Denis DragovicJun 20, 2015
Religion and Post-Conflict Statebuilding
Roman Catholic and Sunni Islamic Perspectives
Palgrave Macmillan 2015
The subject of statebuilding has only become a more visible issue since the end of the Cold War and collapse of the Soviet Union. Since the 1990s, the world has continued to deal with a host of problems related to the disintegration of Yugoslavia and collapse of authority in "failed states" such as Somalia. The recent U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have raised important questions about how best to establish legitimate and well-functioning governments in these countries. If these issues were not enough, the global community still needs to find lasting solutions to the fallout of Syrian civil war and rise of ISIS/ISIL. Countries such as Yemen, Libya, and even Egypt also face a host of statebuilding issues. Drawing on his theological studies and work as an international civil servant, Denis Dragovic addresses the subject of statebuilding in his new book Religion and Post-Conflict Statebuilding: Roman Catholic and Sunni Islamic Perspectives (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). This work explains why scholars and policymakers make a fundamental mistake when they overlook the importance of religion or treat it as an interest group issue when conceptualizing statebuilding. To rectify this shortcoming, Dragovic explains how and why Sunni Muslims and the Catholic Church can contribute to the process of statebuilding. He also uses the test case of Bosnia-Herzegovina to drive home his larger arguments. As people search for lasting solutions to global disorder, Religion and Post-Conflict Statebuilding demonstrates the limitations of trying to remake countries in the image of the West and the pitfalls of overlooking the important role that religion still plays in many people's lives. Dragovic also reveals how religion can make important contributions to peace and stability rather than just fueling discord and violence as many authors contend.