For the first time, this book reveals the actual roles of the Christian Democratic (CD) parties in postwar Europe from a pan-European perspective.
It shows how Christian Democratic parties became the dominant political force in postwar Western Europe, and how the European People's Party is currently the largest group in the European Parliament. CD parties and political leaders like Adenauer, Schuman and De Gasperi played a particularly important role in the evolution of the 'core Europe' of the EEC/EC after 1945.
Key chapters address the same questions about the parties' membership and social organization; their economic and social policies; and their European and international policies during the Cold War. The book also includes two survey chapters setting out the international political context for CD parties and comparing their postwar development, and two chapters on their transnational party cooperation after 1945.
This is the companion volume to Political Catholicism in Europe 1918-1945.
Michael Gehler is Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Innsbruck in Austria, and permanent Senior Fellow at the Centre for European Integration Studies at the University of Bonn in Germany. He has published widely on the contemporary history of Christian democracy, European integration and Austria, including The Neutrals and European Integration 1945-1995. He is currently working on books and articles on modern Germany history, Austrian foreign policy after 1945 and the Hungarian crisis 1953-58.
Wolfram Kaiser is Professor of European Studies, University of Portsmouth, and Visiting Professor at the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium. His books include the companion volume to this book: Political Catholicism in Europe 1918-1945; also Culture Wars: Secular-Catholic Conflict in Nineteenth Century Europe; and Using Europe, Abusing the Europeans: Britain and European Integration 1945-1963. He is currently working on a book on transnational Christian Democracy in twentieth century Europe.