Agitators, Tranquilizers, or Something Else: Do Religious Groups Increase or Decrease Contentious Collective Action?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This article critically assesses existing scholarship on the roles that religious groups play in collective contention. Researchers disagree on three main issues: (a) whether religious doctrines and values make religious groups more or less likely to launch collective contention; (b) whether religious groups reflect and reinforce politically relevant schisms and bring about regime change; and (c) whether the organizational structure of religious groups facilitates or prevents contentious collective action. This article urges researchers in the field (a) to extend their empirical enquiries into polytheistic, pantheistic, and non-theistic religions; (b) to conduct more cross-national and comparative studies; and (c) to think beyond the traditional framework of church–state relations. Calling for challenges to a one-dimensional understanding on the relationship between religious groups and collective contention, this article suggests that a better understanding of this relationship can be achieved by (a) explicitly defining the boundary conditions within which a theory works and (b) embracing a relational perspective that focuses not on religious groups per se but on their interactions with other social and political players.
Original languageEnglish
Article number213
Number of pages12
JournalReligions
Volume9
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2018

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Religious Groups
Collective Action
Religion
Comparative Study
Interaction
Doctrine
Organizational Structure
Launch
Schism
Boundary Conditions
Players

Cite this

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title = "Agitators, Tranquilizers, or Something Else: Do Religious Groups Increase or Decrease Contentious Collective Action?",
abstract = "This article critically assesses existing scholarship on the roles that religious groups play in collective contention. Researchers disagree on three main issues: (a) whether religious doctrines and values make religious groups more or less likely to launch collective contention; (b) whether religious groups reflect and reinforce politically relevant schisms and bring about regime change; and (c) whether the organizational structure of religious groups facilitates or prevents contentious collective action. This article urges researchers in the field (a) to extend their empirical enquiries into polytheistic, pantheistic, and non-theistic religions; (b) to conduct more cross-national and comparative studies; and (c) to think beyond the traditional framework of church–state relations. Calling for challenges to a one-dimensional understanding on the relationship between religious groups and collective contention, this article suggests that a better understanding of this relationship can be achieved by (a) explicitly defining the boundary conditions within which a theory works and (b) embracing a relational perspective that focuses not on religious groups per se but on their interactions with other social and political players.",
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Agitators, Tranquilizers, or Something Else : Do Religious Groups Increase or Decrease Contentious Collective Action? / Tao, Yu.

In: Religions, Vol. 9, No. 7, 213, 10.07.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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