Spreading of Salafism in Africa: Mechanisms, Strategies, and Tools of Saudi Arabia's Foreign Policy

  • Daniel Svoboda Faculty of Arts, University of West Bohemia, Plzeň, Czech Republic, svobodad@kap.zcu.cz

Abstract

The role and importance of religion in many countries' foreign policy seem to be rising again. Many scholars have shown that Saudi Arabia uses the spread of religion, specifically Salafi Islam, as a tool for its foreign policy and to strengthen its influence. Saudi Arabia is a crucial player in the MENA region and the entire Islamic world, and its regional and international importance is constantly increasing. The author considers understanding Saudi Arabia’s activities and its foreign policy strategies, mechanisms, and tools in Africa as very important, as Africa is becoming an arena for new powers once again. The article aims to identify how Saudi Arabia penetrates African states and spreads Salafism. It focuses on analyzing Saudi foreign policy, emphasizing the role of religion and its export. The author analyzes Saudi Arabia's relations with five selected African states, where Salafism is spreading, in the period from 2015 to the present.

Author Biography

Daniel Svoboda, Faculty of Arts, University of West Bohemia, Plzeň, Czech Republic, svobodad@kap.zcu.cz

Daniel Svoboda completed his master's studies in Political Science - African Studies and Political Science - Latin American Studies at the University of Hradec Králové. Currently, he is a Ph.D. candidate in International Relations at the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen. His academic interests include, e.g., the areas of Islamic terrorism, the role of religion in politics, non-democratic regimes, and political radicalism and extremism.

Section
Research Articles