Religiously Friendly Democracy: Framing Political and Religious Identities in Catholic and Muslim Societies

Doctoral Dissertation


This research project explores the relationship between faith and nation, and the institutional entanglements of religion, state and democracy in Catholic and Muslim societies. It is specifically animated by the following research question: What are the effects of bringing religion into the public sphere in new democracies, especially those whose theological values are considered to be hostile to democratic precepts? My analysis presents a theory for modeling the dynamics which are created when states allow hostile religions more access to the political and public spheres during moments of democratization (or lesser forms of political liberalization) by a) allowing religious political parties to contest elections and b) biasing religion-state arrangements in favor of religion. Drawing from more than eighteen months of field research in Italy and Algeria, I test the mechanisms of my theory through in-depth case studies in both a Catholic and Islamic setting and then use cross-national data on religion-state arrangements by Grim and Finke (2006) and Fox (2008) to statistically explore the theory’s wider explanatory weight.


Attribute NameValues
  • etd-04152011-164346

Author Michael Daniel Driessen
Advisor Fran Hagopian
Contributor Dan Philpott, Committee Member
Contributor Michael Coppedge, Committee Member
Contributor Jim McAdams, Committee Member
Contributor Fran Hagopian, Committee Chair
Degree Level Doctoral Dissertation
Degree Discipline Political Science
Degree Name PhD
Defense Date
  • 2011-04-03

Submission Date 2011-04-15
  • United States of America

  • algeria

  • italy

  • democracy

  • religion and politics

  • religion

  • catholicism

  • political Islam

  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units


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