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.

The Pipe Dream of Undemocratic Liberalism

July 2017

A look at liberal democracy’s complex historical evolution shows that elite fantasies of liberalism without democracy are ill-founded. Authoritarian legacies and democratic deficits lie at the core of trends that threaten liberal rights.

Exploring “Non-Western Democracy”

October 2015

Often called for but seldom defined with any precision, “non-Western democracy” could end up giving cover to authoritarianism, but also could allow potentially useful democratic innovations to be tried and tested.

The Third Wave: Inside the Numbers

October 2013

Is democracy threatened by a “reverse wave”? Examining regional patterns and distinguishing between different types of democracy gives us a new basis for assessing this question.

Listen to the podcast with authors Jørgen Møller and Svend-Erik Skaaning [mp3]

Does Diversity Hurt Democracy?

July 2012

It has been claimed in the pages of this jounal that a homogeneous society is an advantage when it comes to democratization. How might this suggestion be empirically tested, and with what (perhaps preliminary) results?

Books in Review: What Makes Legislatures Strong?

April 2010

A review of The Handbook of National Legislatures: A Global Survey by M. Steven Fish and Matthew Kroenig, and Legislative Power in Emerging African Democracies edited by Joel D. Barkan.

Twenty Years of Postcommunism: Freedom and the State

January 2010

This is a central problem—perhaps the central problem—for classical liberal theory and its crucial distinction between the state of nature and the civil state. Which is better for liberty: nature or the state?

Poverty, Inequality, and Democracy (II): Does Electoral Democracy Boost Economic Equality?

October 2009

The recent global progress of democracy has been accompanied by increasing economic inequality. What are the implications for the quality of democracy and for its ability to endure?

Religion and Democracy

April 2009

The secularization hypothesis has failed, and failed spectacularly. We must find a new paradigm to help us understand the complexities of the relationship between religion and democracy.