Offensive and defensive religious conflicts: an analysis based on geopolitics

ZHANG Yuan1

(1.Middle East Studies Institute, Shanghai International Studies University)

【Abstract】In geopolitical sense, when regional religious forces destroy the existing basic stability of religious maps, there are two trends of religious conflicts if there is no effective upper authority among religions. Religious groups with absolute religious advantages and military capabilities tend to ensure the maximization of religious space power by “self-help,” which is offensive religious conflicts, while defensive religious conflicts aim at obtaining relatively survival space. The balance between offensive and defensive conflicts is influenced by the degree of threat based on geographic origin and the threat perception of the parties to the conflict. Based on the religious analysis of the Middle Eastern conflict and comparing the situation of the religious conflicts around China, this paper holds that if the conquest and expansion of religion are unavoidable, the protection of regional security requires the maintenance of preventive peace in both strong and weak aspects of religious power. At the same time, the outside world not only provides deterrent force, but also promotes the establishment of effective dialogue mechanism among all parties, while helping to improve the economic level of conflict areas.

【Keywords】 offensive religious conflicts; defensive religious conflicts; geopolitics; the Middle East; peripheral security;

【Funds】 The National Social Science Fund of China (16ZDA096) General Scientific Research Project of Shanghai International Studies University in 2017 (20171140039)

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(Translated by HAN Xueting)

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This Article

ISSN:1000-4289

CN: 11-1299/B

Vol , No. 06, Pages 23-33

December 2018

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Article Outline

Abstract

  • 1 Division, overlap and reconstruction of religious maps
  • 2 Competition for the safe space of religion
  • 3 Aggressive religious conflicts in the Middle East
  • 4 Defensive religious conflict and religious security around China
  • 5 Theoretical summary of offensive and defensive religious conflicts
  • 6 Conclusions
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