The study of religion holds great promise for the study of identity, institutional origins, the state, and the strategies of institutional actors in comparative politics. Doctrinal differences translate into distinct patterns of state institutions, economic performance, and policy preferences. Religious attachments affect voting and popular mobilization. Churches can become powerful institutional players that lobby, influence policy, and form effective coalitions with both secular and denominational partners. Finally, natural religious monopolies and (conversely) resolutely secular countries show how churches have played a central role in the struggle of nations and states. The relationship is thus mutual: religion influences political attitudes and institutions, and politics affects religious practice and political activity.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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