Why do religious organizations facilitate secular political participation in some settings and not others? This dissertation examines the relationship between religious organizations and political participation in a democratic context, as measured through 1) voting, 2) associational activity, and 3) involvement in political protests. Regional variation in political participation across Mexico will be used to uncover the conditions under which religious organizations mobilize political action. I use a multi-method research design utilizing: A) a quantitative analysis of 13,500 data observations collected from the nationally representative National Survey of Political Culture and Citizenship (ENCUP), supplemented by municipal and diocesan-level data from a variety of statistical databases, with causal leverage over nearly the entire Mexican electorate; B) qualitative field research of nearly 6 months in the Diocese of San Cristbal de las Casas in the Mexican State of Chiapas and the Archdiocese of Yucatn in the State of Yucatn. The mechanisms linking religious organizations to political activism will be assessed in two separate municipalities within each diocese; and C) the construction of an agent-based model. I will triangulate the strengths of each methodological approach to test several theories that potentially explain religions impact on political participation. These will be assessed against my own working hypothesis that where religious institutions devolve decision-making, monitoring, and sanctioning authority to the laity, individuals develop capacities to overcome collective action problems related to political activism.
|Effective start/end date||4/15/12 → 3/31/13|
- National Science Foundation (NSF): $11,995.00