Who votes for Islamists? A cross-national study of 10 Muslim-majority countries

Barziq, Ahmed
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Political Science
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The literature on Islamist voters is scarce. There are little emphases on Islamist voters and, conversely, plenty of scholarly works on Islamist movements and Islamists who support and sympathize with them. Therefore, this thesis aims to remedy this shortcoming in the political science literature and study Islamist voters as political animals. Precisely, the study is focused on underlining the main reasons that drive Islamist voters to the ballot box. Previous studies have studied the matter based upon clientelist and religious theoretical models and found conflicting evidence for the impact of these perspectives on Islamist voters. Thus, this paper seeks to employ cross-national regression analysis in 10 Muslim-majority countries to test the impact of religious and socio-economic factors on the political support received by Islamist parties. This study replicates previous works as well as expanding on the number of countries studied and synthesizing control variables from a couple of studies on profiles of Islamist voters. Concisely, the results of the regression models indicate strong support for the religious argument and, contrastingly, zero evidence for the perceived positive correlation between the impact of clientelism and support for Islamist candidates.

Clientelism, Islamism, Islamist Parties, Islamist Voters, Political Islam, Religions and Politics