Although scholars tend to downplay the role of religion in political life, the vast majority of people in the world profess a strong allegiance to some spiritual faith. Secularization theory has long held that religion would become irrelevant, leading many comparative scholars to ignore this potentially significant variable. A recent resurgence in religious fundamentalism and “new religious politics” has led more scholars to consider religious actors as important. However, research in this area befalls many of the same problems inherent in earlier secularization theories. A new body of scholarship, known as the “religious economy” school, seeks to address these problems by developing theories built on solid microlevel foundations of human behavior. This line of research holds great promise for the study of religion in comparative politics.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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