American Foreign Policy in a Postsecular Age: Managing God in the 21st Century. Since the end of the Cold War American foreign policy has been marked by the progressive emergence of new bureaucratic arrangements and practices with a distinctly religious character. In particular, the past two decades saw the unprecedented development and increasing institutionalization of four inherently religious foreign policy frameworks: i) promoting international religious freedom; ii) advancing faith-based forms of international development and assistance; ii) reaching out to and targeting ‘Muslims’ and ‘Islam’ around the world; and iv) engaging religious communities abroad through faith-based approaches to diplomacy. As a result of these changes, American foreign policy has undergone multiple processes of ‘desecularization’ as religious actors and norms have become ever more entangled in its formulation and delivery. The book employs an innovative historical sociological approach to foreign policy analysis to explain the causes and consequences of American foreign policy desecularization. The monograph is based in part on research I conducted for my Ph.D.
Post-essentialist Civilizational Analysis in IR: Through a number of papers I plan to make a contribution and expand the recent post-essentialist turn in civilizational analysis in IR. In particular I am keen to explore why over the past decades civilizational imaginaries and narratives have taken hold among a wide range of international relations practitioners and how these, in turn, have come to re-orient international institutions and practices around civilizational categories. Most of the conceptual and theoretical work is based on case studies of American foreign policy, the United Nations, and non-Western regional organizations.
Challenges to the Liberal International Order: I am working on a number of papers which explore emerging challenges to the liberal international order posed by rising authoritarian powers and by populism in the West.