Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Discussion Papers of Business and Economics,
University of Southern Denmark, Department of Business and Economics

No 4/2017: Preaching Democracy

Thomas Barnebeck Andersen () and Peter Sandholt Jensen ()
Additional contact information
Thomas Barnebeck Andersen: Department of Business and Economics, Postal: University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark
Peter Sandholt Jensen: Department of Business and Economics, Postal: University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark

Abstract: This paper presents evidence that the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) exerted a critical influence on the evolution of democracy worldwide, a view first advanced in the seminal work of Huntington (1991). We gather qualitative case-study evidence on how the Catholic Church influenced the post-Conciliar democratization process in different national contexts. We also adopt a difference-in-difference estimation strategy to show that Vatican II strongly predicts different measures of democracy. Taken together, the evidence substantiates Huntington’s dictum that the third wave of democratization was a Catholic wave.

Keywords: Democracy; third wave; religion; Catholic Church; Second Vatican Council; causal-process observations; difference-in-difference estimation

JEL-codes: N40; P16

50 pages, March 23, 2017

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