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Free Content Transnational religious networks and geopolitics in the Muslim World

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Debates around the sectarianisation of politics across the Middle East and Muslim world more broadly have opened new spaces of enquiry into the interrelationship between religion and geopolitics. The nature of links between Iran and Saudi Arabia and various groups in the Muslim world differs across time and space, shaped by a range of context specific factors. Networks are shaped by the interaction of their constituent parts and the organisation of power among their members and thus, as a consequence networks are neither fixed nor universal. Here, context is key, resulting in different types of relationships across spaces.

Much academic and policy-oriented work on transnational religious networks has historically reflected Western governments’ preoccupation with security issues vis-à-vis Islamist ‘extremist’ groups. This narrow prism distorts understanding of the roles that such networks play, and thus necessitates further exploration of the multiple levels and characteristics of transnational religious networks, be they state, sect or community-led.
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Keywords: Islam; geopolitics; networks; religion; transnational

Document Type: Editorial

Affiliations: 1: Lancaster University, UK 2: The Open University, UK

Publication date: November 2019

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  • Global Discourse is an interdisciplinary, problem-oriented journal of applied contemporary thought operating at the intersection of politics, international relations, sociology and social policy. The Journal's scope is broad, encouraging interrogation of current affairs with regard to core questions of distributive justice, wellbeing, cultural diversity, autonomy, sovereignty, security and recognition. All issues are themed and aimed at addressing pressing issues as they emerge. Rejecting the notion that publication is the final stage in the research process, Global Discourse seeks to foster discussion and debate between often artificially isolated disciplines and paradigms, with responses to articles encouraged and conversations continued across issues.

    The Journal features a mix of full-length articles, each accompanied by one or more replies, policy papers commissioned by organizations and institutions and book review symposia, typically consisting of three reviews and a reply by the author(s). With an international advisory editorial board consisting of experienced, highly-cited academics, Global Discourse publishes themed issues on topics as they emerge. Authors are encouraged to explore the international dimensions and implications of their work.

    All research articles in this journal have undergone rigorous peer review, based on initial editor screening and double-blind peer review. All submissions must be in response to a specific call for papers.

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