Protests of neoliberal globalization have proliferated in recent years, not least in response to the financial crisis, austerity and increasing inequality. But how do religious groups organize themselves in response to these issues?
This book systematically studies the relationship of religious activism towards neoliberal globalization. It considers how religious organizations often play a central role in the resistance against global capitalism, endeavouring to offer alternatives and developments for reform. But it also examines the other side of the coin, showing how many religious groups help to diffuse neoliberal values, promote and reinforce practices of capitalism. Drawing on a unique set of case studies from around the world, the chapters examine a range of groups and their practices in order to provide a thorough examination of the relationship between religion and the global political economy.
1. Religion and International Political Economy – A Case of Mutual Neglect, Sabine Dreher / 2. Historical and Theoretical Perspectives on Religion and Capitalism, Sabine Dreher, Peter J. Smith and Edward Webb / 3. Religious Demographic Trends: Patterns of Growth and Decline, 1950-2010, Davis Brown / 4. The Prosperity Gospel and the Globalization of American Capitalism, Michael Wilkinson / 5. God, Wealth and the Spirit of Investment: Prosperity Pentecostalism in Africa, Asonzeh Ukah / 6. Neoliberal Capitalism and the Emergence of Corporate Hinduism In Urban India, Surya Prakash Upadhyay / 7. The Globalization Project of the Hizmet Movement, Sabine Dreher / 8. Islamic Social Democracy? Ennahda’s Approach to Economic Development in Tunisia, Edward Webb / 9. Promoting Neoliberalism through Islam? The Case of the AKP in Turkey, Umut Bozkurt / 10. Preaching Development. Shi’i Piety and Neoliberalism in Beirut, Fouad Gehad Marei / 11. Religion and Corporate Social Responsibility: Taming Neoliberalism?, Michael MacLeod / 12. Taxing the Rich: Interfaith Activism in Tanzania’s Mining Sector, Aikande Kwayu / 13. Greed and Climate Change: Confronting Economic Globalization in the U.S. Religious Environmental Movement, Justyna Nicinska / 14. Faith, Global Justice and Resistance to Neoliberalism: From the World Social Forum to Occupy!, Peter J. Smith and Elizabeth Smythe / 15. Indianismo and Decoloniality: Voices of Resistance, Marcos Scauso / 16. Religious Arguments in the Global Economy, Peter J. Smith / Index / Notes on Contributors
Sabine Dreher is instructor in International Studies at Glendon College, York University, Canada
Peter J. Smith is Professor of Political Science at Athabasca University, Alberta, Canada
This ground-breaking volume explores the relationship between religion and the global economy. Drawing on a constructivist view of religions as diverse, contested traditions, it examines the way in which religious forms offer sites of support as well as resistance to the neo-liberal project. The analysis it presents is wide-ranging and impressively thorough.
This is the book that finally confronts the multiple intersections between religion and economics in the contemporary world. The editors have accomplished a rare double feat: bringing together innovative and exciting work that explores the constitutive nature of religious movements and support for or resistance to neoliberalism across the globe, and showcasing authors from around the world to explicate these connections. The resulting volume is an impressive contribution that should be read widely.
With Religious Activism in the Global Economy, Dreher and Smith and their contributors have addressed an oversight in the discipline of international political economy, and their constructivist approach to the study of religion defines and illustrates a way of generating nuanced understandings of the relationship between religious communities and neoliberal economics.
This volume offers a wide range of religious engagements with global economic issues. In so doing, it is a more than welcome complement and absolutely original contribution to the existing debate on the return of the religious in the public sphere.
The authors identify and analyze divergent forms of religious activism in relation to the forces of neoliberal globalization.