The Success of Islamic Politics in Turkey: The Importance of Trust
From Sydney Lazarus
In much of the Muslim world, Islamic political and economic movements appear to have a comparative advantage. Relative to similar secular groups, they are better able to mobilize supporters and sustain their cooperation long-term. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Turkey, a historically secular country that has experienced a sharp rise in Islamic-based political and economic activity.
In this Fall 2020 Brown Bag lecture organized by the European Union Center, Avital Livny, Assistant Professor of Political Science, spoke about her new book, Trust and the Islamic Advantage: Religious-Based Movements in Turkey and the Muslim World, published in August with Cambridge University Press. Drawing on rich data sources and econometric methods, Dr. Livny challenged existing explanations - such as personal faith - for the success of these movements. Instead, Dr. Livny showed that the Islamic advantage is rooted in feelings of trust among individuals with a shared, religious group-identity. This group-based trust serves as an effective substitute for more generalized feelings of interpersonal trust, which are largely absent in many Muslim-plurality countries.
This talk was co-sponsored by the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies.