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Islam and Attitudes toward International Conflict: Evidence from Survey Research in the Arab World

Mark Tessler and Jodi Nachtwey
The Journal of Conflict Resolution
Vol. 42, No. 5 (Oct., 1998), pp. 619-636
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/174562
Page Count: 18
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Islam and Attitudes toward International Conflict: Evidence from Survey Research in the Arab World
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Abstract

This article examines the impact of religious orientation on attitudes toward the Arab-Israeli conflict using survey data from five Arab countries: Egypt, Kuwait, Palestine, Jordan, and Lebanon. Consistent with past research that has demonstrated the structural complexity of religious orientations, the present analysis reveals an empirical distinction between personal and political dimensions of religion in all cases where data are available. The relationship between each dimension and attitudes toward the Arab-Israeli conflict is different, with the same pattern of relationships observed cross nationally. Specifically, support for political Islam is associated with unfavorable attitudes toward a peaceful resolution of the conflict, and personal religiosity and piety are unrelated to attitudes toward the conflict. The consistency of the variable relationships found in the Arab world, in comparison with findings from research based on Western countries, suggests that relationships between religious orientations and political attitudes may be more stable in regions where secularism is less pronounced.

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