Religious market structure and democratic performance: clientelism

Stratos Patrikios, Georgios Xezonakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Is there a connection between government intervention in religious competition and partisan clientelism in democratic systems? Drawing on the economics of religion, we argue that alongside commonly examined population-level religious processes (religious diversity), state-level religious processes (government regulation of competition in the religious market) affect institutional performance in electoral democracies. Linking comparative indicators of religion-state relations with measures of partisan clientelism, statistical analysis suggests that uncompetitive religious markets, such as those where a dominant religion is sponsored by the state, create incentives, infrastructures and opportunities that favour clientelism. The study emphasises the importance of light-touch regulation of religion not merely as a normative principle narrowly related to religious freedom, but also as a potential remedy that can enhance the quality of political institutions.
LanguageEnglish
Article number102073
Number of pages11
JournalElectoral Studies
Volume61
Early online date12 Sep 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Sep 2019

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clientelism
Religion
market
performance
regulation
religious freedom
demographic situation
political institution
statistical analysis
remedies
incentive
infrastructure
democracy
economics

Keywords

  • electoral clientelism
  • economics of religion
  • religion and the state

Cite this

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Religious market structure and democratic performance : clientelism. / Patrikios, Stratos; Xezonakis, Georgios.

In: Electoral Studies, Vol. 61, 102073, 31.10.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AB - Is there a connection between government intervention in religious competition and partisan clientelism in democratic systems? Drawing on the economics of religion, we argue that alongside commonly examined population-level religious processes (religious diversity), state-level religious processes (government regulation of competition in the religious market) affect institutional performance in electoral democracies. Linking comparative indicators of religion-state relations with measures of partisan clientelism, statistical analysis suggests that uncompetitive religious markets, such as those where a dominant religion is sponsored by the state, create incentives, infrastructures and opportunities that favour clientelism. The study emphasises the importance of light-touch regulation of religion not merely as a normative principle narrowly related to religious freedom, but also as a potential remedy that can enhance the quality of political institutions.

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