Religious parties and the politics of civil liberties

Research output: Book/ReportBook

7 Scopus citations


Religious parties are increasingly common in all parts of the world. Their rise in Muslim-majority countries has been particularly prominent, as they increasingly participate in elections, win legislative seats, and join governments. Since they are often founded on orthodox principles that are inconsistent with liberal democracy, the consequences of their rise and success for the prospects of liberal democratic values and practices have inspired much heated debate and discussion. This book considers a question that has been central in these debates: will the rise and success of religious parties lead to declines in the civil liberties of their citizens? This book addresses this question by focusing on a relationship that is central for understanding the politics of religious parties-their relationship with religious lobbies. It identifies the religious organizations that are actively involved in lobbying on these issues in Muslim-majority countries and outlines the policy preferences and institutional interests that motivate them. It then identifies the political and economic conditions that shape how their relationship with religious parties evolves and, when religious lobbies are able to or unable constrain the actions of religious parties. The book explains when the rise of religious parties leads to a significant decline in civil liberties and when it does not. To test its claims, it leverages original data on religious parties, religious party governments, and religious lobbies for all Muslim-majority countries for almost 40 years and uses original surveys of political elites in Turkey and Pakistan for a thorough and original analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages370
ISBN (Electronic)9780197545362
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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