John Hartley studies religion, politics and global affairs with an emphasis on more conservative religious actors and their relations with other communities. His work stresses the interacting influences of religious belief, socio-political struggle over authority, and stylized dispositions on actors’ situational leadership. Methodologically, Hartley variously combines interpretive, historical-comparative, survey, network and field analytics. Transnational Muslim-Christian-Secular relations and religious diplomacy with a particular focus on Iran form his substantive core. Hartley’s dissertation, entitled “Religious Exclusivists Taking Inclusive Action,” comparatively analyzes cases of recent transnational relations between conservative Muslims and Christians in the US, Iran, and Southeast Asia. The project problematizes dominant understandings of religious exclusivism, theorizes a strong interaction between orthodox and ethnographic capitals and proposes a revision to Bourdieu’s habitus concept to account for the serial encoding of particular conflicts on religious actors’ dispositions.
Hartley’s other projects analyze political communication by Iranian presidents at the United Nations as evolution in revolutionary repertoire, symbolic boundary formation in the international community, the field of play for religious diplomacy with Iran, the limits of tolerance, network analytic perspectives on the policy influence of Middle East “experts,” and the real-world impact of scholarly attempts at social influence.
Hartley is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology, a research fellow of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture and a junior fellow of the Center for Comparative Research, Initiative on Religion, Politics and Society, and Program in Iranian Studies.