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 first book, Islamic Politics, Muslim States and Counterterrorism Tensions, has 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).