Religious Revival and Megatrends in Global Security, Economy and Governance

Cesare Merlini
Cesare Merlini Former Brookings Expert, Chairman, Board of Trustees - Istituto Affari Internazionali, Rome

December 2, 2011

Over the recent past, two veins in political science have been prospering. One is related to the power shift taking place at the world level due to the rise of Asia and the decline of the West (including the United States, its number-one-power status notwithstanding) in a context of high interdependence among nations, with consequent acute problems of global governance. The other is related to the apparently growing role of religion in a globalized and increasingly populated world and the consequent decline, possibly the end, of the secularist approach to the handling of public affairs, including international relations.

Often the two lines of analysis appear to run independently of each other, as if geopolitics and the institutions of the world were indifferent to the spread of religion, and the so-called ‘God’s return’ was indifferent to the changing fabric of the international system. The purpose of the paper is to try to explore interrelations and, when appropriate, make connections between the two.