Religion's role in world affairs
Over the past decade religion has come back with a vengeance. When an American political scientist predicted that the post-cold-war world faced a clash of civilisations, he saw the struggle ahead largely in religious terms. Since September 11 2001, many people would now agree with him. Almost entirely neglected as a factor in world politics before the Berlin wall came down, religion is now invoked to explain most of the pressing issues of the day - the rise of ethnic conflict from the Balkans to Bombay, for instance, the emergence of al-Qaeda and the European Union's uncertain embrace of Turkey.