Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Religion and Support for Democracy: A Comparative Study for Catholic and Muslim Countries

Politics and Religion (2012) 5 (2): 280-316.

50 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2011 Last revised: 1 Dec 2012

Eduard J. Bomhoff

Monash University Malaysia campus

Man-Li Gu

Taylor's University

Date Written: January 7, 2011

Abstract

This paper presents a cross-country empirical analysis of the relationship between religion and political attitudes among the Catholic and Muslim publics, using the most recent data from the World Values Survey (WVS). We find that public support for democracy is stronger among the better educated in both the Catholic and Muslim countries. Contrary to the conventional belief that pious believers are less receptive to democracy, religiosity, measured by belief in God, is found to have a significant positive impact on desire for democracy in both types of society. Our findings further indicate that at the societal level, overt support for democracy is consistently positively correlated to the attachment of a set of more implicit tolerant civil values in the Catholic countries, while exactly the opposite is observed in the Islamic countries.

Keywords: Religiosity, Democracy, Political Culture

JEL Classification: C51, N35, N40, Z10

Suggested Citation

Bomhoff, Eduard J. and Gu, Man-Li, Religion and Support for Democracy: A Comparative Study for Catholic and Muslim Countries (January 7, 2011). Politics and Religion (2012) 5 (2): 280-316. . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1740133 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1740133

Eduard J. Bomhoff

Monash University Malaysia campus ( email )

Jalan Lagoon Selatan
Kuala Lumpur, Selangor 46150
Malaysia

Man-Li Gu (Contact Author)

Taylor's University ( email )

Jalan Taylor's
Kuala Lumpur, 47500
Malaysia

Paper statistics

Downloads
230
Rank
111,218
Abstract Views
1,070