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CFP for a volume on: Christian Democratic People’s Parties and the Rise of Populism 1900-2010

by | Mar 6, 2020 | Nezařazené | 0 comments

Call for papers for a volume on:

Christian Democratic People’s Parties and the Rise of Populism 1900-2010

Edited by Michael Gehler and Hans Krabbendam under supervision of CIVITAS – Forum of Archives and Research on Christian Democracy

Ever since the discussion about the name and nature of the European People’s Party in the 1970s, Christian Democratic parties in Europe positioned themselves in an alliance with conservative people’s parties. Corruption scandals, monetary crises, fear for loss of (national) identity and especially concerns about immigration, globalization, and internal security increasingly caused voters to drift away from their traditional parties and from Europe. New political formations at the left and the right, including populist ones, competed for these votes.

While some historians asserted that Christian Democratic parties have successfully resisted the populist trend to scale down tolerance, recent observers are not so sure anymore. Some claim that these parties increasingly incorporated first neo-liberal and then populist ideas into their programs. Others suggest a wider perspective that include progressive competition as well. Beyond Europe, other responses towards populism could be seen. As parliamentary representation through broad political parties in national arenas faced a crisis, this was even more the case on the European platform. The relationship between national Christian Democratic parties and their European ideals increasingly seemed a liability rather than an asset.

The transformation of the welfare state, the rise of neo-liberalism, the growing sense of uncertainty, and increasing economic and cultural tensions challenged the position of the Christian Democratic parties in Europe as people’s parties. A volume covering these developments will include these chapters:

Populism as a Surface Phenomenon – Characteristics of Democracies in Crisis and the role of Christian Democratic Parties in Divided Societies; Political Scientists and Research on Populism and Christian Democratic Parties; Karl Lueger, Vienna City Mayor and his Anti-semitism; Austria’s Christian Socialists and the Question of Anti-Semitism 1918-1933; Populist anti‐taxation movements and Christian‐democracy in Belgium, 1950s‐1980s;The CDS – People’s Party and EU contestation: the emergence and fading of Euroscepticism in Portugal.

In this context this volume invites additional contributions about related aspects in European countries on themes listed below:

  • How did the character of Christian Democratic parties in Europe change as people’s parties in the course of this period in relation to populist voices? How did these attitudes compare to other political families?
  • How and when did these parties as people’s parties position themselves as supporters and critics of the European Community within national parliaments?
  • Did European cooperation in the European People’s Party in the European Parliament challenge or support the national course of the member parties? Were these changes acknowledged?
  • Did the inclusion of non-CD members in the European People’s Party help or hinder their efforts to resist populist contenders both at the right and at the left?
  • How did other (people’s) parties influence the strategies in CD parties in responding to populism in national parliaments?
  • How did internal discussions about populism in the member parties effect the other members in their repositioning of the Christian Democratic tradition in Europe?
  • How do voters/members of CD parties differ or correspond with positions of supporters of populist parties?
  • Which options do Christian Democratic parties have to survive as people’s parties? Is there a future?
  • How did populist parties position themselves vis-à-vis Christian Democratic parties?


Researchers interested in contributing a chapter to this peer-reviewed volume are invited to inquire with the editors Hans Krabbendam or Michael Gehler Proposals with title, abstract, methodology, sources (no longer than 1000 characters) and CVs can be sent to the editors till March 30, 2020. The final submission of the paper (of about 7,000 words) is due at December 31, 2020.