By Gregorio Bettiza

This report suggests that certain states are endowed with significant religious resources by virtue of hosting the historical, cultural, and institutional centers of major faith traditions and communities with global reach. It identifies these religious resources as sacred capital, further divided into three types—symbolic, cultural, and network—which can indirectly produce or be explicitly mobilized by states to generate multiple forms of influence that include but also go beyond soft power dynamics. This framework is illustrated with empirical examples from a range of states which, arguably, have considerable sacred capital at their disposal, including India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the United States.


States, Religions, and Power: Highlighting the Role of Sacred Capital in World Politics (213.22 KB)