We combine the principle of centralization and that of popular sovereignty.
Christian Democracy had, for all intents and purposes, begun with the immediate pre-war period. Thus, unlike political movements like socialism, or even liberalism, Christian Democracy became an important political force before it had matured ideologically. As a result, the development of its ideology was inhibited by the pressures of political responsibility. The Italian Christian Democratic Party, for example, was founded in 1943 and came to power in 1948. It was never able to develop its autonomous self separately from a close and intimate relationship with the state.
The Christian Democratic phenomenon raises several puzzles: the contradiction between these parties' religious roots and their enduring success in the heart of one of the most secular social environments in the world, western Europe; the success of religion in structuring impressively successful political parties at a time of general secularization and decline of the institutional power of the church; the translation of religion, a supposedly premodern cleavage, into mass parties, the modern political weapon par excellence; the emergence of confessional parties in some countries but not in others; the domination (and often monopolization) of the bourgeois political space by confessional parties; the integration into ...Show more