Democracy and Countries with Muslim Majorities: A Reply and Update
My empirical results in Potrafke (2012) confirm past conclusions that Muslim-majority countries are less likely to be democratic. Hanusch takes issue with my results – and by inference with all past empirical results on the relation between Islam and democracy. In his comment on my study, Hanusch indicates that he believes I was using the POLITY IV index. He has not realized, as I made most clear, that the purpose of my study was to show results based on new data from Cheibub et al. (2010). Hanusch claims to have reversed the conclusion that having a Muslim majority is associated with having autocratic government. He establishes his conclusion by excluding the heartland of Islam from the estimation sample. For his estimates, Hanusch moreover uses data that do not appear to exist, at least in the claimed sources. I update my estimates to address issues that Hanusch raises. My new results confirm the conclusion that countries with Muslim majorities are less likely to be democracies. In deriving this result, I do not follow the strategy proposed by Hanusch of excluding from the data sample the countries in the heartland of Islam.
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