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Dag Hammarskjöld's religiosity and norms entrepreneurship: a postsecular perspective

Dionigi, Filippo (2016) Dag Hammarskjöld's religiosity and norms entrepreneurship: a postsecular perspective. Politics and Religion, 9 (1). pp. 162-186. ISSN 1755-0483

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Identification Number: 10.1017/S1755048315000930


In 1953, the UN General Assembly elected a low-key and relatively unknown personality as the second Secretary General of the UN. Dag Hammarskjöld, nonetheless, turned out to be one of the most entrepreneurial and innovative SGs that the UN has ever had. He invented peacekeeping, radically reformed the administrative structure of the UN, and promoted a crucial multilateral diplomatic role for the UN Secretariat. Behind this innovative approach to the politics of the UN, there was a personality with a deep and complex religious discernment that emerged occasionally in public speeches, as well as in private writing. This paper interprets Hammarskjöld’s norms entrepreneurship through the lens of postsecular theory and the concept of Habermasian institutional translation. It shows how -in contrast with merely secularist assumptions - Hammarskjöld’s religiosity shaped and advanced international political processes consistently with the principles of the UN Charter.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 Religion and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association
Divisions: Middle East Centre
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2015 16:04
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2024 19:00

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