How Political Parties Mobilize Religion

Lessons from Mexico and Turkey

Luis Felipe Mantilla
Book Cover

PB: $34.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-2016-9
Publication: Jul 21

HC: $110.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-2015-2
Publication: Jul 21

Ebook: $34.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-2017-6
Publication: Jul 21

280 pages
6 x 9
10 tables, 4 figs.

Analyzes the evolution of Catholic and Sunni Muslim parties to study religious political mobilization in comparative perspective


Political mobilization tends to take different forms in contemporary Catholic- and Sunni-majority countries. Luis Felipe Mantilla attributes this dynamic to changes taking place in religious communities and the political institutions that govern religious political engagement.

In How Political Parties Mobilize Religion, Mantilla evenhandedly traces the emergence and success of religious parties in Mexico and Turkey, two countries shaped by assertive secular regimes. In doing so, he demonstrates that religious parties are highly responsive to political institutions, such as electoral laws, as well as to the structure of broader religious communities.

Whereas in both countries, the electoral success of religious mobilizers was initially a boon for democracy, in Mexico it was marred by political mismanagement and became entangled with persistent corruption and escalating violence. In Turkey, the democratic credentials of religious mobilizers were profoundly eroded as the government became increasingly autocratic, concentrating power in very few hands and rolling back basic liberal rights.

Mantilla investigates the role religious mobilization plays in the evolution of electoral politics and democratic institutions, and to what extent their trajectories reflect broader trends in political Catholicism and Islam.

About the Author(s)

Luis Felipe Mantilla is Associate Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies at the University of South Florida.


In the Series

  • Religious Engagement in Democratic Politics edited by Paul A. Djupe

    The Religious Engagement in Democratic Politics series, edited by Paul A. Djupe, will collect work that explores in theoretically and empirically rigorous ways variations in and determinants of religious presence in the politics of democratic nations—from those with a long history of institutionalized democracy to those struggling to establish free, contested elections and systems of rights and liberties. Books in the series will demonstrate application of one or more of a variety of quantitative and qualitative methodologies to explore the robust and highly variable presence of religion in democracies. Prospective authors should contact series editor Paul Djupe or Senior Editor Aaron Javsicas at Temple University Press to discuss their work in progress for inclusion in the series.