Religions and Foreign Policy, Essay Sample for Everyone

Published: 2022-02-10
Religions and Foreign Policy, Essay Sample for Everyone
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories: Religion Foreign policy
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1464 words
13 min read

Constant development in modern international politics is described as foreign policy. Foreign policy and decision-making are influenced by the essential social variables in History and Religion. History discourses the past to address the current happenings, while religion, on the other hand, contributes to the functions of the society to influence norms, give purpose, and mobilize morality to social unanimity. Regarding international relations, history provides various explanations from the "history of rivalry" between nations over time (Dreyer 2010). This historical understanding of developmental and standing retentions gives the state-actors the essential information to foretell national inclinations and reservations.

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Leaders are expected to learn from the past events how to conduct decision-making policies, and countries can choose to either build or destroy its friendships and alliances with other nations depending on the previous behaviors of the state and habitual attitude towards other nations (Crescenzi, Kathman & Long 2007). Consequently, as a social variable to foreign analysis, history works effectively as a predictor of rationalization when the country is going into conflicts and dispute, or into crisis. Hence, history is flexible to impact foreign policy and design decision-making in circumstances where the nation is prone to conflict. Religion has an impact on the state's interactions and causes international security challenges, which justify terrorism in the name of the sanctified versus the profaned, which disturbs the global security. Religion is, therefore, malleable to impact the foreign policy beyond. The paper shall argue that the influence of religion is a convincing social variable that shapes foreign policy and impacts decision making in global politics more than history with regards to the common dilemma of international security.

Religion is considered as an extensive and complicated social variable to foreign policy analysis. Majority of foreign policies in most nations are secularists. India, Egypt, Israel, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United States are a few of the countries that consider religion as component of ideological approach for their foreign policies. However, majority of other countries have their foreign policies with secular ideology. Therefore, religion has become an understudied variable in international relations and concurrently grows to become an essential factor in constructive analysis. Additionally, the past secularist conventions to consider the nature of religion as something that occurs in similar form everywhere and across a period has led to the understudy of faith as a crucial social variable in foreign policy exploration. Nonetheless, the nature of religion varies depending on the cultural, political, economic, historical, and geographical context, and the odd occasion remains the same from one area to another (Wilson 2014).

Further studies indicate that religion is a product of multifaceted dynamics, which includes social, cultural, political, and historical ones. The fundamental nature of faith is comprised of political repercussions for shaping decision making and foreign policy. Religion also impacts the norms in the community, and it can improve the social cohesiveness, and in some cases, establishes discriminations. Religious leaders can alter, shape or design how norms distinguish the world and how to integrate worldview around them. Concerning this concept, religion is broader in understanding the foreign policy and combines additional aspects to impact national foreign policy analysis and influence the results in decision making. Thinking through religion in such static and preoccupied ways, restrict researchers' capacity to comprehend how religion interrelates with politics through numerous levels in contemporary international relations (Wilson 2014).

Religion is an essential variable in understanding the national worldview, objectives, customs, insights, and self-identified faith-based players in foreign policy. It involves state actors and internal religious players in policymaking. Players reveal a more general concern with the association between the real apprehensions to include national security matters and spiritual and moral standards, ideas, and values. By doing that, foreign policy analysis for states with sacred ideology creates accurate reports in international relations. Further treasured indications of why religion is a vital feature to shape foreign policy are religious activities. Activities such as prayer and charity have noteworthy political consequences in both the immediate and long-term (Nilsson 2018). However, faith actors are not only service providers. Some may aggressively involve in political support and demonstrations while many, whether intentionally or unintentionally may cast an alternate vision of the structure of the society and how the values and morals could transform. Thus, understanding religion hypothesizes the actions of the non-state actors, specifically those that identify as being faith-based in the current society(Wilson 2014). Unscrambling belief from politics limits the ability of researchers to develop a cultured, distinctive obligation for the substantial political intent that the actions and rituals of faith-based actors might have. Due to this reason, scholars, policymakers, and faith-based players require to develop a profound understanding of the contribution of religion and political intent of their conducts to appreciate the increasing impact of religious players in the current communities (Wilson 2014).

Religion assembles norms with nationalism and ideology. It connects peoples' identity or diverges them with one another in a different world, thus it acts as an active ethnic marker. In war situations, religion acts as a variable measure of the duration of war (Nilsson 2018). For instance, in Iran, fundamental beliefs play an essential role in extending the war and slow down the process of updating belief. The nature of conflicts where religion is not an underlying aspect always tends to end in peace a discussed solution rather than the argumentative infestation while peace works out when both sides cultivate comparable prospects about the war. Experimental studies indicate that fundamental religious beliefs are the reasons behind state-players aggressive confidence to create a negotiation space during a fight. In the justification of the war in Iraq, the country stated that the continuing war was high because the apparent costs of war were low according to religious opinion. Nations, intergovernmental institutions, and faith players are donating to the role of the state, and they define the boundaries on the political and challenging principal power structure in the current international politics.

Religion has not only been able to mobilize the standards of a specific community to battle for what is sacred but also has reinforced the leadership expectations of the offensive capability. However, adverse events on the battlefield have become increasingly inappropriate to the leadership process of decision-making. Therefore, integrating the fundamental beliefs based on the interpretation of God's will acts as an accompaniment on how sensible choice theories have anticipated players to form and modernize their views about the results expected of a war based on noticeable substantiation (Nilsson 2018). Results indicate back to the inability and difficulties of reaching a peaceful negotiating solution and cautions states against getting conflicts. Wars that disregard the advice given by professional military while valuing religious belief are essential components unless they are sure to flood their opponent authoritatively (Wilson 2014). In the case of Iran-Iraq war, the discussion indicates the role of the religiously based underlying beliefs as evidence in the explanation of prolonged wars and testing the hypothesis of such delays in information updating. Therefore, future researches should attempt to evaluate the variations in the underlying religious beliefs and their association with the war durations (Nilsson 2018). Also, self-identified faithful players make use of both the secular and spiritual resources in their work and regularly work in corporation with secular organizations to highlight that political views are no longer the appropriate sphere of secular political ideologies and players.

In summation, the relationship between politics and religion remains essential in international relations. Religion and politics are concerned with the moral and ethical structures that oversee the daily lives of society. The concealing and redesigning of the boundaries of the religious and political not a new development and it may improve the desired alternate forms of politics at present. Religion and history are the influential social variables in understanding the state's perception and how they shape the decisions making processes in the country. However, religion is a prominent factor that investigates the social, cultural, and normative aspects, and how they can be assimilated in the global systems to develop an identity and the influence on foreign policies which benefits the international operations and personal religion. Thus foreign policies must recognize the crucial role played by faith in politics and involve it in the engagement of the secular and religious voices to improve global peace and relations.


Crescenzi, M. J., Kathman, J. D., & Long, S. B. (2007). Reputation, History, and War. Journal of Peace Research, 44(6), pp. 651-667.

Dreyer, D. R. (2010). Issue Conflict Accumulation and the Dynamics of Strategic Rivalry. International Studies Quarterly, 54(3), pp. 779-795.

Nilsson, M. (2018). Causal Beliefs and War Termination: Religion and Rational Choice in the Iran-Iraq War. Journal of Peace Research, 55(1), pp. 94-106.

Wilson, K. (2014). The Island Race: Englishness, Empire, and Gender in the Eighteenth Century. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

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