In Diario

Stefano Ceccanti – Professor of Comparative public law, University of Rome “la Sapienza”

The paper analyzes the relation between the Christian democratic ideology and the party instruments through which Christians are involved in politics. In a first period, right after the end of World War II, there was complete coincidence between the two: only one Christian democratic party collected all the Christians involved in politics (this is particularly true in Italy; in Germany only until the post-ideological change in Spd with Bad Godesberg congress and in France until the birth of the new Socialist Party in Epinay). Due to the weakening of the communist parties and the evolution of the Catholic Church, what we can call “the Christian unity” in politics started to decline and already in the ‘80s the brilliant historian Pietro Scoppola noted that there was an emergent distinction in Italy between democratic-catholic idealism and the concrete political and party instruments. Moreover in no one of the countries of Samuel Huntington’s “third wave” of democratization there is a centrist Christian democratic party, while the Christian voters spread both on the center-left (new post-ideological socialist parties) or center-right (secular popular parties). After that, there has been a third period (late ‘90s and 2000) in which there have been a weakening of the Christian participation and involvement in political parties both in Center right and Center left. In particular Catholic church started to play an autonomous role, criticizing politics and politicians from outside in a sort of issue-by-issue approach (the so called “ethical” questions). The new pontificate of Pope Francis may represent a fourth period, given that it has already brought many innovations in society and Catholic apparatus. The Author concludes that the way for a reformist and liberal approach may be found in the post-ideological socialist party inspired to the New Labor “third way”, with its idea of liberal reformism.  Finally we can say that especially in Italy and France (in Italy more that in France) a large part of the original Christian democratic experience is represented by center-left post-ideological parties.

 

 

 

 

 

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