Religious Instrumentalism in Violent Conflict
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Instrumentalist understandings of the role of religion in violent conflicts are now conventional, and yet religious instrumentalism remains only weakly conceptualized. This article offers a new typology of religious instrumentalism aimed at enhancing conceptual rigor in future studies. In characterizing religious instrumentalism as consisting of a set of observable tactics, the typology facilitates comparative research as well as allows for greater specificity and clarity in scholarly analysis. The article discusses the implications of the conceptual exercise for theory-building and empirical analysis of ‘religious’ conflicts, and has broader applicability in the study of identity politics.
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