Past eventResearch Event

European and US Approaches to Religion in Foreign Policy: Responses to the Arab Uprisings and Beyond

11 February 2014 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm

Chatham House, London


Professor Peter Mandaville, Public & International Affairs Director, Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies, George Mason University
Dr Heba Ezzat Raouf, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Cairo University
Dr Sara Silvestri, Senior Lecturer, Department of International Politics, City University
Chair: Dr Claire Spencer, Head, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House



There is an emerging confluence of interest in and engagement with religion and religious actors among the foreign policy establishments on both sides of the Atlantic. At the same time, US, UK and European actors see these questions in different ways. These underlying divergences have become particularly pronounced in their respective responses to the Arab uprisings of 2011, and towards subsequent developments in the Middle East and North Africa. This panel will explore what drives and influences these differences, above all over the role to be played by religion in public life, before considering where the main points of policy consensus lie for more effective engagement with both religious and non-religiously-motivated actors across the MENA region.

This event is held in partnership with City University London, George Mason University and is sponsored by the British Council as part of their ‘Bridging Voices’ awards.

This event will be held under the Chatham House Rule.