R. Scott Appleby: From a Footnote to a Distinguished Scholar Award Winner

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This essay is a reminder of the briar path towards recognition of religion as an essential factor in International Relations (IR) and in its major academic organization, the International Studies Association (ISA). To positivists in IR, religion stands in sharp contrast to reason and is not to be taken seriously. A significant review article published in World Politics in 2008 is cited here as an example. It refers to the work of R. Scott Appleby and others as literature “in the public sphere”—which is “outside of the concerns of political science” and “not of interest”—and thus it is only mentioned in a footnote. In 2019 the ISA’s Religion and International Relations Section gave its Distinguished Scholar Award to Professor Appleby, which is in part a statement of a recommitment to keep challenging this attitude.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-86
Number of pages4
JournalReview of Faith and International Affairs
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2 2020


  • International Studies Association
  • comparative politics
  • international relations
  • political science
  • religion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies
  • Sociology and Political Science


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