Religion, Identity and Human Security

Giorgio Shani (2014) Religion, Identity and Human Security. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. ISBN: 978-0-415-50906-0

Religion, Identity and Human Security seeks to demonstrate that a major source of human insecurity comes from the failure of states around the world to recognize the increasing cultural diversity of their populations which has resulted from globalization. Shani begins by setting out the theoretical foundations, dealing with the transformative effects of globalization on identity, violence and security. The second part of the volume then draws on different cases of sites of human insecurity around the globe to develop these ideas, examining themes such as:

  • securitization of religious symbols
  • retreat from multiculturalism
  • rise of exclusivist ethno-religious identities post- 9/11
  • state religion, colonization and the ‘racialization’ of migration

Highlighting that religion can be a source of both human security and insecurity in a globalizing world, Shani offers a ‘critical’ human security paradigm that seeks to de-secularize the individual by recognizing the culturally contested and embedded nature of human identities. The work argues that religion serves an important role in re-embedding individuals deracinated from their communities by neo-liberal globalization and will be of interest to students of International Relations, Security Studies and Religion and Politics.

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