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 religious that naturally arise, and the special attributes of the %u201Csectarian%u201D 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.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11663.
Date of creation: Oct 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Laurence Iannaccone & Eli Berman, 2006. "Religious extremism: The good, the bad, and the deadly," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 128(1), pages 109-129, July.
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Other versions of this item:
- Laurence Iannaccone & Eli Berman, 2006. "Religious extremism: The good, the bad, and the deadly," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 128(1), pages 109-129, July.
- 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
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-10-08 (All new papers)
- NEP-CWA-2005-10-08 (Central & Western Asia)
- NEP-LAW-2005-10-08 (Law & Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2005-10-08 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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