Christian Democracy, which may briefly be defined as organised political action by Catholic democrats, has been a major political force in Western Europe since the Second World War, not least in France.
The aim of this book, first published in 1973, is to trace the Development of Christian Democracy in France from its origins in the 1830s to the present day, discussing its theories and its importance in French history and politics, with particular (but by no means exclusive) reference to the Fourth Republic (1946-58) when the MRP was one of the key centre parties. Dr Irving provides a thorough analysis of MRP, its economic, foreign and colonial policies, and gives reasons for the relative decline of French Christian Democracy in the 1960s.
This French movement has been little understood in Britain and a throrough history has been badly needed. This study will be valuable to all those who, in the context of a United Europe, wish to understand the political forces at work at its conception. It will be valuable especially to students of modern history and politics.
Table of Contents
1. Origins of Christian Democracy in France 2. Christian Democratic Doctrine and Constitutional Theory 3. The Mouvement Republicain Populaire (MRP) 4. Economic and Social Policy 5. Agriculture 6. Foreign Policy 7. Colonial Policy 8. Christian Democracy in the Fifth Republic