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Christian Democracy and the Origins of European Union
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Book description

Major study of the role of European Christian democratic parties in the making of the European Union. It radically re-conceptualises European integration in long-term historical perspective as the outcome of partisan competition of political ideologies and parties and their guiding ideas for the future of Europe. Wolfram Kaiser takes a comparative approach to political Catholicism in the nineteenth century, Catholic parties in interwar Europe and Christian democratic parties in postwar Europe and studies these parties' cross-border contacts and co-ordination of policy-making. He shows how well networked party elites ensured that the origins of European Union were predominately Christian democratic, with considerable repercussions for the present-day EU. The elites succeeded by intensifying their cross-border communication and coordinating their political tactics and policy making in government. This is a major contribution to the new transnational history of Europe and the history of European integration.

Reviews

Review of the hardback:'Kaiser's survey impresses for its analytical incisiveness and chronological and geographic scope.'

Source: Central European History

Review of the hardback:'Kaiser offers a detailed yet extremely clear institutional history that effectively highlights the personal contacts and relationships among integration's supporters.'

Source: Central European History

'… a landmark contribution to contemporary European history. [This book] should find a secure place on reading lists for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses on the history of Cold War Europe. Kaiser makes a valuable contribution to recent literature showing that European integration processes did not start in 1945 … Historians of the Cold War will read this book with great interest, for it presents an important and imaginatively construed way of transcending the differences between diplomatic and domestic social and political history. Kaiser’s book powerfully demonstrates that the history of the Cold War, like that of European integration, is embedded in a much richer trajectory than historicist assumptions about historical epochs suggest.'

Source: Journal of Cold War Studies

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