Working paper

The Quran and the Sword

Emmanuelle Auriol, Jean-Philippe Platteau, and Thierry Verdier

Abstract

This paper elucidates the willingness of an autocrat to push through institutional reforms in a context where traditional author- ities 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 contem- porary 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;

JEL codes

  • D02: Institutions: Design, Formation, and Operations
  • D72: Political Processes: Rent-Seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
  • N40: General, International, or Comparative
  • O57: Comparative Studies of Countries
  • P48: Political Economy • Legal Institutions • Property Rights • Natural Resources • Energy • Environment • Regional Studies
  • Z12: Religion

Replaced by

Emmanuelle Auriol, Jean-Philippe Platteau, and Thierry Verdier, The Quran and the Sword, Journal of the European Economic Association, November 2022, forthcoming.

Reference

Emmanuelle Auriol, Jean-Philippe Platteau, and Thierry Verdier, The Quran and the Sword, TSE Working Paper, n. 22-1381, November 2022.

See also

Published in

TSE Working Paper, n. 22-1381, November 2022