A dying creed?: the demographic contradictions of liberal capitalism

Eric Kaufmann, Birkbeck, University of London

[Project number 30097]

This project will be looking at the degree to which British Muslims retain their religious affiliation into the second and subsequent generation, and what determines whether individuals choose to disaffiliate.

It will test the thesis that the population of the developed world will become increasingly religious and conservative in the long-term, reversing decades - even centuries - of liberal secularisation. This study begins by regressing fertility on religiosity and a set of control variables in the European Values Survey (EVS) of 1981-2000 and European Social Survey (ESS) of 2004 as well as related datasets for the rest of the world (WVS) and United States (GSS). It then charts church attendance and other measures of religiosity by age and survey wave. A similar task is performed to isolate fertility by level of religiosity for each birth cohort across survey waves. All of this will generate parameters for demographic projections of the timing of reverse secularisation in the 21st century. Immigrants and their descendants will be increasingly important in Europe as native populations decline due to low fertility. Therefore, stage 2 analysis will examine religiosity (approximated by religious identification) and fertility over time among British Muslims in the ONS Longitudinal Study data set. Time permitting, the project will analyse the electoral and ideological implications of these changes in global perspective.