This introductory chapter provides an overview of the book's main themes. This book considers the history of state efforts to define and shape forms of religiosity that are understood to be conducive to particular regimes of governance. It offers a focused discussion that brings together several questions and concerns that have not been considered together before to develop three related arguments about these political projects and the fields in which they are deployed. First, it shows how particular constructs of religious freedom, religious tolerance, and the rights of religious minorities are being packaged into political projects and delivered around the world by states and others. Second, it contributes to the literature on religion and international relations by historicizing and politicizing the attempt over the past two decades to incorporate a concern for religion into the study and practice of global politics. Third, the book embeds the study of religion and politics in a series of broader social and interpretive fields by exploring the relation between these international projects and the social, religious, and political contexts in which they are deployed.
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