The Missionary Roots of Liberal Democracy

  title={The Missionary Roots of Liberal Democracy},
  author={Robert D. Woodberry},
  journal={American Political Science Review},
  pages={244 - 274}
This article demonstrates historically and statistically that conversionary Protestants (CPs) heavily influenced the rise and spread of stable democracy around the world. It argues that CPs were a crucial catalyst initiating the development and spread of religious liberty, mass education, mass printing, newspapers, voluntary organizations, and colonial reforms, thereby creating the conditions that made stable democracy more likely. Statistically, the historic prevalence of Protestant… 

Conversionary Protestants Do Not Cause Democracy

Abstract In The Missionary Roots of Liberal Democracy, Robert D. Woodberry (2012) claims that conversionary Protestantism influenced the emergence of stable democracies around the world. While his

Democratisation and the British Empire

  • N. Owen
  • Sociology, Political Science
    The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History
  • 2019
ABSTRACT This article responds to the statistically established finding in democratisation studies that British rule seems to have been good for the survival of democracy in its former empire, and

Missionaries, Mechanisms, and Democracy∗

What causal pathways link Protestant missionaries to the spread of liberal democracy? Woodberry’s (2012) theoretical explanation includes three central mechanisms: the development of mass printing,

The Impact of the Reformation on the Economic Development of Western Europe

The Protestant Reformation is a vivid example of how religious transformation could set in motion institutional changes, leading to profound consequences for economic and political development.

Democracy and the Class Struggle1

Why do societies today distribute political power more equally than before? Most scholars believe that this transition is explained by the rise of capitalism but have long disagreed about why it

Did British Colonialism Promote Democracy? Divergent Inheritances and Diminishing Legacies*

Many scholars have argued that British colonial rule promoted post-independence democracy, but there has been considerable debate over the robustness of this result and its causes. Contradicting

The cultural foundations of modern democracies

It is shown that democratization follows from an intergenerational build-up of democratic cultural values, without which democracy is liable to fail and that current stable democracies will be under threat, should cultural values of openness to diversity and institutional confidence substantially decline.

Still Influential: The Protestant Emphasis on Schooling

  • H. Feldmann
  • Economics, Education
    Comparative Sociology
  • 2018
From its beginning 500 years ago, Protestantism has been advocating and actively pursuing the expansion of schooling, including the schooling of girls. In many countries, it has thus helped to

The Protestant Legacy: Missions and Human Capital in India

We study the long-run consequences of Protestant missionary activities in colonial India on present-day literacy rates and gender equality in literacy. Following the principle of Sola Scriptura,



Christianity and Democracy: The Pioneering Protestants

Abstract:According to cross-national research, Protestantism has significantly contributed to global democratization. While Protestantism does not inevitably cause democratization, it often generates

The Role of Protestantism in Democratic Consolidation Among Transitional States

Previous studies have examined the causal link between Protestantism and democratization, primarily in shaping a nation-state's cultural ethos and its tendency to affect the outcome of democratic

Democracy, Colonization, and Human Capital in Sub-Saharan Africa

This article examines an empirical anomaly. In most developing regions, poor democratic nations enroll more primary school students than their authoritarian counterparts. Regime type, however, cannot

Capitalist Development and Democracy.

It is a commonplace claim of Western political discourse that capitalist development and democracy go hand in hand. Crossnational statistical research on political democracy supports this claim. By

Mission or Empire, Word or Sword? The Human Capital Legacy in Postcolonial Democratic Development

Why are some former colonies more democratic than others? The British Empire has been singled out in the debates on colonialism for its benign influence on democracy. Much of this scholarship has

The shadow of empire : Christian missions, colonial policy, and democracy in postcolonial societies

ROBERT D. WOODBERRY: The Shadow of Empire: Christian Missions, Colonial Policy, and Democracy in Postcolonial Societies. (under the direction of Kenneth A. Bollen and Christian S. Smith)

Determinants of Lasting Democracy in Poor Countries: Culture, Development, and Institutions

This article presents a statistical study of the determinants of democracy in the postwar period. Important variables are found to be former status as a British colony, island status, the share of

Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy

This book develops a framework for analyzing the creation and consolidation of democracy. Different social groups prefer different political institutions because of the way they allocate political

The Historical Turn in Democratization Studies: A New Research Agenda for Europe and Beyond

This article lays the theoretical and methodological foundations of a new historically minded approach to the comparative study of democratization, centered on the analysis of the creation,

Activist Religion, Empire, and the Emergence of Modern Long-Distance Advocacy Networks

Considering long-distance advocacy as a distinctive institution of European modernity, the article examines the genesis and history of networks engaged in political action on behalf of distant