Christianity and Democracy: The Catholic Wave

Issue Date April 2004
Volume 15
Issue 2
Page Numbers 32-46
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Catholicism played an important role in bringing about the third wave of democratization. This was due to a long historical rapprochement through which both church and the democratic state came to tolerate the other. The Church then exercised a direct influence upon democratization in many countries—strongly in Poland, Lithuania, Spain, the Philippines, and Brazil, but weakly in other places, like Argentina. The Church was most likely to exercise a strong influence when it was differentiated from the state—in its governance, in its transnational links, in its domestic alliances, and in its identification with national identity.