The relationship between religion and politics is explored from a theoretical standpoint. Religious clerics can be seduced by an autocrat and political stability is at stake. The autocrat’s decisions consist of two measures both capable of antagonizing religious clerics: adopting secular reforms and unduly appropriating part of the national wealth, which generally are complements. Compared to centralized religions, decentralized religions, such as Islam, tend to discourage secular reforms and corruption but those effects are not guaranteed if the autocrat accepts political instability. The main hypotheses and the central results of the theory are illustrated with regime case studies that refer to contemporary times.
- autocracy, instrumentalization of religion, Islam, decentralized religions