Date of Completion


Embargo Period



state, religion, legitimacy, political economy, conflict, civil war, historical roots, state capacity, economic development

Major Advisor

Metin M. Coşgel

Associate Advisor

Richard N. Langlois

Associate Advisor

Thomas J. Miceli

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


This dissertation will examine, theoretically and empirically, the relationship between religion and state and how the historical evolution of this relationship has affected current economic outcomes. Developing an argument centered on legitimizing relationship between political rulers and religion, and using a new dataset that has information on the religious and political histories of today's nations since the year 1000, it first demonstrates how state religion has evolved over time and across space since the year 1000, then analyzes how historical religious differences between rulers and segments of populations affect current civil conflict, and finally extend the analysis to the historical religious roots of current state capacity and economic development across countries.