National Political Influence and the Catholic Church

Jennifer Nash '00, Illinois Wesleyan University


Previous literature has focused on the political importance of the Catholic Church within democratic transitions, while little research has followed the role of the Church in post-transitional settings. The present research acknowledges a marked variation in the political influence among the national Churches of Poland, Brazil, Hungary and Spain following the institution of democracy. Within the national context, the Church's religious mission, the association of the Church with the former regime and the influence of the International Catholic Church emerge as explanatory factors.