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Islamic constitutions and religious minorities

Author

Listed:
  • Moamen Gouda

    (Hankuk University of Foreign Studies)

  • Jerg Gutmann

    (University of Hamburg)

Abstract

This study examines the effects of formal institutions, specifically constitutions that prescribe Sharia law as a source of legislation, on discrimination against religious minorities. We hypothesize that countries in which the supreme values of Islam are entrenched in the constitution exhibit more discrimination against religious minorities than otherwise comparable countries. In our empirical analysis, we find that religious minorities are indeed likely to face more religious discrimination under Islamic constitutions, even if the relevance of Islam in society is separately taken into account, for example, in terms of the Muslim population share. Instrumental variable regressions support our hypothesis of a causal effect of constitutional rules on de facto social outcomes. However, we find no evidence that Islam encourages discrimination against minorities when it is not entrenched in the constitution. Our results support the grave dangers inherent in the constitutionalization of supreme values.

Suggested Citation

  • Moamen Gouda & Jerg Gutmann, 2021. "Islamic constitutions and religious minorities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 186(3), pages 243-265, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:186:y:2021:i:3:d:10.1007_s11127-019-00748-7
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-019-00748-7
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    Cited by:

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    2. Gutmann, Jerg & Voigt, Stefan, 2020. "Traditional law in times of the nation state: why is it so prevalent?," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(4), pages 445-461, August.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Constitutions; Discrimination; Minority rights; Islamic constitutionalism; Supreme values;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • K38 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Human Rights Law; Gender Law
    • P37 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Legal
    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
    • Z18 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Public Policy

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