CHURCH-STATE REGIMES AND DEMOCRACY IN THE WEST: CONVERGENCE VS. DIVERGENCE

Author(s): MICHAEL MINKENBERG
minkenberg@europa-uni.de
European University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder)
Journal: Geopolitics, History, and International Relations
Volume: 4(1)
Year: 2012
Full text: http://www.addletonacademicpublishers.com/
Publisher: Addleton Academic Publishers

Abstract.

This paper attempts to analyze church-state relations from the perspective of democratic theory and practice in Western nation states. This is done at two levels. A more conceptual level involves the discussion of the relationship between religion and democracy, typologies of church-state relations in comparative research and the question whether a particular type of democracy corresponds with a particular pattern of church-state relations and religious governance. This is then applied to a medium range comparison of 19 Western democracies (EU-15, minus Greece and Luxembourg, plus Norway, Switzerland, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand). At an empirical and historical level, some country cases are considered in light of a historical de- lineation of the link between the genesis of church-state regimes and the emergence of modern democracy at the onset of globalization. The guiding research hypothesis is that current church-state relations are shaped by the struggle for democracy, rather than the other way round, and that in the age of globalization and mass migration, democratic polities tend to respond to pressures resulting from these processes with signs of convergence including church-state regimes. pp. 76–106

Keywords: church-state relations, democratic theory and practice, Western nation states

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