Politics and Religion

Publisher: The American Political Science Association, APSA, Cambridge University Press (CUP)

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ISSN 1755-0491
OCLC 225884250
Material type Series, Periodical
Document type Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

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Cambridge University Press (CUP)

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Publications in this journal


  • No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Politics and Religion

  • No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Politics and Religion

  • No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Politics and Religion
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    ABSTRACT: This article studies the influence of religion on political attitudes in Israel by testing two propositions: religion-friendly democratization and greedy socialization. The former implies that accommodation of religious demands stimulates democratization, the latter argues that domineering religious socialization does not motivate democratic attitudes. Analysis of data from representative surveys conducted in 2006-2013, supports greedy socialization over the religion friendly hypothesis. I show that in most instances, socialization in religion-friendly environments does not moderate the political attitudes of religiously conservative groups. The results suggest that unbounded accommodation of religious needs in non-religious institutions may strengthen undemocratic political attitudes. Copyright © Religion and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association 2015.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Politics and Religion
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    ABSTRACT: Allusions to holy scriptures and quotes from sacred texts appear in hundreds of political science articles. Yet while we treat other ancient texts with reverence and diligence, we have not extended a similar care to the holy scriptures of the world's religions. Political scientists often refer to biblical events, statements, and turns of phrase but rarely cite them, chapter and verse. They are careless about referencing the precise translation of the holy texts used, tend to cite religious passages out of context, and disregard the role of religious tradition, interpretation, and practice in shaping and reshaping the meaning of holy texts. I offer examples for these trends, provide evidence for their harmful implications and offer guidelines for the appropriate treatment of sacred texts as formal scholarly sources. Copyright © Religion and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association 2013.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2013 · Politics and Religion
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    ABSTRACT: The literature on state accommodation of Muslim religious practices has focused on the regional context of Western Europe and North America. In this project, I identify and compare state policies toward Islamic religious practices using a sample of 22 former communist Muslim republics of Eurasia. For this purpose, I construct an original dataset collected from a variety of sources. Employing the number of mosques functioning in each post-communist Muslim republic as the measure of state accommodation of religious practices I find that among all factors the level of democracy is the single most important variable in explaining variation in accommodation of Islamic religious practices. To further demonstrate significance of these results I trace the process of democratic influence on state accommodation of religious policies examining in-depth the case of Tatars both in the pre-communist Imperial and revolutionary Russia and the contemporary republic of Tatarstan.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2013 · Politics and Religion
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    ABSTRACT: Analyzing a unique module of the General Social Survey, we test hypotheses that three religion dimensions — affiliation with specific religious traditions (belonging), service attendance (behaving), and religious orthodoxy (believing) are associated with compassionate feelings, and that these feelings carry over into support for government efforts to help the poor, blacks, and the sick. The religiously orthodox report more compassionate feelings toward others than do modernists and, partly because of this, are more supportive of government intervention to help the poor. Yet attending religious services frequently does not increase compassionate feelings and makes people less supportive of government efforts to help the poor. There are no differences among religious traditions in compassionate feelings, and the only difference on economic policy preferences is for Black Protestants to support government assistance to blacks. Compassionate feelings have comparable effects to political ideology and party identification on support for government assistance to the disadvantaged and misfortunate. We conclude that people of faith, variously defined, do not constitute a monolithic “Religious Right” and are potentially open to policy appeals from both political parties.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2013 · Politics and Religion
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    ABSTRACT: The 19th century was a time of rapid population growth in the United States, and much of it was due to immigration from Europe. In the 1840s and 1850s, the largest proportion of immigrants came from Ireland and Germany, and most were Catholic. The Germans spread across small communities as far west as Wisconsin and Texas, but the Irish concentrated in the larger cities on the eastern seaboard, especially Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. Local third- and fourth-generation Protestant immigrants from England resented the new arrivals and organized “Nativist” associations. Among these was the anti-Catholic American Party, better known as the Know Nothing Party, which enjoyed spectacular success in Massachusetts and other states during 1854–1855. But, by 1862, the party was dead. This article examines how moral panic theory, the theory of persistent cultural patterns and cycles, and revitalization theory may offer insights into the Know Nothing Party. Each of these theories explains both the emergence of the party and its rapid demise, and suggest that each can make a contribution to understanding anti-Catholicism in nineteenth-century America, and the Know Nothing Party in particular.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2013 · Politics and Religion
