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State Religion and Freedom: A Comparative Analysis

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 February 2013

Steven Kettell*
Affiliation:
University of Warwick
*
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Steven Kettell, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, United Kingdom. E-mail: s.kettell@warwick.ac.uk

Abstract

State religions form one of the main features of the international political landscape, but scholarly research into their dynamics and effects remains limited. This article aims to address this deficiency through a comparative examination of state religions and levels of political and religious freedom. The findings show that countries with a state religion have substantially lower levels of freedom across a range of measurements than countries with no state religion. The absence of any clear correlation to levels of human development, religious diversity and religiosity indicates a key causal role for the institutional mechanics of state religion itself.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Religion and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association 2013 

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