1st Edition

Religion, Identity and Human Security

By Giorgio Shani Copyright 2014
    206 Pages
    by Routledge

    206 Pages
    by Routledge

    This work seeks to provide a fresh examination of the relationship between religion, identity and security in a globalizing world, arguing that in order to address human security issues we must seek a reconceptualization of human security along post-secular lines.

    Religion, Identity and Human Security seeks to demonstrate that a major source of human insecurity comes from the failure of states around the world to recognize the increasing cultural diversity of their populations which has resulted from globalization. Shani begins by setting out the theoretical foundations, dealing with the transformative effects of globalization on identity, violence and security. The second part of the volume then draws on different cases of sites of human insecurity around the globe to develop these ideas, examining themes such as:

    • securitization of religious symbols
    • retreat from multiculturalism
    • rise of exclusivist ethno-religious identities post- 9/11
    • state religion, colonization and the ‘racialization’ of migration


    Highlighting that religion can be a source of both human security and insecurity in a globalizing world, Shani offers a ‘critical’ human security paradigm that seeks to de-secularize the individual by recognizing the culturally contested and embedded nature of human identities. The work argues that religion serves an important role in re-embedding individuals deracinated from their communities by neo-liberal globalization.

    Introduction: Religion, Identity and Security

    Part I: Reconceptualizing Human Security in a Post-Global Age 

    1. Globalization and Identity After the Financial Crisis 

    2. Globalization, Religion and Violence 

    3. Reconceptualizing Security: Towards a Critical Human Security Paradigm  

    Part II: Sites of Human Insecurity

    4.De/Securitizing ‘Religious’ Symbols 

    5. The Retreat from Multiculturalism  

    6. The rise of exclusivist ethno-religious identities post- 9/11

    7. State religion, colonization and the ‘racialization’ of migration  

    8. Conclusion


    Giorgio Shani is the Director of the Social Science Research Institute and a Senior Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations at International Christian University, Japan.

    'Through an erudite analysis of recent debates about the veil in France, ethno-religious tensions in South Asia, and ethno-nationalism in Japan, Giorgio Shani defends a ‘post-secular’ approach to human security that openly embraces cultural diversity and religious difference. This lucid and wide-ranging book will interest students of globalisation, identity politics, post-colonialism, and critical security studies.' - Andrew Linklater, Aberystwyth University, UK.

    'This excellent book is not only an original contribution to critical human security studies, but more broadly, an outstanding remapping of postsecular thinking in International Relations.' - Mustapha Kamal Pasha, Aberystwyth University, UK.

    'Resistance to an increasingly globalized mass society is now accompanied by an almost desperate search for community and a less-than-gracious retreat from the Enlightenment-based multiculturalism. The aggressive, often violent affirmation of religious identities comes as part of this package. In a marvelous intervention in the debate on the agenda of peace studies, Giorgio Shani argues that human security now poses an altogether different kind of challenge.' - Ashis Nandy, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, India