Times of strain often lead to explosions of religiosity, as people turn to faith as a balm against misfortune. The coronavirus pandemic, with more than 2.8 million lives lost to date, certainly qualifies as one of the most cataclysmic events in recent memory. Faced with the major disruptions of the past year, did people turn to faith, or do we instead see evidence of a “religious recession”?
To find out, we conducted a unique study on the effects of the pandemic in the Muslim world. Our data reinforces the assumption that religion does indeed serve an important function in times of hardship.… Seguir leyendo »
A few months ago, Marc Lynch and I asked whether there was any hope for Turkish democracy. We concluded that despite all potential concerns with the slide to authoritarianism, “the electoral system remains a silver lining, demonstrating the possibility — however distant it appears at this moment — for autocratic ambitions to be checked at the ballot box. As long as that chance exists, Turkey’s slide to authoritarianism will remain partial and potentially reversible.”
On Sunday night, the referendum results dashed that sliver of hope for Turkish democracy, formalizing a de facto presidential system in place since the failed July 2016 coup attempt.… Seguir leyendo »