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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: September 2019

7 - Christian Democracy in Continental Europe

from Part II - History and Future Prospects of Christian Democracy as a Political Phenomenon


Having delineated the core constitutive elements of the Christian Democratic ideology in Part I of the book, Part II examines its historical instantiations and prospects for the future. Thus, whereas in the first part the approach was largely synchronic, here we look at the Christian Democratic ideology from a more diachronic perspective. This will also allow for greater attention to the internal heterogeneity of the various manifestations of the Christian Democratic ideology over time, which is something that had previously been somewhat obscured by the intention of reconstructing this ideology’s conceptual unity. I begin by discussing Christian Democracy’s historical trajectory in its primary context of origin, that is, continental Europe, focusing in particular on three national experiences: those of Italian, German and French Christian Democratic parties. The ensuing chapters broaden the focus, discussing the European Union as a whole, Latin America and the question of Christian Democracy’s lingering normative potential.

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