Religious extremism: The good, the bad, and the deadly
AbstractThis paper challenges conventional views of violent religious extremism, particularly those that emphasize militant theology. We offer an alternative analysis that helps explain the persistent demand for religion, the different types of religions that naturally arise, and the special attributes of the “sectarian” type. Sects are adept at producing club goods – both spiritual and material. Where governments and economies function poorly, sects often become major suppliers of social services, political action, and coercive force. Their success as providers is much more due to the advantages of their organizational structure than it is to their theology. Religious militancy is most effectively controlled through a combination of policies that raise the direct costs of violence, foster religious competition, improve social services, and encourage private enterprise. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.
Volume (Year): 128 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100332
Econoimcs of religion; Religious violence; Extremism; Sectarianism; Terrorism; Suicide-bombing; Rational choice;
Other versions of this item:
- Eli Berman & Laurence R. Iannaccone, 2005. "Religious Extremism: The Good, The Bad, and The Deadly," NBER Working Papers 11663, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
- H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War
- H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
- K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior
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