Religion

Why Is There So Little Shia–Sunni Dialogue? Understanding the Deficit of Intra-Muslim Dialogue and Interreligious Peacemaking

Despite a growth in fatalities resulting from organized violence with Shia–Sunni dimensions over the last two decades, in this study, we show, using existing data-bases on interreligious dialogue and peacemaking, that only less than two percent of the interreligious peacemaking organizations in the world are specialized in dialogue between Shias and Sunnis. Why is there so little institutionalized Shia–Sunni dialogue…

Poverty and Divine Rewards: The Electoral Advantage of Islamist Political Parties

Political life in many Muslim‐majority countries has been marked by the electoral dominance of Islamist parties. Recent attempts to explain why have highlighted their material and organizational factors, such as the provision of social services. In this article, we revive an older literature that emphasizes the appeal of these parties’ religious nature to voters experiencing economic hardship. Individuals suffering economic…

How Polities Shape Support for Gender Equality and Religiosity’s Impact in Arab Countries

Previous public opinion studies argued that in the Arab Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Muslim citizens support gender equality less than non-Muslims, due to Islamic-patriarchal socialization. Deviating from this Orientalist narrative, we formulate a context-dependent agentic-socialization framework, which acknowledges religiosity’s and gender equality’s multidimensionality along with the MENA’s political-institutional diversity. We expect that religious service attendance and devotion decrease…

Religion and Tolerance of Minority Sects in the Arab World

Does religious behavior always promote hostility toward members of other faiths? This article suggests that the relationship between personal religious behavior and religious tolerance is not so simple. Even in the Arab World, frequently cited as a center of religious piety and intolerance, different forms of religious behavior have markedly different effects on attitudes toward minority sects. Using both observational…

Tunisia At A Crossroads

Key Findings: Perceptions of economic conditions have significantly deteriorated since 2011. Trust in the government and parliament are low, but Tunisians have far more confidence in the security services and the judiciary. Nearly all Tunisians say corruption remains rampant, while fewer than half believe the government is taking steps to address the problem. Desire to emigrate is high and growing,…

Religiosity and Perception About Compatibility of Democracy With Islam: Evidence From the Arab World

Using the data from Arab countries, this article shows that the odds of considering democracy to be consistent with Islam are higher for more religious respondents than that for less religious respondents. This article also shows that this result may be driven by two characteristics of religiosity: frequently reading the Holy Quran (the source of religion) and regularly praying. Our…

Sharīʻa, Islamism and Arab support for democracy

The Arab Spring and its aftermath reignited the debate over the relationship between Islamism and democracy. This analysis improves upon previous research by demonstrating the crucial contribution which a more precise understanding of the multiple meanings of the concept of Sharīʻa can have on our assessment of the future of democracy in the Arab world. While support for the Sharīʻa-conformity…

Beyond elections: perceptions of democracy in four Arab countries

This article draws on public opinion survey data from Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, and Jordan to investigate first, whether a “demand for democracy” in the region exists; second, how to measure it; and third, how respondents understand it. The picture emerging from this analysis is complex, eluding the simple dichotomy between prima facie support and second order incongruence with democracy, which characterises current…