new article out on religious conflict and repression

I have a new article out in the Journal of Conflict Resolution (technically in the January 2019 issue), “Taming the Gods: How religious conflict shapes religious repression,” with Jason Klocek (a UC-Berkeley PhD who is currently on a postdoc at Notre Dame). We argue that histories of religious conflict make governments concerned about the political power of religious contention, and they intensify repression as a result. A copy is available on my publications page.

new podcast discussing my work on religious conflict

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.


my book on religion and counterterrorism is now out

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).