Birdsall co-authors new report on transatlantic cooperation on religious freedom

FORB report coverCIRIS managing director Judd Birdsall has co-authored a new policy report on FoRB – Recognising our Differences can be Our Strength: Enhancing Transatlantic Cooperation on Promoting Freedom of Religion or Belief. The briefing is the outcome of two 2015 transatlantic policy dialogues on ‘Freedom of Religion or Belief and Foreign Policy’, one at Wilton Park in the United Kingdom in February 2015 and the other at Georgetown University in the United States in October 2015. The project was funded by a ‘Bridging Voices’ grant from the British Council awarded to the University of Sussex and the University of Notre Dame, in partnership with the European University Institute and the University of Milan. The final report was co-authored by Judd Birdsall, Fabio Petito, Dan Philpott, and Silvio Ferrari.

The Policy Brief suggests a shift in policy emphasis and put forward 7 key recommendations to enhance transatlantic cooperation on the promotion of FoRB worldwide:

1.Draw upon transatlantic church-state differences as an asset
2 ‘IRF’ vs ‘FoRB’ – Be mindful of the subtle differences in language
3 Seek collaboration between ‘religious freedom’ and ‘religious engagement’
4 Upgrading the listening mode – enhance knowledge of and training on FoRB
5 Build coalitions and new multilateral strategies to engage FoRB violators
6 Bolster the nascent multinational and transnational FoRB networks
7 Share stories of struggling with religious diversity


For media or other enquiries on the Policy Brief, please contact

In Europe:
Dr Fabio Petito
Department of International Relations
School of Global Studies
University of Sussex, UK

In North America:
Professor Daniel Philpott
Center for Civil and Human Rights
University of Notre Dame, USA

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