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Christian Democrat Internationalism

Its Action in Europe and Worldwide from post World War II until the 1990s- Volume III: The European People’s Party- Continental and Social Cooperation


Edited By Jean-Dominique Durand

From September 2011 to December 2013 the Luigi Sturzo Institute in Rome along with the Centre of European Studies planned a series of international scientific meetings to study one highly important political subject: the commitment of Christian Democrats on an international level. This project has been organised thanks to the support of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, and the International Labour Organisation.
Internationalism is a Key Element for the Christian Democrat Identity. In fact, CD is a political movement of thought and action whose roots lie in a specific ideology: to use the German word Weltanschauung, it is based on a particular framework of ideas and beliefs that leads the party to interpret the relationship between men and nations from an international point of view, ensuring the human being a central place in every social policy.
The Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, wrote in a Message to these Meetings:
«We can consider ourselves very lucky that 50 years ago forward-thinking personalities founded the World Union of Christian Democrats. From then on, the world, through globalisation, has been deeply changed. Events that take place in other continents immediately impact on our lives. We will be able to protect ourselves from terrorism, achieve economic and social security, and defend our environment only through common global action. This is the task of our generation: to overcome these global challenges. […] Our parties and our political organisations share a common Christian ideal of man. This ideal, grounded on the inalienability of human dignity, is at the core of one important value: to this man has linked a social and economic model that combines economic success and social responsibility.»
Her message clearly shows the need to use historical knowledge, to return to and explore a rich and challenging past as well as to develop a reflection on and a course of action for the present and the future.
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The Impossibility of a Christian Democracy in Africa? The Uganda Experience


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The Impossibility of a Christian Democracy in Africa?

The Uganda Experience


Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Italy

Catholicism and Politics in Post-Colonial Africa

The events of Catholicism in Africa in contemporary history concern not only the field of missionary evangelisation, but also the political field. The theme of the political role of Catholicism – still scarcely discussed when concerning the colonial period – appears to be unprecedented with reference to the postcolonial phase. As recently highlighted in a paper by Susanna Cannelli about Bishop Isidore de Souza in Benin, Catholicism significantly influenced African democratisation processes1. The topic that I intend to discuss concerns the experience – although weak and limited – of a Christian Democratic model and the reasons for its limited success in Africa, previously noticed in 1978 by the clever Europeanist Giovanni Bersani2. More recently, Roberto Papini has described some of the experiments carried out by parties more or less directly inspired by Christian Democracy in Cameroon, Uganda, Madagascar, and other West African countries3. This topic refers to a wider historiographical debate on the relationship between religion and politics in sub-Saharan Africa, which has developed in Anglo-Saxon and French environments in the last few decades, and which I have tackled with reference to contemporary Ethiopia as “the last Christian Empire”4. It is a new topic, ← 97 | 98 → although it is not an easy one: those who deal with African history know how problematic it is...

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