Why Government’s Discriminate against Religious Minorities

picture of Jonathan Fox

Why do governments discriminate against religious minorities? According to Jonathan Fox, author of the book, “Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me: Why Governments Discriminate against Religious Minorities”, this is actually two questions:

  • Why do some governments discriminate more than others?

  • Why are some minorities singled out for more discrimination than others?

In this talk, Fox will reflect on data from a study of 771 religious minorities in 183 countries to answer these questions. The causes are complex and often cross-cutting and include secular ideologies, religious monopolies, anti-cult policies, levels of societal discrimination and security concerns, among others. Western democracies tend to discriminate more than Christian-majority countries in the developing world, whether they are democratic or not. While the causes of religious discrimination by governments are ubiquitous, they play out in vastly different ways across world regions and religious traditions.


About the Speaker:

Jonathan Fox (PhD University of Maryland, 1997) is the Yehuda Avner Professor of Religion and Politics, director of the Religion and State (RAS) project. (www.religionandstate.org) and a senior research fellow at Bar-Ilan's Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. He specializes in the influence of religion on politics which he examines using both quantitative and qualitative methodology. His research also investigates the impact of religion on domestic conflict, terrorism, international intervention, and international relations His recent books on these topics include “Why Do People Discriminate Against Jews?” (Oxford University Press, 2021), “Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me: Why Governments Discriminate against Religious Minorities” (Cambridge University Press, 2020) and “An Introduction to Religion and Politics: Theory & Practice” (Routledge, 2018, 2nd edition). Fox teaches courses on religion and politics, civil conflict, U.S. politics, methodology, and a fascinating look at politics through literature, “Political Science Fiction: Political Science and Science Fiction Literature.” He is the author or editor of fourteen books and over 120 research articles and book chapters.

Co-sponsored by ASU Jewish Studies

COVID ProtocolsCOVID Protocols: Consistent with ASU’s current guidelines, masks are encourage in all ASU buildings and will be required in the lecture room. Masks will be available on entry for those who may have forgotten them.

Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict
Ashley Wilkins
Feb 17 2022 - 1:30pm
West Hall, Room 135
Tempe campus