2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

Islam and Democracy in Asia: Friends or Foes
Syed Muhammad M. Zaidi
Dr. James T. Przybylski, Faculty Mentor

In response to the growing role of Islam in contemporary international relations it is important to comprehend the relationship that Islam holds with politics. Recent scholarly debates have produced qualitative studies to test whether Islamic Sharia law is inherently antithetical to democracy. What is lacking on this subject, however, is quantitative work. This study hopes to address this theoretical gap through the assessment of Islam and democracy as conceived in the realm of Asian politics. In this essay, I survey literature in order to determine the most important variables that impact the level of freedom in a country. I find economic development, education, oil reliance and state stability to be relevant factors. Then I employ multivariate linear regression analysis to access whether Islam has a statistically significant correlation with the level of political and civil rights in Asian countries. This study utilizes a cross-national, time-series design from the years 2000-2005.

Keywords: Islam, Democracy, Asia, International Relations, Religion, Civil Rights, Political Rights, Sharia

Topic(s):Political Science
Philosophy & Religion
Geography

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 42-1
Location: MG 2090
Time: 1:15

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