@article{Haynes2004, author="Jeff Haynes", title="Transnational Religious Actors and International Politics", year="2004", journal="Third World Quarterly", volume="22-2", number="Apr.", pages="143-158", annote="

Question(s) addressed by the author and working arguments

The article examines the phenomenon of transnational religious actors and seeks to assess the claim that their activities can undermine states sovereignty. Focusing upon two transnational religious actors (Roman Catholic Church (RCC) and The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)) the author tries to prove that these groups should not be seen as a general threat to state sovereignty.

The author suggests that the theoretical literature on transnationalism has devoted little attention to religious phenomena because the social sciences are embedded in the presupposition that the modern nation-state has a secular character (we have to remember the continuous fights to separate the two swords; church from state) . But the reemergence of religious movements with political goals has to be addressed because there is no doubt that they can affect internal politics of the states, and thus qualify state power. The author analysis several cases in which the Catholic Church and the OIC have influenced or affected the state character.

RCC: Anti-communist revolution in Poland and Pro-democracy events in Africa and LA. In both cases the author suggests that the Church’s role should not be seen as symptomatic of a desire to undermine state sovereignty but rather a reflection of processes of growing globalization, liberalization and nationalization of the Church. The RCC ceased being or aspiring to be state-compulsory institutions and evolved into free religious institutions linked to civil societies (“disestablishment” of Catholicism.)

OIC: Radical Islam Upsurge. The raise of radical Islam was not in response to encouragement from the OIC but the culmination of decades of Western Hegemony and modernization. OIC lacks the leadership necessary to mobilize the Muslims as a unitary group and then to present itself as a threat to state sovereignty.

Conceptual references to transnational – transnationalism

Transnational Civil Society (TCS) is defined by Lipschutz (1992) as the ‘self-conscious constructions of networks of knowledge and action by decentred, local actors that cross the reified boundaries of space as though they were not there’. TCS is not territorially fixed.

To Attina (1989), social transnationalism defines itself by the multiple linkages between individuals and groups in different societies that are tied by a shared concern for certain issues:

“…(T)ransnationalism is not just a matter of individuals and masses who feel conscious of being primary international subjects as they are entitled to civil, political , economic, social and cultural right by positive international law. In the world system these subjects form the international social layer which claims primacy over the diplomatic layer . Today the chances of social transnationalism reside in INGOs whose members cross states and assert “pan-human” Interests such as the promotion of human rights, environmental ecology, and international development cooperation”

Transnational Religious Actors can be understood as groups with pan-human interests, so as part of social transnationalism.

Conclusions or Final Remarks

Transnational religious groups should not been seen as threats to the sovereignty of Nation-States.", keyword0="Political Transnationalism", keyword1="Politics", keyword2="Roman Catholic Church", keyword3="State", keyword4="State Sovereignty", keyword5="Transnational Politics", type="journal" }