Not available in 2016/17
The International Politics of Culture and Religion

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Katerina Dalacoura CLM. 4.11


This course is available on the MSc in Human Rights, MSc in International Relations, MSc in International Relations (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in International Relations (Research), MSc in International Relations Theory and MSc in Social Anthropology (Religion in the Contemporary World). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

All students are required to obtain permission from the Teacher Responsible by completing the online application form linked to course selection on LSE for You. Admission is not guaranteed.


Background in International Relations or a related discipline.

Course content

Approaches to understanding the role of culture and religion in the discipline of IR. Culture and religion in IR theory; their influence on the practice of international relations. Case study: Islam.

The course will be divided into two parts. In the first part, the contribution of a number of international relations theories to our understanding of culture and religion will be explored. The focus here will be on the English School and constructivism; critical theory, post-modernism and post-colonialism; cosmopolitanism, liberalism and communitarianism. The second part of the course will examine the role that cultural and religious issues play in the practice of international relations and in particular their influence on international norms, gender, foreign policy, conflict, negotiation and war.


9 hours of lectures and 13 hours and 30 minutes of seminars in the MT. 6 hours of lectures and 9 hours of seminars in the LT. 1 hour of lectures and 1 hour and 30 minutes of seminars in the ST.

Course commences Week 1 of MT. Sixteen lectures, (9 in MT, 6 in LT and 1 revision lecture in Week 1 of ST); sixteen one-and-a-half hour seminars (9 in MT, 6 in LT and one revision seminar in Week 1 of ST).

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to write three 2,000 word essays by dates stipulated by their seminar leader.

Indicative reading

A detailed reading list will be available online and in printed form well before the first lecture/seminar. Useful surveys and introductions are: J. Snyder (ed.) Religion and International Relations, Columbia University Press, 2011; Bruce Lawrence, Defenders of God: The Fundamentalist Revolt against the Modern Age, I. B. Tauris, 1990; Fabio Patito and Pavlos Hatzopoulos (eds), Religion in International Relations: The Return from Exile, Palgrave Macmillan 2003; Yosef Lapid and Friedrich Kratochwil (eds), The Return of Culture and Identity in IR Theory, Lynne Rienner, 1997; K. R. Dark (ed.), Religion and International Relations, Macmillan, 2000; Dominique Jacquin-Berdal, Andrew Oros and Marco Verweij (eds), Culture in World Politics, St. Martin's Press, 1990.


Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.

Student performance results

(2012/13 - 2014/15 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 16.3
Merit 39.5
Pass 41.9
Fail 2.3

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2015/16: Unavailable

Average class size 2015/16: Unavailable

Controlled access 2015/16: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information