An earlier version of this article was presented at the 20th World Congress of the International Political Science Association, July 10, 2006, Fukuoka, Japan. We thank Patricia Hurley, Lyman Kellstedt, and the editor and reviewers for this journal for valuable comments on earlier versions of this article. Some of the data analyzed here were provided by Susan Hansen, John Petrocik, and Sidney Verba. Other data are from the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research.
Church Engagement, Religious Values, and Mass-Elite Policy Agenda Agreement in Local Communities
Article first published online: 9 JUL 2008
©2008, Midwest Political Science Association
American Journal of Political Science
Volume 52, Issue 3, pages 570–584, July 2008
How to Cite
Hill, K. Q. and Matsubayashi, T. (2008), Church Engagement, Religious Values, and Mass-Elite Policy Agenda Agreement in Local Communities. American Journal of Political Science, 52: 570–584. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-5907.2008.00330.x
- Issue published online: 9 JUL 2008
- Article first published online: 9 JUL 2008
We provide evidence on two prominent but heretofore untested expectations about the relevance of religion for the democratic process: (1) that greater engagement in churches or comparable religious institutions and their organizational life enhances representational processes; and (2) that religious values in a community have greater influence on the latter processes, with more liberal religious values expected to enhance the responsiveness of community leaders to general public preferences. Using data on local communities in the United States in the late 1960s, we find strong support for the expected relevance of religious liberalism for representation, but none for the expected effect of church engagement. We provide evidence, too, that our findings about religious values are generalizable to present-day politics.