University of Sussex Business School

Religions in Global Politics (L2075A)

Religions in Global Politics

Module L2075A

Module details for 2019/20.

30 credits

FHEQ Level 6

Module Outline

Dr Fabio Petito

For more information see here:

During this module you will explore the implications of the 'return' of religions, both for world politics and for thinking about international relations. Many sociologists and philosophers have interpreted this return as 'the end of modernity' or the 'de-secularisation of the world'. You will primarily focus on the renewed centrality of religious identities as strategic frames of reference for politics in the post-Cold War world. Against the background of the growing multicultural nature of contemporary international society resulting from what Hedley Bull has aptly termed the 'revolt against the West', the module will encourage you to, firstly, problematise the implicit and predominant reading of religion in international relations as the ultimate threat to international order and stability (especially in the forms of the identity politics of the 'new wars' and the terrorist attacks of religious fundamentalists), secondly, to engage critically with Huntington's thesis of the 'clash of civilisations' and thirdly to discuss the implications of this 'return' for the future of foreign policy and the normative structure and world order of contemporary international society.

This module is assessed by Assessed by a 70% 3.5K essay, 20% 1k Essay, 10% 20 minute Group presentation. We meet each week for a three hour seminar combining mini-lectures, group work, analytical exercises and open discussion.

Module learning outcomes

Develop a systematic and critical understanding of religion as a threat to the international order especially as it relates to identity politics, ‘new wars’ and terrorist attacks.

Develop a conceptual understanding of the empirical and theoretical uncertainties, ambiguities and limits of contemporary scholarly debate on religion and its role in international relations.

Effectively synthesise and communicate a detailed analysis of the role of religion in foreign policy, development, and peacebulding.

Coursework components. Weighted as shown below.
EssayT1 Week 7 66.67%
Group PresentationT1 Week 11 (20 minutes)33.33%
Essay (3500 words)Semester 1 Assessment Week 1 Thu 16:0070.00%

Submission deadlines may vary for different types of assignment/groups of students.


Coursework components (if listed) total 100% of the overall coursework weighting value.

TermMethodDurationWeek pattern
Autumn SemesterSeminar3 hours11111111111

How to read the week pattern

The numbers indicate the weeks of the term and how many events take place each week.

Prof Fabio Petito


Dr Melanie Richter-Montpetit

Assess convenor

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