CIRIS Graduate Research Associate Leor Zmigrod has published a paper on the psychological processes that give rise to nationalistic ideologies in the context of the United Kingdom’s 2016 EU Referendum. The research identified cognitive information processing styles that contribute towards support for Brexit and opposition to immigration and free movement of labour. Specifically, the findings suggest that cognitive flexibility and acceptance of uncertainty predict less nationalistic attitudes. The study highlights the importance of looking beyond purely demographic factors when studying voting behaviour. The research was published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and has been covered by the Guardian, The Times, and The Independent, amongst others.
CIRIS Research Associates Tobias Muller and Chris Moses organised a workshop, “Religious? Secular? Re-thinking Islam and Space in Europe”, together with Adela Taleb (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin). CIRIS was one of the sponsors of the two-day event, which brought together twenty scholars from a diverse range of fields, including anthropology, political science, music, architecture, geography, sociology, criminology, and religious studies. The workshop featured keynotes by Dr Marian Burchardt (Universität Leipzig) and Professor Riem Spielhaus (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen), a public lecture by Professor Kim Knott (Lancaster University) on “Thinking Spatially About Islam in Europe”, along with five panel-based discussions.
CIRIS was well represented at a 10-12 October conference in Trento, Italy on Exiting Violence: The Role of Religion. From Texts to Theories. CIRIS Managing Director Judd Birdsall presented a paper on religion and American diplomacy, CIRIS Senior Research Associate (and FBK Associate Researcher) Pasquale Annicchino moderated several panels, and CIRIS Graduate Research Associate Matthew Rowley was awarded a scholarship to attend. The conference was hosted by Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK) in collaboration with Reset Dialogues on Civilizations and Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs.
CIRIS Graduate Research Associate Margot Dazey has been awarded a Fox International Fellowship to spend the year at Yale University. Fox Fellows are selected for their potential to offer practical solutions to the problems which stand in the way of the world’s peace and prosperity. Hosted at the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, Margot will be completing her doctoral dissertation on Islamic moral entrepreneurs in France.
Cambridge, UK – The Cambridge Institute on Religion & International Studies (CIRIS), a research centre based at Clare College, Cambridge, has received a three-year grant of $330,000 from the Henry Luce Foundation in support of its role as the secretariat for the Transatlantic Policy Network on Religion and Diplomacy (TPNRD).
The TPNRD Secretariat facilitates communication, coordination, and collaboration among North American and European diplomats whose portfolios include religion-related foreign policy issues. The network is co-chaired by officials from the US State Department and the European External Action Service.
Officially established with support from the Luce Foundation in 2015, the TPNRD builds on the momentum of several antecedent initiatives, including the British Council’s Luce-funded ‘Bridging Voices’ programme. This new grant will enable the TPNRD Secretariat to continue organising biannual conferences and commissioning research papers for the TPNRD whilst also deepening engagement between diplomats and scholars by developing an academic advisory council and creating an online library of resources on religion and diplomacy.
CIRIS Managing Director Judd Birdsall also serves as Executive Director of the TPNRD. A former US diplomat himself, Birdsall received his PhD in Politics and International Studies at Clare College where he is currently a College Research Associate.
“In a world where religion continues to be a pervasive and politically salient force, for both good and ill, the TPNRD is helping our participating foreign ministries enhance their capacity to understand religious dynamics and engage religious communities,” Birdsall said. “I am grateful for the Luce Foundation’s generous support for the TPNRD’s efforts to foster transatlantic conversation and partnership in the field of religion and foreign affairs.”
Clare College Bursar Paul Warren said, “Clare College is delighted to host CIRIS and to facilitate its important work, including its role as the Secretariat for the Transatlantic Policy Network on Religion and Diplomacy.”
About the Luce Foundation: The Henry Luce Foundation seeks to bring important ideas to the center of American life, strengthen international understanding, and foster innovation and leadership in academic, policy, religious and art communities. Launched in 2005, the Henry R. Luce Initiative on Religion in International Affairs, aims to provide intellectual leadership, develop new paradigms for research and teaching, create new resources and networks, and enhance public understanding of and discussion about religion in the international sphere.
About the Cambridge Institute on Religion & International Studies: CIRIS is a multi-disciplinary research centre based at Clare College, Cambridge that provides students, policymakers, and the general public with credible and engaging insights to shape new scholarship, sound policy, and constructive debate on the role of faith in global affairs. For more information, please visit CIRIS.org.uk.
CIRIS contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 June 2017 – This week CIRIS facilitated a conference in Helsinki, in collaboration with the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for the Transatlantic Policy Network on Religion and Diplomacy (TPNRD). The network met with the Lutheran Archbishop of Finland, the Orthodox Metropolitan of Helsinki, and with a range of Helsinki-based scholars and practitioners active at the intersection of religion and international affairs. CIRIS’s role as the secretariat for the TPNRD is supported by a generous grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.
16 March 2017 – CIRIS Managing Director Judd Birdsall presented a paper this week on ‘Religion, Politics, and Soft Power: Examples from U.S. Diplomacy’ at a conference at Tbilisi State University exploring ‘Religion and Soft Power in the South Caucasus’. The conference was coordinated by the Georgian Institute of Politics (GIP) and the University of Fribourg, and made possible by the financial support of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SCOPES-Program). The conference showcased the publication of a new compendium of policy memos on religion and soft power in the South Caucasus region.
Photo credits: Georgia Institute of Politics
1 Nov. 2016 – Today CIRIS managing director Judd Birdsall participated in a panel discussion on the topic Can the Politics of Religious Freedom Stop at the Water’s Edge?: Faith, Freedom, and Foreign Policy in the Next Administration. The event was hosted by Pepperdine University in partnership with the Institute for Global Engagement. The panel also featured Tom Farr, President of the Religious Freedom Institute, and Lisa Curtis, Senior Research Fellow on South Asia at the Heritage Foundation. All three speakers contributed articles to a recent issue of The Review of Faith & International Affairs.
Video of the entire event will be posted when available.
On 21 May CIRIS had the pleasure of hosting a stimulating conference on ‘Reconsidering Religious Radicalism’ at Clare College, Cambridge. The conference included keynote presentations and panel discussions with a diverse range of theologians, social scientists, and practitioners. The event, which attracted over 70 participants, was generously co-sponsored by the Cambridge Inter-faith Programme, the Woolf Institute, and the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics. The best papers from the conference will be published in an edited volume.
Credit for the photographs goes to Dr Charles Roddie, fellow and director of studies in economics at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.
CIRIS is delighted to host Prof Simon Glendinning for a seminar on ‘European Philosophical History and Faith in God A Posteriori’. Glendinning is Professor of European Philosophy at the London School Economics. The seminar will take place in the Allison Richard Building (POLIS) room 138 at 13:00 on Tuesday 17th May. All our welcome.