“Catholic Waves” of Democratization? Roman Catholicism and its Potential for Democratization

Democratization 16, no. 6 (December 2009), 1093-1114.

24 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2017

See all articles by Jodok Troy

Jodok Troy

University of Innsbruck; Stanford University

Date Written: June 10, 2008


The aim and scope of the article is to examine if Catholicism is or can be a major force in democratization. And if so, what are its core values and motivations? To examine this issue, it is also necessary to evaluate democratization outcomes where the Church was not involved. We shall see that it is unavoidable to take into account fundamental Christian and thus also Catholic values and doctrines which are – despite all “earthly” constraints – in favour of both liberal and democratic values. In the case of the Catholic Church this is the case primarily because it perceives the social message of the gospels not merely as theory but also as a call to action, followed by many of its adherents. The article argues that the main reason for this was the result of the Church’s changing political theology, following the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), which enables the Church’s adoption of a pronounced focus on: human rights, religious freedom, democracy, and economic development.

Keywords: Catholic Church, democratization, encyclicals, religion, Second Vatican Council, social teaching

Suggested Citation

Troy, Jodok, “Catholic Waves” of Democratization? Roman Catholicism and its Potential for Democratization (June 10, 2008). Democratization 16, no. 6 (December 2009), 1093-1114., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2984367

Jodok Troy (Contact Author)

University of Innsbruck ( email )

Universitätsstraße 15
Innsbruck, Innsbruck 6020
+43(0)512.507.2849 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.jodok-troy.at

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

HOME PAGE: http://tec.fsi.stanford.edu/people/jodok-troy

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