Religion

Religion is socially important and affects politics and socioeconomic developments in multiple ways. In recent years, religion has become increasingly contentious. Terrorist attacks, armed conflict and xenophobia have been making headlines. At the same time, religion can also contribute to peace.


  • GIGA Talk | 19/01/2022

    With the Help of God(s)? Religious Actors and Sustainable Development in Africa

    Religious actors can both promote and undermine sustainable development. Many stakeholders and scholars recognise the relevant role of religious actors and place great hope in their potential. Alongside GIGA scholars, members of the “Africa Multiple” Cluster of Excellence from Universität Bayreuth will discuss this topic in depth and take questions from the audience at the next GIGA Talk/Forum.

    GIGA Talk | 17/05/2021

    Can Freedom of Religion and Belief Promote Sustainable Development? Inclusive Education Systems in Focus

    Education, sustainable development, and freedom of religion or belief are closely interrelated, yet this has been little studied to date. At this GIGA Talk, organised in cooperation with the BMZ, we exchange ideas between politics and science on the global status of freedom of religion.

    Research Project | 01/11/2020 - 31/10/2023

    Religion for Peace: Identifying Conditions and Mechanisms of Interfaith Peace

    In recent years, religion has become an increasingly contentious phenomenon, with religious violence and discrimination on the rise worldwide. However, religion is also connected to peace: interfaith peace is, in fact, the norm rather than the exception. We contribute to the rigorous empirical study of the link between religion and peace, especially regarding positive peace. Using several cutting-edge methodologies, we expect substantial results that are also very useful for policy.
    DFG, 2020-2023

    Research Project | 01/03/2019 - 01/12/2023

    Mediating Islam in the Digital Age (MIDA), Work Package "Contested Authority and Knowledge Production"

    Work Package 4 ‘Contested Authority and Knowledge Production’ deals with the construction and transformation of religious authority and religious knowledge production in changing circumstances. It addresses questions of legitimacy, power and discipline. The Work Package is part of the Marie Curie Initial Training Network ‘Mediating Islam in the Digital Age’ (MIDA), coordinated by the ‘Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique’ (CNRS).
    EC. Horizon 2020, 2019-2023

    Dr. Jens Heibach

    Research Fellow

    Fluter | Quote | 31/07/2020

    Wo Terroristen regieren

    Dr. Jens Heibach

    Research Fellow

    International Politics | 05/2021

    Public Diplomacy and Regional Leadership Struggles: The Case of Saudi Arabia

    In light of Saudi Arabia's recent foreign policy, this article examines the valorization of public diplomacy in regional leadership struggles. The author argues that emerging leaders often resort to a mix of coercion and persuasion.

    Dr. Jens Heibach

    Research Fellow

    American Journal of Political Science | 2020

    Universal Love or One True Religion? Experimental Evidence of the Ambivalent Effect of Religious Ideas on Altruism and Discrimination

    In this article, we argue that the content of religious ideas has causal effects on intergroup discrimination. We hence test the impact of two opposing, prominent religious ideas on altruism and discrimination: universal love and the notion of one true religion.

    Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy | 2019

    Introducing the “Religious Minorities at Risk” Dataset

    This paper introduces the "Religious Minorities at Risk" dataset comprising data on 771 religious minorities worldwide for the period between 2000 and 2014. The dataset contains pertinent worldwide information on relevant characteristics of these minorities, especially those that may explain their motivation and capability to mobilize.

    Prof. Dr. Jonathan Fox

    Arne Pieters

    Mora Deitch


    GIGA Focus Nahost | 7/2021

    Raisi’s Foreign Policy: Pragmatic Revolutionism and the Iranian Pivot to Asia

    This GIGA Focus sheds light on the new Iranian conservative president Sayyid Ebrahim Raisi, and his doctrine of “pragmatic revolutionism.” The author analyses what the Iranian Asia-oriented foreign policy entails geopolitically and geoeconomically, and suggests how the multilateralist tendencies can be used by policymakers.

    International Politics | 05/2021

    Public Diplomacy and Regional Leadership Struggles: The Case of Saudi Arabia

    In light of Saudi Arabia's recent foreign policy, this article examines the valorization of public diplomacy in regional leadership struggles. The author argues that emerging leaders often resort to a mix of coercion and persuasion.

    Dr. Jens Heibach

    Research Fellow

    Chapter in edited Volume | 2021

    Politics and Truth and Post-Truth

    Dr. Hakkı Taş

    Research Fellow

    GIGA Talk | 19/01/2022

    With the Help of God(s)? Religious Actors and Sustainable Development in Africa

    Religious actors can both promote and undermine sustainable development. Many stakeholders and scholars recognise the relevant role of religious actors and place great hope in their potential. Alongside GIGA scholars, members of the “Africa Multiple” Cluster of Excellence from Universität Bayreuth will discuss this topic in depth and take questions from the audience at the next GIGA Talk/Forum.

    GIGA Forum | 19/01/2022

    With the Help of God(s)? Religious Actors and Sustainable Development in Africa

    Religious actors can both promote and undermine sustainable development. Many stakeholders and scholars recognise the relevant role of religious actors and place great hope in their potential. Alongside GIGA scholars, members of the “Africa Multiple” Cluster of Excellence from Universität Bayreuth will discuss this topic in depth and take questions from the audience at the next GIGA Talk/Forum.

    GIGA Talk | 17/05/2021

    Can Freedom of Religion and Belief Promote Sustainable Development? Inclusive Education Systems in Focus

    Education, sustainable development, and freedom of religion or belief are closely interrelated, yet this has been little studied to date. At this GIGA Talk, organised in cooperation with the BMZ, we exchange ideas between politics and science on the global status of freedom of religion.

    Fluter | Quote | 31/07/2020

    Wo Terroristen regieren

    Dr. Jens Heibach

    Research Fellow

    tagesschau.de | Interview | 13/01/2020

    Anti-Terror-Kampf: Gespräch mit Afrika-Experten Matthias Basedau

    Prof. Dr. Matthias Basedau

    Director of the GIGA Institute for African Affairs / Editor GIGA Focus Africa

    Wiener Zeitung | Quote | 26/08/2019

    Gerangel am Horn von Afrika

    Dr. Jens Heibach

    Research Fellow

    10/10/2021

    Unanswered Prayers: Do the Ideas of Forgiveness and Justice Increase Prosociality?

    Workshop 10/10/2021

    12/07/2021

    Cooperation in the Name of God? Experimental Evidence from Ghana and Tanzania

    Conference 12/07/2021

    22/06/2021

    Please, Make Peace! The Religious Determinants of Positive and Negative Interreligious Peace

    Workshop 22/06/2021

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