The Multi-Faceted Role of Religious Actors in Democratization Processes: Empirical Evidence from Five Young Democracies
Democratization, Vol. 16, No. 6, pp. 1058-1092, December 2009
49 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2010
Date Written: December 20, 2009
The article comparatively investigates the role of religious actors in the democratization processes of five young democracies from the Catholic, Protestant, Christian-Orthodox and Muslim world, specifically in West Germany after World War II (1945-1969), in Georgia and Ukraine post-1987/9, as well as in Mali post-1987 and Indonesia after 1998. The analysis provides an overview of the roles religious actors played in the erosion of authoritarian rule, the transition to democracy and subsequent democratic consolidation processes, as well as de-democratization processes. Our three paired comparisons, including one in-country comparison, show that the condition which most affected the role of religious actors in all three phases of democratic transitions was the legal position they enjoyed vis-à-vis the political regime as well as the organizational form these actors took. Their aims, means, and the political significance of their theology were highly dependent on their de facto legal status within the state.
Keywords: Democratization, Religion, West Germany, Georgia, Indonesia, Mali, Ukraine, Paired Comparisons
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