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The Religion and State Project, Constitutions Dataset, 1990-2008




Fox, J. (2020, June 2). The Religion and State Project, Constitutions Dataset, 1990-2008.


The Religion and State (RAS) project is based at Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel. Its goal is to create a set of measures that systematically gauge the intersection between government and religion. This dataset examines constitutional clauses that address religion for 177 states on a yearly basis between 1990 and 2008. This constitutes all countries with populations of 250,000 or more, as well as Western democracies with smaller populations.

Data File

Cases: 177
Variables: 2930
Weight Variable: None

Data Collection

The bulk of the coding was done from June 2007 to May 2008 and was then updated in May 2011.

Original Survey (Instrument)

RAS Constitutions Codebook 1990-2008

Funded By

Jonathan Fox, Bar Ilan University

Collection Procedures

Constitutions were located primarily from the following sources: the Religion and Law International Document Database, the International Constitutional Law project, the Political Database of the Americas, and the University of Richmond Constitution Finder. In most cases these databases provided English language translations of constitutions not written in English, usually academic or official government translations. Otherwise, constitutions were translated using Google Translate. To test Google Translate's accuracy, several constitutions for which translations were available were compared to a translation of the original document by Google Translate. While the translations were never identical, none of the differences would have influenced the codings.

All codings discussed below are coded yearly from 1990 to 2008. In cases where earlier constitutions were unobtainable, the codings begin in the year for which the earliest available constitution was enacted. Also, if a state became independent after 1990, as did many of the former Soviet republics, the codings begin in the year they became independent. Cases in which there was no active constitution due to a lack of a constitution or a state of civil war in which there was no effective government were not coded.

Principal Investigators

Jonathan Fox, Bar Ilan University


Please cite the following when publishing results that use the dataset:

Jonathan Fox. "Out of Sync: The Disconnect Between Constitutional Clauses and State Legislation on Religion." Canadian Journal of Political Science, 44(1), 2011, 59-81.

Jonathan Fox & Deborah Flores "Religions, Constitutions, and the State: a Cross-National Study" Journal of Politics, 71 (4), 2009, 1499-1513.

Jonathan Fox, Religion and State Constitutions Dataset,

Note on FRTP1X - FTP21X Variable Series

For the variables beginning with the prefixes FRTP and FTP, the religious freedoms measured in these variables must have been granted to everyone in order to have been coded, not just a portion of the population. These variables were originally identified with the prefix CFREETYPE.

Acronyms Used in the Dataset

SRAS = Separation of religion and state
EOR = Establishment of religion

Note on Variable Names

Variable names in the original codebook that exceed eight characters in the original codebook are shortened. The original variable name is given in parentheses in the variable's description where applicable.

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