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Peter S. Henne

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).

heading to ISA

Posted: February 21st, 2017 by phenne

I’m flying to Baltimore, MD this week to attend the International Studies Association annual meeting. I’ll be presenting new research on Saturday, which looks at the ways states’ policies towards religion influence terrorist targeting. I found that states favoring a certain religion over others leads terrorist groups to launch more attacks against religious sites, as these sites become politicized and the focus on debates in society. This is my part of broader research on religion and political violence.

I will also be attending events held by the Religion and International Relations section (of which I am the secretary). We’ll be having our business meeting, a roundtable honoring our distinguished scholar award, and our reception on Friday.

new blog post on Yemen

Posted: February 7th, 2017 by phenne

I wrote a new blog post on the Huffington Post about US policy towards Yemen. This is an area I’ve been following for some time. The post discusses some of my thoughts on why we should be wary of expanded involvement in the country. You can read more here.

Spring 2017 Registration

Posted: November 17th, 2016 by phenne

Registration for Spring 2017 courses is currently ongoing (information can be found here). I will be teaching one large section of Introduction to International Relations in the spring; you can find more information on the course here . Any students who have issues registering should feel free to contact me.

Undeclared Week at UVM CAS

Posted: October 7th, 2016 by phenne

Undeclared week is coming up at UVM College of Arts and Sciences. During the week of 10/31, the University is hosting lots of great events for undeclared students to help them figure out which major or majors to choose. This includes the opportunity to sit in on 100-level classes to get a sense for the major. There are some great Political Science courses open for undeclared students to visit, including my course on the International Politics of the Middle East. I’m looking forward to meeting some undeclared students and helping them learn about the study of Political Science.

back at UVM

Posted: September 7th, 2016 by phenne

I’m back at UVM after a great visit to Philly for APSA. I got some great feedback on the paper I presented–the first part of a new project on religion and international crises–and saw some really interesting presentations on religion and conflict, international hierarchy and religion-state relations. I also had the opportunity to chair an excellent panel featuring exciting new research on terrorism.


Posted: September 1st, 2016 by phenne

I’m heading to the American Political Science Association (APSA)  annual meeting today in my home city of Philly. I’ll be presenting a paper on how Middle East states try to benefit from religious crises, which is the first stage of a new project. I’ll also be moderating a panel on new terrorism research. I’m looking forward to some great conversations.

First day of classes

Posted: August 29th, 2016 by phenne

Today is the first day of classes at UVM. I’m looking forward to meeting my students in my Introduction to International Relations and International Politics of the Middle East courses. We should have some fascinating discussions. Students, check out my Teaching page for more information.


Posted: August 28th, 2016 by phenne

This page contains the latest updates on my research, teaching and other goings-on at UVM.

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