Religious nationalism and foreign policy: India and Israel compared
The emergence of India and Israel as independent states in 1947-48 highlighted the power of religious identity to shape political outcomes. While India was partitioned as a result of the demand for a separate Pakistan for the subcontinent‟s Muslims, Israel came into being as the fulfilment of the Zionist vision of Palestine as a homeland for Jews throughout the world. Yet the post-independence leadership of both countries sought to create states informed by secular rather than religious political principles. This paper examines the role of religion in foreign policy in India and Israel with particular reference to the recent salience of Hindu nationalism and religious Zionism. It explores the influence of religion in shaping the foreign policy environment and the perceptions of Indian and Israeli policymakers, focusing in particular on the relationship between secular state interest and nationalism predicated on religious identity. The argument is that for both countries it is imperative to transcend religious nationalism if they are to secure their international position.
Chiriyankandath, James (2007) Religious nationalism and foreign policy: India and Israel compared. In: 6th Pan-European conference on International Relations, 12th-15thy September 2007, Turin. (Submitted)
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