The alleged dichotomy between the ‘religious’ and the ‘political’ constitutes a secularist lens which is being increasingly contested as artificial. A leading journal of International Relations traces this division back to the long 19th century – but the intellectual pedigree of secularism dates much deeper back to Antiquity.
Russia’s power over Central Asia perfectly illustrates the notion of a ‘sphere of influence’: A hegemon exerts power over a geopolitically close region. Yet, at the same time, Central Asian states do regularly resist unilateral power impositions by Russia. How can this be explained? A recent paper in the journal Geopolitics posits a ‘negotiated hegemony’ to better understand the political dynamics between an ‘influencer’ and its ‘influenced’.