Why Is There No Christian Democracy in Poland — and Why Should We Care?

Bale, Tim and Szczerbiak, Aleks (2008) Why Is There No Christian Democracy in Poland — and Why Should We Care? Party Politics, 14 (4). pp. 479-500. ISSN 1354-0688

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Despite the fact that almost all Poles are Roman Catholics and that religion has played an important part in contemporary Polish politics, no self-declared Christian Democratic party has been successful in post-1989 Poland. None of the currently successful Polish centre—right parties profile themselves as Christian Democratic, nor can they be labelled as such objectively. While, superficially, Poland looks like fertile ground for Christian Democracy, the factors that were crucial to the formation and success of Christian Democratic parties in post-war Western Europe were largely absent during the emergence of democratic, multiparty politics in post-1989 Poland. Of course, parties are never simply produced and sustained by `cleavages', they are more than institutional responses to some kind of social demand. The formation and success, or otherwise, of Christian Democratic parties owes much to the interplay between social realities and sponsors, on the one hand, and the institutional and ideological crafting of entrepreneurial politicians, on the other.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Politics
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN6750 Poland
Depositing User: Tim Bale
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:18
Last Modified: 11 May 2012 12:20
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/25331
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