Religion and Political Protest: A Cross-Country Analysis

Gizem Arikan*, Pazit Ben Nun Bloom

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Religion’s effect on individual tendency to engage in political protest is influenced both by the resources available to citizens at the individual level and opportunities provided to religious groups and organizations at the country level. Combining data from last two waves of the World Values Surveys with aggregate data on religious regulation, we show that private religious beliefs reduce an individual’s protest potential while involvement in religious social networks fosters it. At the country level, we find that government regulation of religion decreases individual tendency to protest, and has an especially detrimental effect on the likelihood of religious minorities joining peaceful protest activities. These findings are in line with opportunity structure theories that stress the importance of system openness for fostering political protest.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)246-276
Number of pages31
JournalComparative Political Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018.


  • minority discrimination
  • political participation
  • political protest
  • political psychology
  • religiosity
  • religious regulation


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