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Ann Grzymala-Busse, "Why there is (almost) no Christian Democracy in post-communist Europe?" Party Politics, 19 (March 2013), 319-342. [Available at ]

First paragraph:
The political landscape of post-communist democracies in Europe reveals a striking absence: in contrast to Western Europe, there is little support for Christian Democratic (CD) political parties, as defined by their programmatic commitments.1 Even in the most religious of post-communist democracies, no CD party has claimed a plurality of the electorate. They certainly have not dominated politics the way that post-war Austrian, Belgian, Dutch, German or Italian CD parties have. Post-communist CD parties have not come anywhere near the achievements of their Western counterparts, 'rightly considered the most successful western European political movement since 1945' (Kalyvas, 1996: 2).

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Average support for Christian Democracy.
Table 2. Pairwise correlations among vote for Christian Democratic parties and populations characteristics
Table 3. Decreasing impact of inter-war voting on post-communist CD support.
Appendix A: Countries and Data

Last Paragraph:
Much of the literature on post-communist party systems has emphasized the initial fluidity of party politics and the ill-defined nature of party identities. Yet we can turn the question around, and ask why parties might not want to adopt a clear and salient identity, such as a CD label. CD parties were faced with the choice of preserving strategic flexibility or of addressing a narrower but potentially more loyal religious electorate. Christian Democracy often turned out to be a narrow and restrictive identity that limited both the target electorate and the party's strategic flexibility. An earlier history of nation-state building could free these parties from negative associations of clericalism and dependence. Yet even favourable historical reputations that promoted (perhaps misleadingly) the parties' initial electoral success were not enough to sustain the parties in the far less favourable post-communist environment

Last updated March 2013