politor bis document

May 15th, 2015
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Competing Political Science Perspectives on theRole of Religion in ConflictSabina A Stein1AbstractOver the last few decades, real-world developmentshave led political scientists to begin to conceptualize the relationship between religion and conflict.The aim of this article is to provide a brief overviewof three political science perspectives on thisquestion: primordialism, instrumentalism, andconstructivism. Understanding these perspectivesis important, because the way they conceptualizethe role of religion in conflict has a direct impacton any policy recommendations that arederived from them. From a conflict transformationperspective, constructivism provides the mostflexible conceptual toolkit, as it does not suggestspecific solutions to conflict, while primordialism and instrumentalism do. As an alternative tospecific solutions, constructivism calls fora better understanding of the cognitive religiousframeworks at work in a specific conflict asthe firststep to minimizing violence betweensocial groups.Introduction: Religion and Political ScienceWith the advent of modernity and the declineof traditional society in some parts of the world,many scholars in political science thought thatreligion would cease to play a role in society andpolitics. This view was best captured by modernization theory, which argued that urbanization,economic development, modern social institutions,growing rates of literacy and education, pluralism,and adv

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