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Peter S. Henne

article on the United Nations and religious repression accepted for publication

Posted: September 21st, 2017 by phenne

I recently had an article accepted for publication at the Journal of Church and State. 

The article, “Does the UN Human Rights Council help or hurt on religious repression,” addresses the debate over this international body. Some believe it will help advance human rights, while others argue it provides a platform for human rights abusers to redirect international attention. I found that states that were more active on the Human Rights Council had higher levels of domestic religious repression. I argued this is because they could use the Council to deflect criticism of their record.

The article is part of my broader work on the nature and effects of religious repression, which expands on some of the theories in my book. It may not be out for awhile, but the working paper version is up on my Publications page.

new Washington Post Monkey Cage piece, and podcast on my book

Posted: August 28th, 2017 by phenne

I have a piece in the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage today, which features political science research applied to current events. In it, I discuss the difficulties the United States will face pressuring Pakistan on counterterrorism, due to the historical context of Pakistan’s counterterrorism policies. The piece draws on my book, Islamic Politics, Muslim States and Counterterrorism Tensions.

I also spoke recently with the Research on Religion podcast. This series features new research on religion. In this episode I discussed my book and my broader work.

Q&A on my book, work

Posted: August 22nd, 2017 by phenne

I recently did a Q&A with the National Consortium for Terrorism and the Study of Terrorism (START), a terrorism research center at the University of Maryland. I worked with START on a study of domestic extremism after I completed my doctoral studies.

In the Q&A, I discuss my recently published book–Islamic Politics, Muslim States and Counterterrorism Tensions–my broader work, and why UVM is such a great place to be a Professor. You can read more here.

new writing and media coverage on US Religious Freedom policy

Posted: July 28th, 2017 by phenne

Recently Donald Trump nominated Sam Brownback–the governor of Kansas–to be the US Ambassador for International Religious Freedom. This is an issue I worked on before coming to UVM (when I was with the Pew Research Center) so I follow it closely. I have some concerns about Brownback’s nomination, which I discussed in this post on Medium. I also was quoted in a piece by the Religion News Service about Brownback’s nomination.

blog post on religious freedom and counterterrorism/media blurb/UVM orientation

Posted: July 6th, 2017 by phenne

Summer’s been pretty busy, so I am a bit late on updating things.

First, I had a blog post as part of the Religious Freedom Institute’s Cornerstone Blog series on religious freedom and counterterrorism. I drew from my book to discuss how differing levels of religious freedom affected counterterrorism, arguing there are some trade-offs in the short-term but in the long-term promoting religious freedom will help undermine terrorism. Two other experts in this subject also weighed in, so check out their posts too.

I also talked with a reporter from the Associated Press about T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia). Lawrence had a famous Rolls Royce he used to drive into Damascus in 1918, and a military historian thought he discovered some of its secrets. I weighed in about Lawrence’s legacy for the Middle East. You can find the story here.

Finally, I helped out with the UVM’s summer orientation for incoming first-year students, working with new Political Science majors as they registered for classes. It was exciting to meet some of my new students, and I’m looking forward to teaching them in the fall.

new blog post on the UAE and the Qatar crisis

Posted: June 13th, 2017 by phenne

I recently published a blog post on Medium about the currently expanding Qatar crisis. Drawing on my book, I discuss some of the UAE’s potential motivations for its role in the crisis, and how this can help us resolve tensions. You can read it here. Comments are welcome.

new blog post on Syria air strikes and just war

Posted: April 7th, 2017 by phenne

I have a new blog post out today on Trump’s air strikes against Syria, in which I discuss these strikes in the context of just war theory. You can find it here.

new podcast discussing my work on religious conflict

Posted: April 4th, 2017 by phenne

I have an article forthcoming in the Journal of Conflict Resolution co-authored with Jason Klocek, a doctoral candidate at UC-Berkeley. The article combines our research programs, and looks at how religious conflict influences religious repression using a quantitative analysis. We find that earlier religious conflict increases regime’s sense of threat from religious groups, so they respond by limiting the freedom of religion broadly in society. I’ll post a link to the article once it is out.

My co-author spoke recently with Research on Religion, and excellent podcast series that presents discussions of new work in the study of religion. Jason had a good conversation with Tony Gill, a professor at the University of Washington who hosts the program. You can listen here.


new piece on foreign aid and counterterrorism

Posted: March 21st, 2017 by phenne

I had a blog post today on Political Violence at a Glance’s “Denver Dialogues” forum. This is an effort to connect policymakers and academics working on different areas of political violence. My post argues that cuts to foreign aid may undermine US counterterrorism efforts, based on findings from my book.

my book on religion and counterterrorism is now out

Posted: March 6th, 2017 by phenne

My first book, Islamic Politics, Muslim States and Counterterrorism Tensionshas just been released by Cambridge University Press. I look at how Islamic politics influenced Muslim states’ relationships with the United States on counterterrorism through a statistical analysis of all majority-Muslim states and in-depth case studies of Pakistan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

I find that religion did influence the extent to which Muslim states cooperated with America on counterterrorism, but it did so in a subtle way. Religion mattered through interaction with differing political institutions. When Islam and the state were closely intertwined, Muslim states were less able to ignore domestic Islamic opposition to working with the United States. Looking across all majority-Muslim states, this religion-state relationship mattered more  than many other potential explanations for cooperation with America–like a history of conflict or aid from the United States.

The book can expand our understanding of how religion influences international relations, by pointing to the important interaction between institutional ties to the state and religious contention. It also contributes to work on counterterrorism policy and the history of the US Global War on Terrorism.

Additionally, in the book’s conclusion I apply my argument to the events of the Arab Spring, the fight against the Islamic State terrorist group, and political changes in Turkey. This can help extend my findings to current events of crucial importance to policymakers.

The book is available through the publishers, as well as through Amazon (including a Kindle version).

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