Does religion or religiosity affect Muslims' regime preferences? Developing constructivist and ideational approaches, we theorize why and how religiosity shapes regime preferences. We test our hypotheses on our novel survey data from Azerbaijan in the Caucasus and Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia. Our findings question civilizationist, rationalist, and modernizationist theories by showing that religiosity among Muslims strongly affects regime preferences for various types of democracy and political Islam. Religious affiliation, however, does not. Finally, we challenge standard measurements of democratic support among Muslims and argue for more nuanced definitions; our surveys generate significant improvements in data for studying these issues.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Kathleen Collins is grateful to the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, the United States Institute of Peace, the University of Notre Dame, and the University of Minnesota for financial support. Erica Owen would like to thank the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton University for support.
- Muslim democracy
- political Islam
- regime preferences