BISA Working Group

BISA Working Group on Religion, Security and International Relations

This working group includes experts from all over UK and from abroad. It is a part of the British International Studies Association (BISA) and is coordinated by Rosemary Durward and Dr Sarah Silvestri, collaborating with scholars of Religion and Ethics in War and Peacemaking programme.

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The Group aims to attract scholars and practitioners working on different dimensions of religion and security across the world, to encourage dialogue and a sharing of knowledge and ideas and further research. In so doing, it seeks to develop a credible and separate identity for the subject of International Relations, Security and Religion in order to provoke interest and raise awareness and understanding amongst academics and policy makers of the relationship between religions and international relations and security.

BISA Working Group on International Relations, Security and Religion started in 2007. Its launch reflected the growing interest in religion as a component of international relations. We hope to support and promote research in this field and become an effective resource for the academic community, policy makers, the armed forces, NGOs and faith based groups engaged in interfaith dialogue.


Much Cold War and early post-Cold War security analysis omitted religion as a component of international relations and security. More recently, religion has been highlighted as a negative driver in human, national, state and inter-state behaviour following 9/11 and Al Qaida’s “Holy Jihad” against ‘Crusaders and the US led “war on terror”. Yet religion has also acted as an inspiration for peace and reconciliation. Today, there is a growing recognition of the relationship of religion to a range of international relations and security topics including political culture and civilization; human security and development; regional conflict studies; and terrorism. An opportunity exists to bring together scholars working on aspects of religion in these and other areas, with benefit to the wider international relations community.


The International Relations, Security and Religion Working Group arranges panels and meetings at BISA conferences and hosts workshops and seminars each year, bringing together scholars and practitioners from a variety of different disciplines. The Group’s seminars and workshops will involve the study of individual religions, their relationship one to another, as well as religion as a whole, embracing all aspects of international relations and security where religion might be a component.

Details of forthcoming events are available here.


The Working Group is keen to attract members from diverse disciplines within the field of international relations, security and religion. Hence, we encourage participation from established academics, postdoctoral and postgraduate students, and those responsible for the formulation and implementation of policy, whether political or military at national, regional and international level. In addition we welcome representation from faith organizations, NGOs and journalists working in areas where religion and security interact.

Details of the Working Group Membership are available here.

If you would like to become a member of the group and receive regular updates about our work, please contact the Convenors (below).

Annual Report

The latest Annual and Treasurer’s Reports are available at the BISA website of the Working Group

Rosemary DurwardDept of Defence and International Affairs
RMA Sandhurst
01276 412118

For any queries regarding
BISA IRSR Working Group, please email:

Dr Sara Silvestri Centre for International Politics, City University, London
and Centre for the Study of Faith in Society,
St Edmund’s College, Cambridge University

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