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date: 23 May 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Pakistan is widely considered to be a “religious” society, with survey data demonstrating that a high percentage of people consider religion an important part of their lives and support the implementation of shariʿa law. How does this apparent religiosity translate into political attitudes and behavior? This article examines this relationship by, first, analyzing how definitional and measurement choices have affected past research findings, and, second, through original analysis of Pew Research Center data from Pakistan using three distinct measures of religiosity. Survey results demonstrate that religious individuals hold meaningfully distinct views compared to their less religious counterparts on some issues of political importance—for example, they are more likely to support democracy. Along other outcome measures, such as concern with religious extremism and attitudes toward India, religiosity is not a consistently key factor, and its predictive value depends on how the concept is defined and measured.

Keywords: Pakistan, religiosity, Islam, survey data, shariʿa, religious extremism

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