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Religions and Geo-politics


Granaroli B.


Menon M.



The goal of the curse is to explain how religions became tools used by international powers to expand their influence and promote their interests. The first part will be an introduction to geopolitics.
We will then analyze the historical process that brought religions to become geopolitical tools. We will consider several case studies, especially focusing on the case of the United States of America. The third and fourth parts will be dedicated to the Arab/Muslim world.
We will analyze how some powers from this region tool advantage of the revitalization of societies and how they use religions as tools to attack each other. In particular, we will study the case of Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. The last part of the course will be dedicated to the Syrian crisis, considered as a platform of geopolitical and religious confrontation between regional international actors.


  • have knowledge of geopolitics; be able to recognize geopolitical actors; understand the growing importance of religions in international relations
  • know how some of the main international powers use religions as geopolitical tools
  • understand the deeper reasons for the competition between geopolitical actors.

Teaching mode


Learning methods


Examination information

At the end of each course, the student must take a written exam. It focuses on the topics covered during the course as well as on the texts listed in the recommended bibliography.
The exam consists of 5 open questions. Each answer must be 3.000 characters long, including spaces.
The exam paper must be uploaded onto the dedicated area on the eLearning platform, during the one-week-long exam session. Dates can be consulted in the academic calendar.