Gregorio Bettiza

Sr. Lecturer in International Relations
University of Exeter

About me

I am Senior Lecturer in International Relations (IR) and co-director the Center for Advanced International Studies (CAIS) at the University of Exeter. My research interests focus especially on the role of ideology, religions, and civilizational identities in foreign policy and international order. I have a further overarching interest in the theory, sociology, and pedagogy of IR. I am the co-editor of the Routledge book series Identity, Ideology, and Worldviews in Global Politics and editorial board member of Aspenia, Aspen Institute Italy’s journal of international affairs.


My first book Finding Faith in Foreign Policy: Religion and American Diplomacy in a Postsecular World (Oxford University Press: 2019), explored how US foreign policymakers have increasingly sought to understand and manage global religious dynamics since the end of the Cold War. The monograph was awarded three honorable book prize mentions, two from the International Studies Association (2021 and 2020) and one from the European Academy of Religion (2019).

I am currently working on a second book project developing a theory of state power through religion in international relations. In a separate set of papers, I am focusing on the challenges posed by illiberal ideologies and forces, including authoritarian rising powers and populists in the West, to the liberal international order. More broadly, I am also developing a novel research agenda on the changing character of international order. Finally, in a number of articles, blog posts, and forums I have contributed to ongoing theoretical, sociological and pedagogical debates about the discipline of IR.

Studies, Fellowships and Professional Experience

Previously to joining Exeter, I was a Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellow (2012-2014) at the European University Institute (EUI). I obtained my PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in 2012, funded by the LSE IDEAS Stonex Scholarship. I held Visiting Fellowships at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University, in 2011 and 2017. In a past, pre-PhD life, I also worked for the World Bank and the UNHCR.

Ideological Religion in World Politics

Ideological Religion in World Politics

In Jonathan Leader Maynard and Mark L. Haas (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Ideology and International Relations (London: Routledge), 2022. This chapter starts by questioning the common perspective across multiple traditions that equate and reduce religion to...

Research Projects

Religion, States and Power in Global Politics

Although the role of religion in foreign policy and global politics is subject to increasing scholarly attention – a theme that Bettiza explored in his first monograph – the relationship between the sacred and state power in international relations remains under-theorized.

Ideology and International Order

Bettiza is developing a second research agenda that connects his interests in religion and civilizations, to wider debates about ideology, illiberalism, and the changing character of international order.

Current Courses

American Historical Association
Indiana Association of Historians
Organization of American Historians
Southern Association for Women Historians