Religious Diversification Reduces the Number of Religious Parties Over Time

Christopher D. Raymond

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Despite secularisation, there is growing recognition that some religious parties continue to influence elections and the formation of policy in several countries. But what explains why religious parties persist in some countries but not others? This study tests an argument holding that religious diversification promotes political cooperation and therefore reduces the number of religious parties. Using a data set of religious parties across advanced industrial democracies between 1945 and 2011, this paper analyses this argument and finds that religious diversity puts downward pressure on the number of religious parties over time.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Political Science
Early online date14 May 2020
Publication statusEarly online date - 14 May 2020


  • Religious cleavages
  • Religious diversity
  • Religious parties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations


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