Islam and Ideology in World Politics

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter offers a broad perspective on the ideological use of Islam in a
global context. It begins by challenging the perception of the
political use of religion in the Muslim world as an Islamic resurgence, because
this obscures the continued and continuing political relevance of religion to
Muslims throughout history. The chapter surveys the political significance of
Islam’s universality claim, both institutionally and symbolically; the
conflation and deconflation of religion and statehood; and the post-Cold War
role of Islamism on the global stage. To capture the wide variety in which
Islam features in public life and international relations, the chapter introduces
an alternative taxonomy for categorizing different ways of engaging
politically with religion, distinguishing between traditional, reactionary and
progressive approaches. It also examines how Sunni-Shi’a polarization
features in the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran for control of the Persian
Gulf and wider Middle East. The chapter’s scope also extends beyond the
Middle East to include the most populous Muslim country in the world:
Indonesia and the unique dynamics of Islam in this second largest democracy
in Asia. It also addresses counter-narratives, such as Post-Islamism and
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIdeologies in World Politics
EditorsKlaus-Gerd Giesen
Place of PublicationWiesbaden
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-658-30512-3
ISBN (Print) 978-3-658-30511-6
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • Islam
  • ideology
  • world politics
  • political Islam
  • Islamism
  • globalization


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