Religion and support for democracy: A cross-national test of the mediating mechanisms

Pazit Ben Nun Bloom*, Gizem Arikan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Religion can be a source of undemocratic attitudes but also a contributor to democratic norms. This article argues that different dimensions of religiosity generate contrasting effects on democratic attitudes through different mechanisms. The private aspect of religious belief is associated with traditional and survival values, which in turn decrease both overt and intrinsic support for democracy. The communal aspect of religious social behaviour increases political interest and trust in institutions, which in turn typically lead to more support for democracy. Results from multilevel path analyses using data from fifty-four countries from Waves 4 and 5 of the World Values Survey suggest there is some regularity in mechanisms responsible for the effect of religiosity on democratic support that extend beyond religious denomination.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)375-397
Number of pages23
JournalBritish Journal of Political Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2013


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