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Religion and Diplomacy in the Contemporary Era: History, Theory, and Practice

Published:2018-06-14 Published:2018-06-14   Author:Tu Yichao   [Small] [Middle] [Big] [More]

With deepening globalization, the resurgence of religion and secularization are interacting in a complex way. Many countries, to varying degrees, have taken into consideration the religious factor in their all-round diplomacy. They refer to religious discourses, integrate religious beliefs, resort to religious origins, utilize the talents well versed in religious affairs, establish new faith-based diplomatic mechanisms, and cooperate with religious organizations at home and abroad. The objective is to strengthen national strategic security, enhance discourse power, build soft power, and construct peace and resolve conflicts. These developments reflect the dynamic balance between non-state actors, which have entered the governance space traditionally reserved for sovereign states through different channels, and sovereign states, which try to accomplish their diplomatic goals abroad through all-round diplomacy. The goals, channels and influences of diplomacy have been diversified due to religious factors, and diplomatic actions have become so complex and all-encompassing that sovereign states are now facing new opportunities and challenges. Therefore, when conducting faith-based diplomacy, it is imperative for sovereign states, to play to its own strength, to have a comprehensive assessment of national interests at the global, regional, national and local level, and to incorporate the structural transition brought about by other countries’ medium- and long-term strategy into its own long-term strategy and policy deliberations.

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