Scriptures, Shrines, Scapegoats, and World Politics

Religious Sources of Conflict and Cooperation in the Modern Era
Zeev Maoz and Errol A. Henderson
Religion can be a detriment to human security


The effect of religious factors on politics has been a key issue since the end of the Cold War and the subsequent rise of religious terrorism. However, the systematic investigations of these topics have focused primarily on the effects of religion on domestic and international conflict. Scriptures, Shrines, Scapegoats, and World Politics offers a comprehensive evaluation of the role of religion in international relations, broadening the scope of investigation to such topics as the relationship between religion and cooperation, religion and conflict, and the relationship between religion and the quality of life. Religion is often manipulated by political elites to advance their principal goal of political survival. Zeev Maoz and Errol A. Henderson find that no specific religion is either consistently more bellicose or consistently more cooperative than other religions. However, religious similarity between states tends to reduce the propensity of conflict and increase the opportunity for security cooperation. The authors find a significant relationship between secularism and human security.

Zeev Maoz is Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Davis.

Errol A. Henderson is Associate Professor of Political Science at Pennsylvania State University.

Praise / Awards

  • "While most work has focused on violent conflict, Zeev Maoz & Errol A Henderson analyse a wider scope. This unique, comprehensive study looks at the effects of religion on cooperation and on 'human security', which includes several aspects of development such as socioeconomic well-being, gender equality and civil liberties...The topic is timely and pertinent, and the book is comprehensive and offers much thought-provoking theorizing and many stimulating results – exactly what great scholarship should do." - Matthias Basedau, Journal of Peace Research

Supplemental Materials

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 456pp.
  • 68 charts, 43 tables.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2020
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-13174-7

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  • $74.95 U.S.

  • Paper
  • 2021
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-03875-6

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  • $34.95 U.S.

  • Open Access
  • 2020
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-90123-4

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  • religion; international politics; world religions project (WRP); international conflict; civil war; international cooperation; alliances; international trade; preferential trade agreements; international organizations; human security; quality of life; gender equality; democracy; religion-state relations; religious homogeneity/diversity; cooperative communities