Islam and the State: Religious Education in the Age of Mass Schooling

Samuel Bazzi (Boston University)
Masyhur Hilmy (Boston University)
Benjamin Marx (Sciences Po)

Abstract : Public schooling systems are an essential feature of modern states. These systems often developed at the expense of religious schools, which undertook the bulk of education historically and still cater to large student populations worldwide. This paper examines how Indonesia's long-standing Islamic school system responded to the construction of 61,000 public elementary schools in the mid-1970s. The policy was designed in part to foster nation building and to curb religious influence in society. We are the first to study the market response to these ideological objectives. Using novel data on Islamic school construction and curriculum, we identify both short-run effects on exposed cohorts as well as dynamic, long-run effects on education markets. While primary enrollment shifted towards state schools, religious education increased on net as Islamic secondary schools absorbed the increased demand for continued education. The Islamic sector not only entered new markets to compete with the state but also increased religious curriculum at newly created schools. Our results suggest that the Islamic sector response increased religiosity at the expense of a secular national identity. Overall, this ideological competition in education undermined the nation-building impacts of mass schooling.

Heroes and Villains: the Effects of Combat Heroism on Autocratic Values and Nazi Collaboration in France

Julia Cagé (Sciences Po and CEPR)
Anna Dagorret (Stanford GSB)
Pauline Grosjean (UNSW)
Saumitra Jha (Stanford GSB)

Abstract : To what extent can heroes coordinate and legitimize otherwise strongly- proscribed and potentially repugnant political behavior? In this paper, we exploit the purposefully arbitrary Noria rotation of French regiments to measure the legitimizing effects of heroic human capital, gleaned through exposure to the pivotal Battle of Verdun under General Philippe Pétain in 1916. We wed this with a unique newly declassified dataset of 97,242 individual collaborators with the Nazis collected by French army intelligence in 1945 to show that, during the Pétain-led Vichy regime (1940-44), municipalities that raised troops that served under Pétain at Verdun later housed more collaborators with the Nazis than otherwise similar municipalities. Individuals from these municipalities were 5% more likely to join Fascist political parties or paramilitary groups that conducted the internal repression of the regime against Jews and resistants, or to directly join German military units. We interpret these results as reflecting the role that Verdun played in generating both credentials for leadership and organizational capacity that legitimized otherwise proscribed values, forging political identities that proved durable in explaining the Left-Right divide in France throughout much of the post-war period, and that were particularly salient in times of social and political crisis.

Tell Me What You Grow and I'll Tell You What You Think: Crop Mix and Slavery in the Us South

Federico Masera (University of New South Wales)
Michele Rosenberg (Northwestern University)

Abstract : Slavery had long dominated world labor relations before its demise in the nineteenth century. This paper shows that changing economic interests determined shifts in the political and ideological support for slavery within the US South. We exploit the competitive forces generated by the US Westward territorial expansion between 1810 and 1860 to identify changes in local economic incentives to the use of slave labor. We show that areas losing comparative advantage in the production of cotton with respect to wheat: (i) changed their production decisions and reduced their use of slavery, (ii) became less likely to politically defend slavery as indicated by the likelihood of legislators to vote against slavery in Congress and of counties to vote against secession, (iii) experienced changes in political outcomes as shown by electoral returns of presidential and gubernatorial candidates and roll-call behavior of Congressional representatives, and (iv) experienced a broader social transformation as shown by an increase in the free black population, and changes in local newspapers' supply of slavery-related content.