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American Republican religion? Disentangling the causal link between religion and politics in the US

by Stratos Patrikios
()

Abstract

Recent research in American political behavior has examined at length the link between evangelical Protestants and the Republican Party. These works however do not consider the idiosyncratic nature of religiosity in the US, and insist on treating religion as an 'unmoved mover' with respect to political contexts. The question posed herein is: during the participation of religious communities in partisan politics, should we expect politics to eventually constrain religious behavior? Motivated by a political social identity approach, I use American National Election Study panel data and structural equation modeling techniques to explore the untested possibility that religious and political factors are linked through reciprocal causation. Conditional upon religious and temporal context, findings highlight the causal impact of ideology and partisanship in shaping religious behavior.

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