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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:54429
Doc. No:TL24383
Call number:‭3254821‬
Main Entry:Ani Sarkissian
Title & Author:An unholy alliance? Religion and democratization in Christian and Islamic societiesAni Sarkissian
College:University of California, Los Angeles
Date:2006
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2006
Page No:290
Abstract:How does religion affect the transition to, and survival of democracy? Both scholars and policymakers have argued that the spread of democracy may be limited by cultural constraints imposed by certain religious traditions. In this study, I challenge the conventional wisdom and provide empirical evidence to disprove several common assumptions. I show that democracy does not tend to succeed in Christian societies and fail in Islamic ones because Christianity and democracy are theoretically more compatible than Islam and democracy. Furthermore, I present evidence demonstrating that Muslims are actually more devoted to democratic values than Christians. Finally I outline a theory that explains how religiously-based action—rather than ideology—affects democratic development. Using both cross-national data and more detailed case studies of two democratizing countries in post-Soviet Eurasia, I show how organization determines the role religion will play in politics. I argue that the nature of religious organizations is an important but understudied causal mechanism linking religion and democracy cross-nationally. More specifically, I argue that religious group participation cultivates democratic values. Through detailed statistical analysis of cross-national public opinion data, I find that in addition to basic democratic values, participation is a key predictor of support for democracy. Even in the most authoritarian countries included in the data that I study, I find that participating in religious organizations is associated with greater rates of political participation and stronger commitment to democratic values. This demonstrates that religious participation—like other types of participation—helps train people to be good democratic citizens. I expand on the effect of religious participation on political outcomes by outlining and testing a series of hypotheses about how the internal organization of religious groups structures their potential and ability to participate politically and how the external organization of groups in society determines their opportunities to do so. Evidence for my theory comes from analysis of cross-national quantitative data as well as close study of the post-communist countries, particularly Armenia and Georgia.
Subject:Philosophy, religion and theology; Social sciences; Armenia; Christian; Democratization; Georgia (Republic); Islamic; Postcommunist; Religion; Political science; 0615:Political science; 0318:Religion
Added Entry:D. Treisman
Added Entry:University of California, Los Angeles