World Religions and Democracy


Can religion be compatible with liberal democracy? This volume brings together insights from renowned scholars and world leaders in a provocative discussion of religions' role in the success or failure of democracy.

Democratization Theory and the “Arab Spring”

April 2013

In light of the “Arab Spring,” how should students of democratic transition rethink the relation between religion and democracy; the nature of regimes that mix democratic and authoritarian features; and the impact of “sultanism” on prospects for democracy?

The Transformation of the Arab World

July 2012

The electoral triumph of Islamist parties has dampened the enthusiasm of democrats for the “Arab Spring.”

The Languages of the Arab Revolutions

April 2012

The upheavals that have been shaking the Arab-Muslim world are revolutions in discourse as well as in the streets. Arabs are using not only traditional and religious vocabularies, but also a new set of expressions that are modern and represent popular aspirations.

Tunisia’s Transition and the Twin Tolerations

April 2012

Of all the “Arab Spring” countries, so far only Tunisia has managed to make a transition to democracy. Tunisians now have a chance to show the world a new example of how religion, society, and the state can relate to one another under democratic conditions.

Indonesia: The Benefits of Civic Engagement

January 2012

Indonesia, a populous, poor, predominantly Muslim society, has been able to maintain democracy thanks to a vibrant associational life.

The Split in Arab Culture

January 2011

A powerful “salafist” public norm has taken root in the Arab world, becoming the main symbol of resistance to Westernization. At the same time, however, new cultural forces in the private domain are promoting a dynamic of secularization.

The Upsurge of Religion in China

October 2010

Religion in various forms is burgeoning in the PRC today, and the ruling Chinese Communist Party cannot decide what to make of it—or do about it.

The Rise of "State-Nations"

July 2010

Must every state be a nation and every nation a state? Or should we look instead to the example of countries such as India, where one state holds together a congeries of “national” groups and cultures in a single and wisely conceived federal republic?