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Political Manifestation of the Brazilian Conservatism: Religious Affiliation and Attitudes towards Democracy
Jayane dos Santos Maia
(German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA)/University of Hamburg)
Paulo da Conceição (University of Brasilia)
Paper short abstract:
Does the religious affiliation impact the views towards democracy? In this study, we aim to verify whether there is a pattern of Brazilian religious groups closer to narrow ideas of democracy over time and how this affects electoral results and political representation.
Paper long abstract:
Does the religious affiliation impact the views towards democracy? In Brazil, a country widely known by its religious diversity, this question has gained more importance since the last presidential elections. In 2018, religious values, particularly those related to the Evangelical religion, were mobilized successfully in the populist electoral campaign of its winner, Jair Bolsonaro. According to exit polls made by the IDEIA Big Data Institute in the elections day, 69% of the professed evangelicals voted for him. In this study, we aim to verify whether there is a pattern of Brazilian religious groups closer to narrow ideas of democracy over time and how this affects electoral results and political representation. We argue that the increasing presence of Evangelicals representatives in the political arena has meant not only a gradual extension of the religious dimension in the public sphere, but also a heavy incorporation/reproduction of conservative values in Brazilian politics. By using public opinion data, which was complemented by an ethnographical study, we have found evidence that confirms our argument. Evangelicals are ahead of the ranking when it comes to strongly disagree that homosexuals can be candidates for public offices. They also demonstrate to like people who defend the military regime, and dislike communists and people from the Workers' Party. In sum, albeit all religious groups are well-distributed through the ideological spectrum over time, evangelicals in Brazil are more attached to conservative values and tend to express an intolerant behavior, which leads to harmful attitudes towards democracy.
Religion, (im)mobilities and citizenship in the face of populism