Department of Political Science

A Clash of Civilizations? Muslims, Christians and Preferences for Democracy

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  • Arzoo Rafiqi
The incompatibility of Islam with democracy has been the focal point of many public and scholarly debates. However, very few studies have attempted to investigate empirically whether the followers of Islam are less favorable to democracy than the followers of Christianity. This study extends previous research by conducting empirical and representative analyses of whether Muslims in general and religious and practicing Muslims in particular prefer democracy less than their Christian counterparts. Using country fixed effects regression and data from the World Values Survey (WVS6) that include 52,326 Muslims and Christians, the analyses show that Muslims in general, as well as religious and practicing Muslims, endorse democracy to the same extent as do Christians. Thereby, this study is the first to provide comparative, individual‐level evidence of the influence these religions may have on democratic attitudes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal for the Scientific Study of Religion
Pages (from-to)689-706
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

    Research areas

  • Christians, Muslims, preferences for democracy, religious behavior, religious belief, religious belonging

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