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Publishers Weekly, 2011-01-24 Political scientists Toft (The Geography of Ethnic Violence), Philpott, and Shah explore the recent burgeoning political influence of religion in a timely treatise. The authors contend that religion's waning influence in politics-which dated from the Enlightenment and peaked in the 1960s-has seen a 40-year reversal; at present, "major religious actors... enjoy greater capacity for political influence today than at any time in modern history-and perhaps ever." This revival-manifested in developments like the "Islamic resurgence" and the rise of the religious Right in the U.S.-was rooted in a crisis in such secular ideologies as socialism, and has been nurtured by globalization and modern technologies like the Internet. Despite some occasional hyperbole and inconsistency-the authors shrill, "God's partisans are back, they are setting the political agenda, and they are not going away," and in the next breath, they caution policymakers not to "exaggerate the power of religious actors in public life"-this is a lucid and surprisingly seamless collaboration that should appeal to serious students of modern politics. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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