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The social origins of Christian democracy: rural–urban migration, interest group preemption, and the rise of the Catholic workers’ movement


Walter, André (2022). The social origins of Christian democracy: rural–urban migration, interest group preemption, and the rise of the Catholic workers’ movement. Socio-Economic Review, 20(2):687-710.

Abstract

Despite the importance of Christian democracy for economic and social policies throughout the 20th century, we know very little about the incorporation of labor interests into Catholic parties. Existing accounts claim that the formation of Catholic worker organizations is rooted in the process of industrialization and reforms of Catholic social teachings. In contrast, I argue that the integration of the workers’ wing was dependent on the position of farmers’ and business associations within Catholic parties and the integrative capacities of local religious institutions. The migration of Catholics from peripheral to industrialized areas put pressure on Catholic elites in urban centers to integrate workers via class-based associations. In contrast, entrenched interest groups of farmers and businesses, as well as clerical associations, fend off the creation of workers’ associations in rural regions in which industrialization took place. My argument is supported by newly collected district-level and survey data.

Abstract

Despite the importance of Christian democracy for economic and social policies throughout the 20th century, we know very little about the incorporation of labor interests into Catholic parties. Existing accounts claim that the formation of Catholic worker organizations is rooted in the process of industrialization and reforms of Catholic social teachings. In contrast, I argue that the integration of the workers’ wing was dependent on the position of farmers’ and business associations within Catholic parties and the integrative capacities of local religious institutions. The migration of Catholics from peripheral to industrialized areas put pressure on Catholic elites in urban centers to integrate workers via class-based associations. In contrast, entrenched interest groups of farmers and businesses, as well as clerical associations, fend off the creation of workers’ associations in rural regions in which industrialization took place. My argument is supported by newly collected district-level and survey data.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Political Science
Social Sciences & Humanities > General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Economics, Econometrics and Finance, Sociology and Political Science
Language:English
Date:8 July 2022
Deposited On:23 Nov 2022 14:51
Last Modified:28 Mar 2024 02:40
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:1475-1461
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/ser/mwaa014