Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 7
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Cesari, Jocelyne and Fox, Jonathan 2016. Institutional Relations Rather Than Clashes of Civilizations: When and How Is Religion Compatible with Democracy?. International Political Sociology, p. olw011.

    Schleutker, Elina 2016. A Note on the Determinants of the Regulation of Religion. Politics and Religion, p. 1.

    Fox, Jonathan 2015. Religious Freedom in Theory and Practice. Human Rights Review, Vol. 16, Issue. 1, p. 1.

    Mirilovic, Nikola and Siroky, David S. 2015. Two States in the Holy Land?: International Recognition and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Politics and Religion, Vol. 8, Issue. 02, p. 263.

    Tusalem, Rollin F. 2015. State Regulation of Religion and the Quality of Governance. Politics & Policy, Vol. 43, Issue. 1, p. 94.

    Henne, Peter S. 2013. The Domestic Politics of International Religious Defamation. Politics and Religion, Vol. 6, Issue. 03, p. 512.

    Kettell, Steven 2013. State Religion and Freedom: A Comparative Analysis. Politics and Religion, Vol. 6, Issue. 03, p. 538.


Reconceptualizing Church and State: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Separation of Religion and State on Democracy

  • Robert Brathwaite (a1) and Andrew Bramsen (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 26 April 2011

This article argues that the relationship between democracy and the separation of religion and state needs to be reexamined. We argue that previous studies have misconceptualized the impact that a lack of church-state separation can have on democracy, or have taken a narrow focus by concentrating on specific cases. We use principal component analysis and a large-n data set covering 125 countries to show that the separation of religion and state should be conceptualized multi-dimensionally and that it should be considered a component of democracy. Our findings show that as separation of religion and state increases, the level of democracy also increases.

Corresponding author
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Robert Brathwaite or Andrew Bramsen, University of Notre Dame, 217 O'Shaughnessy Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556. E-mail:;
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Michael Coppedge , and Wolfgang Reinicke . 1990. “Measuring Polyarchy.” Studies in Comparative International Development 25:5172.

Michael Coppedge , Angel Alvarez , and Claudia Maldonado . 2008. “Two Persistent Dimensions of Democracy: Contestation and Inclusiveness.” Journal of Politics 70: 632647.

M. Steven Fisch . 2002. “Islam and Authoritarianism.” World Politics 55: 437.

Jonathan Fox . 2006. “World Separation of Religion and State Into the 21st century.” Comparative Political Studies 39:537569.

Jonathan Fox , and Jonathan Rynhold . 2008. “A Jewish and Democratic State? Comparing Government Involvement in Religion in Israel with other Democracies.” Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions 9:507531.

Jonathan Fox , and Shmuel Sandler . 2005. “Separation of Religion and State in the 21st Century: Comparing the Middle East and Western Democracies.” Comparative Politics 37:317335.

Brian J. Grim , and Roger Finke . 2007. “Religious Persecution in Cross-National Context: Clashing Civilizations or Regulated Economies?” American Sociological Review 72: 633658.

Brian J. Grim , and Richard Wike . (2010). “Cross-Validating Measures of Global Religious Intolerance: Comparing Coded State Department Reports with Survey Data and Expert Opinion.” Politics and Religion 3:102129.

Manus I. Midlarsky 1998. “Democracy and Islam: Implications for Civilizational Conflict and the Democratic Peace.” International Studies Quarterly 42: 485511.

Daniel Pemstein , Stephen A. Meserve , and James Melton . 2008. “Democratic Compromise: A Latent Variable Analysis of Ten Measures of Regime Type.” Political Analysis 18:426449.

Alfred Stepan , and Graeme B. Robertson 2003. “An ‘Arab’ More than ‘Muslim’ Electoral Gap.” Journal of Democracy 14:3044.

Alfred Stepan , and Graeme B. Robertson 2004. “Arab, Not Muslim, Exceptionalism.” Journal of Democracy 15:140146.

Keith Ward . 1992. “Is a Christian State a Contradiction?” In Religion in Public Life, ed. Dan Cohn-Sherbok and David McLellan . New York, NY: St. Martin's Press.

James E. Wood Jr. 2005. Church and State in Historical Perspective: A Critical Assessment and Annotated Bibliography. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Politics and Religion
  • ISSN: 1755-0483
  • EISSN: 1755-0491
  • URL: /core/journals/politics-and-religion
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *