of Christianity can be usefully applied to promote reconciliation between ethnic groups and prevent the further outbreak of conflict in Bosnia and Kosovo.

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