The Catholic ‘third wave’: creating a new order

John Anderson

in Christianity and Democratisation

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print February 2009 | ISBN: 9780719077388
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702000 | DOI:
The Catholic ‘third wave’: creating a new order

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This chapter investigates the role of individual leaders and the peculiarly Catholic transnational dimension in bringing about change, and some of the ways in which religious organisations contributed to the negotiation of transition. It explores how Catholic hierarchies and churches have coped with the realities of democratic politics. The ability of the Catholic Church to play the ‘defender of the nation’ role was aided by the fact that the ‘occupying’ power was perceived to be of a different religious tradition. The process of democratic consolidation is explored. In most of the ‘third wave’ countries, the dominant religious institutions have made public their commitment to democratic politics and acceptance of democratic norms. The limits of religious contributions to democratic consolidation are then assessed. The hegemonic theory and rational choice theory perhaps offer slightly more insight into why national hierarchies adopted a primarily supporting or constraining position with regard to political change.

Keywords: Catholic transnational dimension; religious organisations; Catholic Church; democratic politics; democratic consolidation; third-wave countries; hegemonic theory; rational choice theory

Chapter.  16702 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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