In Defense of Religion

Sacred Referent Objects for Securitization
  • Carsten Bagge Laustsen
  • Ole Wæver
Part of the Culture and Religion in International Relations book series (CRIR)


It is a widely shared assumption that since the end of the Cold War, conflicts and wars are less driven by political-ideological systems. Also they are not much caused by economic motives or even the classical ones of territory and power as an aim in themselves. The roots of conflicts are increasingly related to culture and identity, be it the widespread labeling of conflicts as “ethnic” or the macro-interpretation of global politics in terms of a “clash of civilizations.”1 To Samuel Huntington, civilizations are ultimately defined to a large extent by religions.2 Furthermore, he argues, one of the trends of the post-Cold War period is a “revitalization of religion throughout much of the world,” which reinforces cultural difference.3 Since the 1970s, the hope or fear of a “withering away of religion” started to be defied-not because of a lack of modernization, but because one of the unexpected side effects of modernization was a “revenge of God,” an “unsecularization of the world.”4


Primary Negation International Relation Religious Discourse Referent Object Existential Threat 
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© Pavlos Hatzopoulos and Fabio Petito 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carsten Bagge Laustsen
  • Ole Wæver

There are no affiliations available

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