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The Quran and the Sword

Emmanuelle Auriol (), Jean-Philippe Platteau and Thierry Verdier ()

No 22-1381, TSE Working Papers from Toulouse School of Economics (TSE)

Abstract: This paper elucidates the willingness of an autocrat to push through institutional reforms in a context where traditional authorities represented by religious clerics are averse to them and where the military control the means of repression and can potentially stage a coup. We show that although the autocrat always wants to co-opt the military, this is not necessarily true of the clerics. Exclusive co-option of the military obtains where the loyalty of the autocrat’s army is strong while the organizational strength of religious movements is rather low. Radical institutional reforms can then be implemented. Empirically, the dominant regime in contemporary Muslim countries is the regime of double co-option where the autocrat resorts to a double-edged tactic: pleasing the official clerics by slowing the pace of reforms, and ensuring the loyalty of the military so as to put down clerics-led rebellions.

Keywords: Autocracy; Army; Instrumentalization of religion; Islam; Reforms (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D02 D72 N40 O57 P48 Z12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022-11-07
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Working Paper: The Quran and the Sword (2022)
Working Paper: The Quran and the Sword (2022)
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