Political Behavior, Vol. 23, No. 4, December 2001 ( 2002)
JEWISH RELIGIOSITY AND
POLITICAL ATTITUDES IN THE
UNITED STATES AND ISRAEL
Kenneth D. Wald and Michael D. Martinez
Does religious commitment have a common political impact across national frontiers?
To date, that question has been explored empirically only for Roman Catholics, who
might be expected to behave similarly because of centralizing resources in their tradi-
tion.This article explores the extent of transnational political attitudes among Jews in
the United States and Israel, two groups with less centralized authority structures and
radically different religious situations.Parallel surveys of Jews in the United States
and Israel, analyzed by OLS regression with the slope dummy approach, indicate that
Jewish religiosity has a common influence on most political issues but often has much
sharper effects in one society than the other.Given our expectation that Jews would
exhibit lower levels of transnational similarity than Roman Catholics, the findings rein-
force scholars who perceive religion as a potent transnational political factor.
Key words: Jewish; Jews; religiosity; Israel; transnational; transnationalism; slope dum-
mies; Orthodox; religious commitment.
How do religious doctrines, institutions, practices, and beliefs shape politi-
cal institutions and behavior both within and across state boundaries? Thanks
to the development of a vibrant subfield in religion and politics, scholars have
made considerable progress exploring that fundamental question. They have
produced a substantial empirical literature on how religion shapes individuals’
political attitudes and behaviors within states. By comparison, the literature
on between-state effects has not been as empirically well developed. Despite
recognition of religion’s potential to influence political attitudes and behaviors
across national frontiers (Keohane, 2001; Rudolph and Piscatori, 1997) and a
Kenneth D. Wald, Professor of Political Science, Department of Political Science, University
of Florida, POB117325, Gainesville, FL 32611-7325; (firstname.lastname@example.org). Michael D. Mar-
tinez, Associate Professor of Political Science, Department of Political Science, University of
Florida, POB117325, Gainesville, FL 32611-7325 (email@example.com).
0190-9320/01/1200-0377/0 2002 Plenum Publishing Corporation