Why There Is (Almost) No Post-Communist Christian Democracy

March 23, 2011 // 12:00pm1:00pm
Event Co-sponsors: 
Cold War International History Project
History and Public Policy Program

Compared to their West European cousins, post-communist Christian Democratic parties are notable for their lack of success. Even in the most religious of post-communist democracies, no Christian Democratic (CD) party has claimed a plurality of the electorate. Nonetheless, there is a considerable range in electoral support from 1990-2010, from a low of .7% in Estonia to as high as 18.4% in Slovakia. The most successful CD parties have arisen in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Lithuania. The reasons for this success lie not in popular religiosity, state-church conflict, or alliances between CD parties and churches. Instead, where parties can point to an interwar history of nation- and state- building, they receive an initial electoral boost from this historical legacy. Yet even these favorable historical reputations have transitory effects: by the second or third elections, the impact of interwar support had rapidly faded.

This event took place in the 6th floor boardroom.

Event Speakers List: 
  • Ronald and Eileen Weiser Professor of European and Eurasian Studies, Department of Political Science, University of Michigan
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Experts & Staff

  • Christian F. Ostermann // Director, History and Public Policy Program; Global Europe; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
  • Emily R. Buss // Program Assistant

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