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Martin Elff & Sigrid Roßteutscher

In: The SAGE Handbook of Electoral Behaviour: Volume 2

Chapter 10: Religion

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Martin ElffSigrid Roßteutscher

While denominational and religious-secular cleavages have left their marks on the party systems of many European countries, it is nowadays widely assumed that their role is on the wane. Yet this story may be too simple: firstly, while the balance between religious and secular segments of a society may change in the latter's favour, this does not mean by implication that the intensity of divisions between the two recedes. In an overwhelmingly traditionally religious society, members of a secular minority may oppose the restrictions on their lifestyle imposed by religious norms and by legislation motivated by these. In an overwhelmingly secular society, members of a religious minority may oppose the expression of permissive lifestyles that they find offensive or sinful or ...

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