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Forum on Geopolitics

Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)

Studying at Cambridge


The Geopolitics of Race and Religion

We explore how religious values and questions of racial identity have shaped and continue to shape the diplomacy, foreign policies and military strategies of European states and the most important extra-European powers, particularly the United States. In order to capture the significance of religious and racial influences on European geopolitics, we explore the impact of these factors on the diplomatic outlook of national statesmen. In addition, we examine the significance of racial and religious issues for the citizens and subjects of the various nations of the European and extra-European world, and how this has influenced the policymaking process in these states.

We aim to fill a crucial gap by examining the intersection between religion and grand strategy, and between racial theories and geopolitics. For example, our taught courses and publications will explore the resurgence of Anti-Semitism on the European continent today in the context of its historic evolution within the European state system and the accompanying development of a paranoid, conspiratorial world view regarding Jewish power.

This research theme will interrogate:

  • The inter-connection between race, slavery, demography and territorial expansion in nation-building projects, both historic and contemporary.
  • The historical roots of racialized Anti-Semitism in European geopolitics and how it was subsequently exported internationally.
  • The centrality of religious principles and racial theories to the geopolitics of the major European powers.
  • How concepts and principles that were devised for resolving European racial and religious problems can be applied in other regions around the world today - for example, the possibility of a Westphalia for the Middle East.

For upcoming events relating to this theme, click here.

For reports on past events relating to this theme, click here.

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