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Catarina Kinnvall

Catarina Kinnvall

Assistant Head of Department Coordination of Research | Professor

Catarina Kinnvall

Religion and Indias international relations


  • Catarina Kinnvall

Summary, in English

The chapter focuses on the religious aspects of India’s international relations by paying attention to four interrelated developments, discourses and narratives. First is the more general understanding of the role of religion in the Indian national narrative after independence, outlining how India’s policy of non-alignment and exceptionalism served as a site for a particular representation of Indian identity that could not be divorced from religious identifications. Second is a discussion of how such religious identifications have worked to unite and divide the Indian population, as witnessed in calls for a Sikh homeland of Khalistan and in the establishment of a Hindu Rashtra (nation), through which Muslims have increasingly become divorced from national narratives. Third, is how such identifications have played out in the diaspora with a particular emphasis on the Sikh and the Hindu diaspora and the role of religious mobilization. And, finally, are the ways in which the Modi doctrine and Indian neighbourhood policies have increasingly come to rest on religious grounds, as manifest in Hindu nationalist laws, policies and narratives of more recent standing.


  • Department of Political Science

Publishing year







Handbook on Religion and International Relations

Document type

Book chapter


Edward Elgar Publishing


  • Political Science
  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
  • History of Religions




  • ISBN: 9781839100239
  • ISBN: 9781839100246