Religiosity and its Political Effects


What is the effect of religiosity on public opinion? Islamist religiosity in particular has been linked to a variety of outcomes, including authoritarianism and violence. Nevertheless, many scholars have countered that there is in fact no relationship between religiosity in the Arab world and adverse political outcomes. Thus the debate remains unresolved to some degree. To adjudicate this debate, we use the Arab Opinion Index's 2016 data to examine the effect of individual religiosity on public opinion and political behavior. We find that there is no link between increased religiosity and negative views of democracy; in fact, the opposite is the case. There is also no link between religiosity and political participation. Finally, there is a positive correlation between religiosity and political tolerance.

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