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Judd Birdsall
Dr Judd Birdsall is the managing director of the Cambridge Institute on Religion & International Studies at Clare College, Cambridge. He previously served at the U.S. State Department in the Office of International Religious Freedom and on the Secretary of State's Policy Planning Staff. He was also the founding chairman of the Department's Forum on Religion & Global Affairs.

Entries by Judd Birdsall

Will Britain Receive a Flood of Refugees -- From America -- If Donald Trump Wins?

(9) Comments | Posted March 2, 2016 | 3:21 AM

As the UK debates whether to leave the EU, across the pond Americans are debating whether to leave America if Donald Trump is elected president.

A September 2015 analysis of Twitter found 200,000 tweets expressing intent to leave a Trump-led America. Among those tweets,...

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Caught in the Claws of UK Cat Culture: How This American Learned to Live With Non-Declawed Cats

(40) Comments | Posted December 11, 2015 | 4:50 PM

The United States and the United Kingdom are bound together by history, language, and strategic interests, but there is one area where the two countries radically diverge: cats.

Walk through any British village and you'll see cats playing outside as if they were American dogs. And the British dogs are...

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An American Tribute to British Gun Policy

(42) Comments | Posted October 2, 2015 | 6:27 PM

In the wake of yet another school shooting in the United States, I'm profoundly grateful, as an American in England, to live in a country where my children have no fear of guns at school.

The United States and the United Kingdom have many important similarities, but rational gun...

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Faith in the Special Relationship: A New Report Argues the US-UK Alliance is Strengthened by Diplomatic Cooperation on Religion

(0) Comments | Posted September 4, 2015 | 2:33 PM

By Judd Birdsall, Jane Lindsay, and Emma Tomalin

Transatlantic cooperation on issues of religion and foreign policy can help to advance American and British interests--and strengthen the 'special relationship' between the two countries. That's an underlying argument in a new report, Toward Religion-Attentive Foreign Policy: A Report on...

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Britain's Got Religion: Major Party Manifestos all Voice Support for Religious Freedom

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2015 | 7:21 PM

By Judd Birdsall, Jane Lindsay, and Emma Tomalin

In the midst of a divisive election campaign there is a remarkable agreement among all three major parties on at least one issue: international religious freedom. The Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, and Labour all include in their manifestos some variation of...

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British Halloween Needs More American Influence

(41) Comments | Posted October 27, 2014 | 7:00 PM

On our first Halloween as Americans living in Britain my wife and I were culture shocked to open our door to find legions of little demons.

The sweet children in our Cambridgeshire village were dressed as devils, witches, corpses, werewolves, zombies, vampires, and various other nightmarish creatures. Even the...

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Deploying Jack Bauer Phrases for an Intense, 24-hour Job: Parenting Toddlers

(0) Comments | Posted May 30, 2014 | 2:54 PM

With a new season of the high-octane serial drama 24 now on television, my wife and I are once again finding ourselves using lots of 24-style lingo in our everyday parenting routine.

Of course, this is a bit ironic. The ceaselessly stressful and frequently violent show isn't...

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Defining Christian Martyrs: A Call For Reexamination Of The Label

(65) Comments | Posted November 13, 2013 | 5:45 AM

(RNS) Christianity can be a deadly commitment. This past Sunday was the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, an occasion that reminds Christians that many of their brethren are killed for their faith every year. But how many?

On Tuesday the BBC published an article exploring the controversy...

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The State Department's Great Leap Faithward

(0) Comments | Posted August 13, 2013 | 12:54 PM

In February I wrote an article asking, Will Kerry Bring Faith to Foreign Policy? Six months into Kerry's tenure as Secretary of State the answer appears to be an emphatic yes -- though now begins the hard work of implementing his vision for religious engagement.

Last week Kerry...

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In Malawi, Evangelicals Don't Doubt Climate Change

(38) Comments | Posted May 28, 2013 | 5:19 PM

The river once teemed with fish and was lined by lush banana trees. Now it's a dry, scorched trail of barren sand. In Fombe village, Malawi, climate change is not a matter of political or scientific debate. It's a matter of survival.

I recently visited Fombe and several other villages...

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Will Kerry Bring Faith to Foreign Policy?

(6) Comments | Posted February 21, 2013 | 10:12 AM

Newly confirmed Secretary of State John Kerry is now the face of America to the world -- a pervasively religious world. With more than 80 percent of the global population affiliated with a religion, Kerry's ability to engage religious issues and actors will be vital to the success of his...

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GOP Must Learn From the Global Sigh of Relief

(12) Comments | Posted November 13, 2012 | 1:27 PM

Republicans went to bed Tuesday night with a sigh of disbelief but the world woke up Wednesday morning breathing a sigh of relief. International surveys showed that people nearly everywhere preferred Obama to Romney, and the exultant post-election commentary from around the world confirms the polling data.

The Republican Party...

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