Public Choice

, Volume 151, Issue 1–2, pp 185–192 | Cite as

Islam and democracy



Using the POLITY IV and Freedom House indices, Rowley and Smith (Public Choice 139(3–4):273, 2009) found that countries with Muslim majorities enjoy less freedom and are less democratic than countries in which Muslims are a minority. Because the POLITY IV and Freedom House indices have been criticized on several grounds, I reinvestigate Rowley and Smith’s finding using the new Democracy-Dictatorship data from Cheibub et al. (Public Choice 143(1–2):67, 2010). The empirical results confirm that countries with Muslim majorities are indeed less likely to be democratic.


Islam Religion Democracy Political institutions 

JEL Classification

Z12 O11 P16 P48 F59 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1., University of KonstanzKonstanzGermany

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