religion

In his extensive dealings with Pyongyang, Moon revealed both the potential and the limitations of the hard-edged yet increasingly open policy towards North Korea that Japan, South Korea, and the United States embraced immediately after the Cold War.

“One often makes a remark and only later sees how true it is.” Ludwig Wittgenstein

In his review of Dennis R. Hoover and Douglas M. Johnston’s newly edited text Religion and Foreign Affairs, CPD Director Philip Seib notes the vital importance of an understanding of the role of faith in foreign affairs.

Particularly for practitioners of public diplomacy, understanding the role of religious faith in people’s lives is an essential part of crafting outreach efforts. In much of the world, secularism is viewed warily, seen as weakening the fabric of society, and so a respectful approach to religion is an essential element of diplomacy. Religion is not “mere sociology,” as the CIA reportedly referred to it prior to the 1979 Iranian revolution. Rather, it must be taken seriously as a foundation stone of international relations.

In recent months, Uzbek leaders have intensified a campaign to contain Turkish economic and cultural influences in Uzbekistan. The most prominent component of this crackdown has been the arrest of 54 Turkish entrepreneurs over the past two years and the closure of at least 50 Turkish-operated businesses.

December 3, 2011

That India has woken up to the geopolitical and soft-power benefits of boosting its profile in the Buddhist world—in particular, the Buddhist countries in the India-China neighbourhood—is evident from the energies it expended on the conference [of Buddhist leaders].

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