Religion and Politics in Italy

The Role of Christian Democracy in Post-War Democratisation


  • Gianmarco Capati King’s College London



democratisation, religion, Christian Democracy, inclusion, moderation, dialogue


Entering the controversial debate on the effects of religion on democratisation, this research enquires into the role of the Italian Christian Democratic party (Democrazia Cristiana, or DC) in post-war democratisation in Italy. Through a largely discursive analysis of the historical rise of the party, the article adopts a case-study approach to test the “inclusion-moderation hypothesis”. This hypothesis is applied to the two distinct historical phases of the DC’s activity: the “inclusion” phase (from 1945 to 1958) and the “moderation” phase (from 1958 onwards). The findings suggest that the DC contributed to post-war democratisation by drawing broad consensus from both the Catholic laity and the Church, in the first phase, and moderating its religiously exclusive goals and the views of the Church in the second phase—leading to even wider support from the electorate.

Author Biography

Gianmarco Capati, King’s College London

Gianmarco Capati, 23, from Rome (Italy), holds a BA in International Affairs from John Cabot University, and will shortly pursue an MA in International Political Economy at King’s College London, in the UK. His interests range from global economic integration, to the politics of global finance (including financial integration, crises, and governance), to questions of power and wealth in international affairs. He previously worked as a journalism and media intern at the Center for American Studies in Rome, and is currently working as a country risk analyst for Centro Studi Roma 3000, a Rome-based research centre and consultancy.




How to Cite

Capati, G. (2017). Religion and Politics in Italy: The Role of Christian Democracy in Post-War Democratisation. Politikon: The IAPSS Journal of Political Science, 33, 62–74.



Research articles