Democracy Paradox
Democracy Paradox
Apr 20, 2021
Mike Hoffman on How Religious Identities Influence Support for or Opposition to Democracy
Play • 54 min

Doctrine is actually often a lot looser and more subject to interpretation than we tend to assume and the way that the doctrine gets interpreted is often partially a function of group interests themselves. If you have a religious group in a given country that believes it would benefit from democracy, it's pretty likely that that group will find a way to interpret and frame its doctrine in a way that supports democracy.

- Mike Hoffman

A full transcript is available at

Key Highlights Include

  • Role of Religion in Identity Formation
  • How Communal Prayer Shapes Religious Identity
  • Ways Group Interests Shape Perspectives on Democracy
  • Description of Lebanon's Political System
  • Why Some Groups Oppose Democracy

Mike Hoffman is a professor of political science at Notre Dame and the author of Faith in Numbers: Religion, Sectarianism, and Democracy.

Key Links

Faith in Numbers: Religion, Sectarianism, and Democracy by Michael Hoffman

Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson

Patterns of Democracy by Arend Lijphart

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Elizabeth Nugent on Polarization, Democratization and the Arab Spring

Bryn Rosenfeld on Middle Class Support for Dictators in Autocratic Regimes

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