Bounded Integration

The Religion-State Relationship and Democratic Performance in Turkey and Israel

By Aviad Rubin

Subjects: Comparative Politics, Israel Studies, Middle East Politics, Religion And Politics
Series: SUNY series in Comparative Politics
Paperback : 9781438480763, 324 pages, July 2021
Hardcover : 9781438480770, 324 pages, December 2020

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations


1. Reconceptualizing the Role of Religion in Democratic Regimes

2. Religion and State in Turkey's Prerepublican Era

3. Turkey's Authoritarian Laicism, 1923–1950

4. Religion and Democracy under Kemalist Hegemony, 1950–2000

5. Religion, Democracy, and the Prevalence of Hegemonic Tendencies, 2000–2017

6. Zionism and Religion before Independence

7. An Era of Constructive Collaboration, 1948–1967

8. A Period of Transition, 1960s–1980s

9. Mounting Challenges, Successful Containment, 1980s–2017

10. Religion, State, and Democracy: Conclusions and Lessons for Emergent Arab Regimes


Investigates Turkey and Israel's contrasting treatment of religion and demonstrates how this treatment has had a significant impact on these countries' democratic performance.


In this comparative study of the religion-state relationship in Turkey and Israel in the modern era, Bounded Integration reveals the influence this dynamic interaction has had on democratic performance in both countries. In societies where a dominant religion serves as an important component of individual and collective identity, the imposition of secular policies from above may not facilitate democratization but may rather impede the embedding of democracy in society. Moreover, the inclusion or exclusion of religion following statehood may facilitate a certain type of path-dependent political culture, one with long-term political consequences. Aviad Rubin's refreshing analytical approach comparing and contrasting the region's only two longstanding democratic entities and the dynamics of religion and the state in two different religions, Islam and Judaism, facilitates generalizable lessons for emergent political regimes in the post–Arab Spring Middle East.

Aviad Rubin is Senior Lecturer in the Division of Government and Political Theory in the School of Political Science at the University of Haifa.


"A fascinating book, very well researched and written, that makes an important contribution to the literature on religion-state relations. " — Nahshon Perez, coauthor of Governing the Sacred: Political Toleration in Five Contested Sacred Sites