Global Politics and Religion Initiative

Executive Workshop Schedule
Faculty Bios
GPRI Events
Religious Engagement & Security: 
Enhancing US Diplomacy in Conflict and Post-Conflict Situations
Executive Workshop
December 5-6, 2013
Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
Washington, DC

Space is limited.  Registration is based on open enrollment:


Advance your expertise in the complex area of religion and conflict.  As the US Department of State launches the new Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives, challenges remain on how best to directly engage religious leaders and organizations. From the risk of favoring one religious group over another to the fear of violating the First Amendment’s legal limit on direct US government support for religion, this executive workshop focuses on opportunities to best complement US diplomatic efforts to stem conflict and pursue conflict resolution and peace-building.

Explore the sensitivities surrounding proselytization, potential legal and political challenges around engaging with certain groups or movements, the specific role of religion in conflict and peacemaking efforts, and the delivery of development assistance in conflict and post-conflict situations.

  1. Learn best practices from experts in the field on working with faith based communities in stages of conflict, peace operations, and development.
  1. Develop tools and capacities for designing and implementing effective, religiously sensitive policy stabilization initiatives by drawing on actual past or current scenarios and planning exercises. 
  1. Expand professional networks among the other practitioner communities that operate in religious contexts.

Selected Faculty/Speakers:

Jerry White, DOS/CSO Deputy Assistant Secretary Qamar ul-Huda, United States Institute of Peace
David Hunsicker, USAID Maryann Cusimano Love, Catholic University
Peter Ochs, University of Virginia Katherine Marshall, Georgetown University
Eric Patterson, Regent University & Georgetown University Cameron Chisholm, International Peace & Security Institute

Fee:  The course fee is $300 (includes all course materials and food) * For current graduate students, the course fee is reduced to $100

Payment: Payment in full is required no later than Monday, December 2, 2013. Payment can be mailed to 1619 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20036 attn: Christine Kunkel/GPRI.  SAIS accepts MasterCard and VISA as well as checks, money orders and cashier's checks made payable to Johns Hopkins University-SAIS. No cash payments will be accepted. For bank wire transfer information, contact the SAIS Business Office at 202.663.5661.        

Refunds:  The course fee is refundable only when the participant submits a request in writing to Refund amounts will be determined by the date and time the email is submitted, according to the schedule listed below:

* Before 2pm on November 18: 90%
* Between 2pm on November 18 and 2pm on November 25: 50%
* After 2pm on November 25: No tuition will be refunded

Executive Workshop Schedule
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Welcome and Continental Breakfast 

Opening Remarks:  Separation of Church and State?  The First Amendment and US Engagement with Religious Communities Abroad (Melissa Rogers, White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships) – pending approval
Panel Discussion: Understanding the Religious Dynamics of Conflict (Eric Patterson, Regent University and Georgetown University)

  • Ways in which religious issues interact with conflict
  • Where do we draw the line between religious and other identities?
  • To what extent is religion the cause of conflict?
  • How “religious” is religious extremism?
  • Do religion-related problems always have a religious solution?

Luncheon speaker: “Media, Religion, and Conflict”
Practitioners’ Overview: Principles of Engagement: Biases, Reading the Religious Landscape, Defining Religious Identity (Peter Ochs, University of Virginia)

  • How do people experience religion at different levels of conflict?

Friday, December 6, 2013

 Keynote: Communities of Faith as Partners in Conflict Stabilization  (Jerry White, DOS/CSO Deputy Assistant Secretary)

Panel Discussion:  Understanding the Religious Dynamics of Conflict Resolution and Peace-building
(Qamar ul-Huda, USIP; Maryann Cusimano Love, Catholic University; Katherine Marshall, Georgetown University)

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of different modes of engagement with religious communities and actors – interfaith dialogue, coalition building, etc.
  • What are the benefits of engaging with religious actors on non-religious issues?

Case Study:  Religious Actors as Post-Conflict Peace Brokers: The Case of Colombia
Luncheon Speaker: The Challenges of Religious Pluralism and Conflict Resolution in Post-Arab Spring Governments OR The Dynamics of Sectarian Conflict in the Syrian Civil War
Practitioner’s Corner: Building Trust: A View from the Field (David Hunsicker, USAID)

For more information, please contact Christine Kunkel, or 202-663-5772

GPRI Courses

"Politics in the Name of God: How to Make Sense of Religion's Influence on International Relations"
Professor and Jocelyne Cesari
Fall 2012

"The Role of Religion in Contemporary International Policy Issues"

Professor Leila Austin
Summer 2012
"Heaven on Earth: Conflict, Democracy and the Growth of Religious Toleration"
Professors Charles Doran and Jocelyne Cesari
Spring 2012
"Politics in the Name of God: From Christian Militantism to Radical Islam"
Professor Jocelyne Cesari
Fall 2011

Faculty and Community Seminars

Fall 2012

Arjeev Bhargava, "Secularism in India"

Robert Jones, "The Role of Religion in the American Presidential Elections"

Brian Grim, "The Role of the State in Politicizing Religion"

Spring 2012

Nathan Brown, "The Muslim Brotherhood and Democracy in Egypt" Nathan Brown focused on three questions: (1) What is Muslim Brotherhood? (2) What's the system that the Brotherhood has been working in? and (3 What has happened since the revolution in Egypt. For a complete summary of Professor Brown's talk, please click here.  Audio of the event is available here.

E.J. Dionne, "Religion and the American Elections" E.J. Dionne, author of Why Americans Hate Politics, provided seminar members with a historical overview of religion and American politics and provided his predictions about the role religion will play in the 2012 elections.  For a full summary of Dr. Dionne's remarks, please click here.  Audio of the event is available here.

Mark Juergensmeyer, "Religion and Secularism" According to Mark Juergensmeyer, even finding a proper word for a discussion about religion can be difficult in different parts of the world since religion is a relatively new word, which doesn't have a lot of meaning outside of the West.  To read a summary Professor Juergensmeyer's presentation, please click here.  Audio of the event is available here.

  • Charles Doran, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of International Relations
  • Leila Austin, Professorial Lecturer, Global Theory and History & Middle East Studies and Deputy Director, SAIS Cultural Conversations

Film Discussion: "Arranged" centers on the friendship between an Orthodox Jewish woman and a Muslim woman who meet as first-year teachers at a public school in Brooklyn.

Please note that the information above is subject to change.  Continue to visit this Web site for additional updates and information.