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Political Behavior

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 367–389 | Cite as

American Republican Religion? Disentangling the Causal Link Between Religion and Politics in the US

  • Stratos Patrikios
Original Paper

Abstract

Recent research in American political behavior has examined at length the link between evangelical Protestants and the Republican Party. These works however do not consider the idiosyncratic nature of religiosity in the US, and insist on treating religion as an ‘unmoved mover’ with respect to political contexts. The question posed herein is: during the participation of religious communities in partisan politics, should we expect politics to eventually constrain religious behavior? Motivated by a political social identity approach, I use American National Election Study panel data and structural equation modeling techniques to explore the untested possibility that religious and political factors are linked through reciprocal causation. Conditional upon religious and temporal context, findings highlight the causal impact of ideology and partisanship in shaping religious behavior.

Keywords

Religious politicization Church attendance Party identification Ideology Social identity theory 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Earlier versions of the paper were presented at the Joint Sessions of the European Consortium for Political Research (Workshop: Politicizing Socio-Cultural Structures), Helsinki, May 2007, and the annual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, Tampa, November 2007. I am indebted to Mark Shephard, John Curtice, Robert Johns, the editors and two anonymous reviewers for advice and comments. I also want to thank Christopher J. Carman and Wouter van der Brug for helpful suggestions.

Supplementary material

11109_2008_9053_MOESM1_ESM.doc (50 kb)
(DOC 50 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GovernmentUniversity of StrathclydeGlasgowUK

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