Islamic Religiosity and Regime Preferences: Explaining Support for Democracy and Political Islam in Central Asia and the Caucasus

Kathleen Collins, Erica Owen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)499-515
Number of pages17
JournalPolitical Research Quarterly
Volume65
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012

Keywords

  • Muslim democracy
  • political Islam
  • regime preferences
  • religiosity
  • secularism

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