Religion and Human Security

Negotiating the Power of Religious Non-State Actors
May 8-9, 2008
Seattle, Washington
University of Washington
Comparative Religion Program—International Studies
Jackson School of International Studies
Sponsored by the Henry R. Luce Initiative on Religion and International Affairs

Our theme of “Religion and Human Security” is based on the observation that religious non-state actors now often compete with states in their impact on human welfare. In some cases, the effect is benign. Religious groups provide essential services that corrupted and undemocratic states are unwilling or unable to provide. In other cases, the effect is detrimental to states’ capacity to exercise their legitimate powers. States, in effect, become hostage to grassroots movements and their priorities. We argue that in the contemporary world, one cannot effectively engage in humanitarian actions unless one understands the role that religious non-state actors provide in supplanting, supplementing, or contesting how states negotiate the welfare of their populations.

The conference will be a two part symposium, meeting in spring of 2008 and 2009. The first symposium will provide feedback on initial projects; the second we will expect a finished essay and be open to the public. We expect original research that makes a contribution to public policy.

Paper proposal abstracts should be two pages or less, stating the research question and chosen methodology. Please include a two-page CV and send electronically to: Loryn Paxton, at lpaxton /at/ u/dot/washington/dot/edu
(Remove the slashes and spaces, and replace the at with the @ sign.)

Papers selected for publication in the edited volume stemming from the conference will receive $500 honorarium.

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