The Politics of Moral Sin

Abortion and Divorce in Spain, Chile and Argentina

By Merike Blofield

© 2006 – Routledge

264 pages | 14 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415805964
pub: 2012-05-08
US Dollars$54.95
Hardback: 9780415977753
pub: 2006-02-03
US Dollars$130.00

About the Book

This book analyzes the problems that arise when women's rights conflict with the views of conservative organized religion.

Specifically, it addresses the legalization – or lack thereof – of divorce and abortion in three recently democratized Catholic countries: Spain, Chile, and Argentina. Offering a vital and timely contribution to political debates on democratic consolidation, social policy, gender, politics and religion, it challenges many of the accepted assumptions and conclusions in these fields, arguing that to understand the political dynamics and policy trajectories on these issues we must first analyze the distribution of both economic and political power. Merike Blofield moves the debate away from a (unitary) focus on values and public opinion to an analysis of how economic, social and political structures give certain actors more power than others. The topics covered should appeal to a broad readership interested in the difficulties of democratic consolidation in Latin America, and the obstacles to social policy reform in a region with such high levels of inequality. The analysis presented in The Politics of Moral Sin also deepens our understanding of why and how European countries have been so successful in limiting the indulgence of organized religion and in promoting women's rights.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Centrality of Moral Politics 1. Moral Politics in a Global Era 2. Economic Resources and Political Access 3. Social Equality and Social Reform in Spain 4. Moral Fundamentalism in Chile 5. The Interaction of Inequality and Delegative Democracy in Argentina 6. Abortion Reform across Catholic Western Europe and Latin America Conclusion

About the Author

Merike H. Blofield is Assistant Professor at Grand Valley State University.

About the Series

Latin American Studies

Social Sciences and Law

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Cultural Policy
RELIGION / Christianity / Catholic