State religious exclusivity and human rights

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Abstract

This study uses the Religion and State (RAS) and the Cingranelli-Richards (CIRI) data sets to examine whether the extent to which a state government supports religious exclusivity influences that state's human rights record. It tests this relationship for all states included in the study as well as for four problem sets which look specifically at democracies. The results show that both for all states in general and for democracies in particular, state religious exclusivity - which is defined here as state support for some religions or one religion over others and state legislation of religious precepts as law - is associated with poorer human rights records. However, this result is weaker in tests which include only Western democracies. The results also show that Muslim states tend to have relatively poor human rights records and Christian states tend to have relatively good human rights records.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)928-948
Number of pages21
JournalPolitical Studies
Volume56
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2008

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