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    ABSTRACT: While public opinion research has expanded rapidly in the Islamic world since 2001, little scholarly work has examined interviewer effects related to an enumerator's religious adherence. We find that the perceived religiosity of an interviewer impacts respondents' expressions of personal piety and adherence to Islamic cultural norms in a sample of approximately 1,200 women in Greater Cairo. Muslim women indicate that they are more religious and adherent to Islamic cultural norms when interviewed by an enumerator donning the Islamic headscarf. Conversely, members of Egypt's minority Coptic Christian community report that they are less adherent to Christianity when interviewed by a veiled enumerator. Through psychological processes of strategic self-presentation of identity and impression management, the veil may trigger Muslim respondents to express what they perceive to be socially desirable (i.e., more devout) responses; in contemporary Egypt, being perceived as pious may elicit social and economic benefits. Christians appear to deemphasize their religious identity to avoid appearing at odds with the dominant, Muslim majority to which the enumerator appears to belong. Younger, poorer and less educated women — who may be most susceptible to concerns about social desirability — show the largest effects.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2013 · Politics and Religion
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    ABSTRACT: From 2005 to 2010, the Organization for Islamic Cooperation attempted to ban the defamation of religion internationally through a series of United Nations resolutions. Although many opposed the resolutions for their potential effects on political rights, numerous non-Muslim states supported them. What explains the dynamic of this support, especially the resolutions' religious nature and significant non-Muslim backing? I argue that non-democratic states that restrict religion have an incentive to take action on contentious international issues — such as the religious defamation resolutions — to gain support from religious groups and justify their restrictive policies, even though Muslim religious defamation concerns and developing country solidarity also contributed to support. I demonstrate this through a mixed-method study, with a quantitative analysis of states' votes on the resolutions and case studies of Belarus and Pakistan. The article contributes to the study of religion and politics, as well as studies on the dynamics of United Nations voting.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2013 · Politics and Religion
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    ABSTRACT: Of the 45 Muslim majority countries in the world, 42 have signed the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. While this does indeed signal a motive to improve women's rights, there is wide disparity in terms of which countries expand rights and which do not. Social science literature suggests that in addition to economic factors like wealth and oil resources, or political factors like the quality of democracy in the country, Islamic culture may be at odds with the Western conception of women's rights. We posit that Muslim countries are unique in this regard due to religious pressures that often conflict with conventional measures of human rights. Using data from the Cingranelli-Richards Human Rights Dataset and the Religion and State Project, we find that Muslim countries that restrict the influence of fundamentalist religion in the government and population improve women's economic and social rights.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2013 · Politics and Religion
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    ABSTRACT: We explore the relationship between religiosity and public support for greater government services. We theorize that increases in religiosity and public opinion both reflect demands from citizens in the face of insecurity. We argue that religiosity is comprised of two factors: responses to insecurity; and long-held preferences for religion, or secularity. We show that previous studies that have observed increased religiosity leading to decreased support for government spending have not distinguished among religiosity as driven by secularity versus insecurity. To test our theory, we first estimate a series of simulations, and we then turn to the dynamics of aggregate religiosity and public opinion in the United States over the past fifty years, an environment where long-held preferences for religious goods have remained relatively stable. Consistent with our theory, religiosity and public opinion respond to insecurity; the series are positively correlated, move together through time, and react in similar ways to changes in GDP per capita. Our findings indicate that during times when there is greater insecurity, both religiosity and demand from government increase.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2013 · Politics and Religion
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    ABSTRACT: Examination of the First Amendment's establishment clause in the post World War II period is unique in American constitutional interpretation because virtually all voices had agreed on one point, originalism. Few if any significant writers on the establishment clause had doubted the centrality of the founders' original intent for interpreting the clause's meaning. Yet this now has changed. Unlike their predecessors, leading advocates of church-state separation have now moved away from an original meaning interpretation of the establishment clause. Yet these separationists continue to try to ground their normative policy prescriptions in establishment clause mandates. They attempt this balancing act by employing narrative strategies of evolutionary processes in history. They do not simply track changes in constitutional doctrine, but characterize changes yielding greater separation between church and state through the nation's history as incipient in the Republic's founding, an originally inchoate church-state principle only fully formed through historical evolution. In the process, they sweep myriad separationist ideas into their progressively evolving narratives which have never been enunciated as law. Their accounts thus often reflect less an attempt to track historical developments in fundamental law than an attempt to construct fundamental law narratives. These attempts highlight persistent historical problems in the separationist endeavor that require attention if the evolutionary narratives of leading separationist are to shape the field of establishment clause history.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2013 · Politics and Religion
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    ABSTRACT: Examining religion in the study of political behavior has produced varied results because of a lack of clarity on the conceptualization of religion and a methodology that cannot adequately untangle the multiple meanings of religion. Using the technique of propensity score matching, this work breaks apart the three B's in a number of analyses in order to properly understand how behavior, belief, and belonging impacts political tolerance. The results of this analysis indicate that a belief in biblical literalism decreases political tolerance, while church attendance often increases tolerance.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2013 · Politics and Religion