Religion and Politics in Italy
The Role of Christian Democracy in Post-War Democratisation
Keywords: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.
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Politikon: The IAPSS Journal of Political Science by https://politikon.iapss.org/index.php/politikon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.