Societal rather than governmental change: Religious discrimination in Muslim-majority countries after the Arab Uprisings

Yasemin Akbaba, Jonathan Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines shifts in governmental religion policy and societal discrimination against religious minorities in Muslim-majority states after the Arab Uprisings by using the Religion and State round 3 (RAS3) dataset for the years 2009-2014 and by focusing on 49 Muslim-majority countries and territories. We build on threads of literature on religious pluralism in transitional societies to explain the changes in governmental religion policy and societal discrimination against religious minorities after the Arab Uprisings. This literature predicts a rise in all forms of discrimination in Arab Uprising states as compared to other Muslim-majority states, and an even more significant rise in societal religious discrimination since societal behavior can change more quickly than government policy, especially at times of transition. The results partially conform to these predictions. There was no significant difference in the shifts in governmental religion policy between Arab Uprising and other Muslim-majority states, but societal religious discrimination increased substantially in Arab Uprising states as compared to non-Arab Uprising states. Understanding the nature of religion policies and religious discrimination provides further opportunities to unveil the dynamics of regional politics as well as conflict prevention in the region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-22
Number of pages18
JournalAll Azimuth
Volume8
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017.

Funding

1 This research was supported by the Israel Science Foundation Grant 23/14. Any opinions expressed in this study represent those of the authors and not necessarily the Israel Science Foundations.

FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation23/14

    Keywords

    • Arab Uprisings
    • Religious policy
    • Societal discrimination
    • Transitional regimes

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