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ARAB BAROMETER: SELECTED FINDINGS WAVE TWO (2011) and WAVE ONE (2006) ISLAM AND THE STRUGGLE FOR A POLITICAL FORMULA: FINDINGS FROM THE 2010-2011 ARAB.

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Presentation on theme: "ARAB BAROMETER: SELECTED FINDINGS WAVE TWO (2011) and WAVE ONE (2006) ISLAM AND THE STRUGGLE FOR A POLITICAL FORMULA: FINDINGS FROM THE 2010-2011 ARAB."— Presentation transcript:

1 ARAB BAROMETER: SELECTED FINDINGS WAVE TWO (2011) and WAVE ONE (2006) ISLAM AND THE STRUGGLE FOR A POLITICAL FORMULA: FINDINGS FROM THE ARAB BAROMETER Mark Tessler University of Michigan

2 Why Islam? Arabs and Muslims often say that Westerners are obsessed with Islam, believing that it breeds extremism and violence – the so-called Clash of Civilizations thesis. But while Arabs and Muslims are correct to complain that misinformation and stereotypes sometimes characterize Western thinking about Islam, the place of religion in the governance of Arab countries is in fact an important, and contested, issue in domestic Arab politics – and now more than ever. Ali Gomaa, the Grand Mufti of Egypt: “Egypt’s revolution has swept away decades of authoritarian rule but has also highlighted an issue that Egyptians will grapple with as they consolidate their democracy: the role of religion in political life.” Hamadi Jebali, Secretary General of Tunisia’s al-Nahda Party (and now Tunisian prime minister): “What kind of Democracy for the New Tunisia: Islamic or Secular?” Tariq Harb, Iraqi constitutional lawyer and media personality: “A central element in the struggle to define Iraq’s emergent democracy is the question of how “to balance religion and secularism.”

3 Arab Barometer: Second Wave Most surveys used area probability sampling. Data are weighted by age and education when needed. ** Being “corrected” and not included in present analysis.

4 All Countries a Men of religion should have influence over government decisions Column Percent Cumulative Percent Strongly Agree11.5 Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree Religion is a private matter and should be separated from socio-political life Column Percent Cumulative Percent Strongly Disagree13.0 Disagree Agree Strongly Agree Support for Islam in Politics and Society a Nine countries, pooled analysis; weighted to adjust for sample size differences; only Muslim respondents included.

5 Country Date of Survey Men of religion should have influence over government decisions (Str. Agr./Agr. Average 43%) Religion is a private matter and should be separated from socio- political life (Str. Dis./Dis. Average 38%) JordanDec %45% PalestineDec %48% SudanDec %50% YemenFeb %50% IraqFeb-Mar %28% AlgeriaApr-May %25% KSAMay-Jun %55% EgyptJun-Jul %21% TunisiaSep-Oct %22% Support for Islamic Influence by Country Dark Green = Favorable toward Islamic influence by 9 or more points above average Tan = Unfavorable toward Islamic influence by 9 or more points below average

6 Men of religion should have influence over the decisions of government Religious practice is a private matter and should be separated from socio-political life Survey Item (% Strongly Agree/Agree) S. Agree/ Agree (favors Islamic influence) Disagree/ S. Disagree (not favor Islamic influence) S. Agree/ Agree (not favor Islamic influence) Disagree/ S. Disagree (favors Islamic influence) Democracy may have problems but it is better than any other form of government (82%)80%83%85%77% Islam requires that in a Muslim country the political rights of non-Muslims be inferior to those of Muslims (28%) 39%20%25%34% A university education is more important for a boy than a girl (27%)33%22%26%28% On the whole, men make better political leaders than women (76%)81%72% 82% The culture of the US and other Western countries has many positive attributes (60%)57%63% 56% Despite negative US foreign policies, most ordinary Americans are good people (56%)54%58% 60%52% Different Visions and Worldviews? Dark Green = difference of 9 or more

7 Accounting for Variance: Drivers and Pathways Dependent Variable: Support for Islam in Politics and Society (2-8 scale, 8 = more) support) Selected Hypotheses: More Support Predicted If: Unfavorable Regime Evaluation Conservative Cultural Values Low Educational Level Methodological Considerations Only Muslim respondents Pooled data and weighting OLS, holds other IVs constant Control variables (religiosity, demographics) Disaggregation by age (and sex) Compare regimes based on Islamic connection

8 Regime without Islamic Connection All Respondents Younger Respondents Older Respondents Unfavorable Assessment of Ruling Regime.106** (.032) (.046).212** (.044) Lower Support for Gender Equality.308** (.032).309** (.046).309** (.045) Lower Level of Education -.099** (.032) -.132** (.048) -.107** (.042) Regime with Islamic Connection a All Respondents Younger Respondents Older Respondents Unfavorable Assessment of Ruling Regime -.245** (.047) (.072) -.326** (.062) Lower Support for Gender Equality.168** (.046).270** (.071).088 (.064) Lower Level of Education.108* (.050).048 (.081).172** (.060) Regression coefficients; SE in parentheses; *p<.05, **p<.01 a KSA, Iraq, Sudan

9 Some Determinants (Predictors) of Attitudes toward Islam’s Political and Societal Role: A Foundation for Discussion H1. Unfavorable Regime Evaluation Unfavorable regime evaluation predicts to support for Islamic influence if country governed by a regime without an Islamic connection, but only among older individuals (and only among men) Unfavorable regime evaluation predicts to opposition to Islamic influence if country governed by a regime with an Islamic connection, but again only among older individuals (of both sexes) H2. Lower Support for Gender Equality Lower support for gender equality predicts to support for Islamic influence regardless of whether or not country is governed by a regime with an Islamic connection, but only among younger individuals (and men) in countries governed by a regime with an Islamic connection H3. Lower Level of Education Higher education predicts to support for Islamic influence if country governed by a regime without an Islamic connection among both younger and older individuals (of both sexes) Lower education predicts to support for Islamic influence if country governed by a regime with an Islamic connection, but only among older individuals (and only among men) Countries governed by regime with an Islamic connection: KSA, Iraq, Sudan

10 Some Conclusions and Take-Aways Publics Divided on Islam’s Political and Societal Role Overall, skewed toward limiting Islam’s political and societal influence Considerable variation across countries Opinion divided even in countries with more support for Islam’s influence Worldviews Vary by Issue Substantial majorities support democracy, equality for non- Muslims, importance of education for girls Publics divided in views about American culture and people Some association between worldviews and views about Islam’s influence No “One-Size-Fits-All” Causal Story Political judgments, cultural predispositions, and personal experiences all account for some of the variance in views about Islam’s influence Explanatory power influenced by character of governing regime Explanatory power also varies across demographic categories

11 Next Steps: Expanded and More Complex Analysis Expanded database: more countries and time periods Additional measures of dependent variable Additional individual-level hypotheses and independent variables: tolerance, economic situation, civic engagement Separate (not pooled) analysis for each survey Two-level analysis to identify conditioning effects of country and temporal characteristics Further reflection and investigation of pathways


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