Why is there no Christian Democracy in Poland (and why does this matter)?

Bale, Tim and Szczerbiak, Aleks (2006) Why is there no Christian Democracy in Poland (and why does this matter)? Working Paper. Sussex European Institute, University of Sussex, Falmer, UK.

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Despite the fact that almost all Poles are Roman Catholics and that religion has played an important part in post-communist 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 labeled 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, multi-party politics in postcommunist Poland. Indeed, it is unlikely that such a conjuncture will ever occur anywhere in Europe again, re-inforcing the need for the continent's existing Christian Democratic parties to modernise if they are to survive and prosper. 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 inter-play between social realities and sponsors, on the one hand, and the institutional and ideological crafting of entrepreneurial politicians, on the other.

Item Type: Reports and working papers (Working Paper)
Additional Information: SEI Working Paper No. 91
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Politics
Subjects: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General) > JF0020 General. Comparative government
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN6750 Poland
Depositing User: Tim Bale
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:23
Last Modified: 14 May 2012 09:01
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/20380
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