The Role of Religion in Struggles for Global Justice: Faith in justice?, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Role of Religion in Struggles for Global Justice

Faith in justice?, 1st Edition

Edited by Peter J. Smith, Katharina Glaab, Claudia Baumgart-Ochse, Elizabeth Smythe


136 pages

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Hardback: 9780815352617
pub: 2018-03-27
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Struggles for global justice are being fought by civil society groups across the globe, addressing global inequalities, challenging neoliberal market driven globalization and demanding to remedy its negative implications. This book examines the roles religious communities and organizations in particular play in the struggles for global justice, roles too often ignored by scholars of the Global Justice Movement (GJM). It has two central themes:

- the role religion and religious actors play in global justice struggles, and

- the idea that justice is a contested concept among both religious and secular actors which requires some sort of ‘faith’ from its proponents.

These chapters transcend simplistic either/or binaries highlighting the difficulties of clearly distinguishing between religious and secular, progressive and conservative, or rational and irrational motives and norms in struggles for justice. Challenging the secularization paradigm that marginalizes the role religious actors play in public life these chapters show how these actors engage with a broad range of justice issues, how deeply contested justice is, and how its meaning may vary and change among religious actors as a result of the social or political context within which an injustice is encountered.

The chapters originally published as a special issue in Globalizations.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Faith in Justice? The Role of Religion in Struggles for Global Justice

Claudia Baumgart-Ochse, Katharina Glaab, Peter J. Smith and Elizabeth Smythe

1. ‘Power Differences’ and ‘the Power of Difference’: The Dominance of Secularism as Ontological Injustice

Erin K. Wilson

2. Emancipation or Accommodation? Faith and Justice in a Globalized Africa

Cecelia Lynch

3. A Climate for Justice? Faith-based Advocacy on Climate Change at the United Nations

Katharina Glaab

4. The United Nations Alliance of Civilisations and Global Justice

Jeffrey Haynes

5. Faith Groups and Justice: A Source of Solidarity or Division in the Global Justice Movement? The World Social Forum and Occupy Wall Street as Case Studies

Peter J. Smith and Elizabeth Smythe

6. Keep the Faith: Progress, Social Justice and the Papacy

Mariano Pasquale Barbato

7. Claiming Justice for Israel/Palestine: The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) Campaign and Christian Organizations

Claudia Baumgart-Ochse


Peter J. Smith, Katharina Glaab, Claudia Baumgart-Ochse and Elizabeth Smythe

About the Editors

Peter J. Smith is Professor of Political Science at Athabasca University, Alberta, Canada. His current research interests include new communication technologies, globalization, religion, trade politics, transnational networks, democracy, and citizenship. He is the co-editor with Sabine Dreher of Religious activism in the global economy: Promoting, reforming, or resisting neoliberal globalization? (2016).

Katharina Glaab is an Associate Professor in Global Change and International Relations at the Department of International Development and Environment Studies at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. Her research and teaching revolves around questions of normative change and the politics of knowledge. She has published on norms in International Relations, conflicts around agricultural biotechnology in China and India, faith actors and climate change, and critical research on power.

Claudia Baumgart-Ochse is a senior research fellow at the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt, Germany. She holds a PhD from Frankfurt University. Her research interests include the Middle East conflict and its religious dimensions as well as the role of religious non-state actors in global governance. Currently, she co-directs a research project on religious NGOs in the United Nations, funded by the German Research Foundation.

Elizabeth Smythe is a Professor of Political Science and coordinator of the Political Economy Program at Concordia University of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Her research interests include international trade and investment agreements, food standards, social movements, and the WSF. She is a co-editor of the Handbook of World Social Forum activism (2012).

About the Series

Rethinking Globalizations

This series is designed to break new ground in the literature on globalisation and its academic and popular understanding. Rather than perpetuating or simply reacting to the economic understanding of globalisation, this series seeks to capture the term and broaden its meaning to encompass a wide range of issues and disciplines and convey a sense of alternative possibilities for the future.

Learn more…

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