Islamic attitudes and the support for Gender Equality and Democracy in Seven Arab Countries, and the role of anti-‐Western feelings

Spierings, Niels
This study engages the triangular theory, which links Islamic orientations, gender equality attitudes and democracy, using the Arab Barometer and WVS data. For democratic support only the Islamist values seem an important negative influence -not religious piety- partly working through economic gender equality attitudes. Attitudes towards women’s position in politics and education seem unrelated to democratic support. In addition, this study applies the gender and postcolonial concept of ‘othering’ and predicts that in the current neo-colonial era, anti-Western feelings might create more Islamic and less democracy and gender equal attitudes simultaneously, making Islam’s impact partly spurious. Empirically, this argument is supported for the Islamist-democracy link only. However, anti-Western feelings do relate to gender equality, democratic support, and religious attitudes.

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