Christian Democracy and the Fall of Communism

Edited by Michael Gehler, Piotr H. Kosicki, and Helmut Wohnout

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The role of Christian Democracy in the collapse of the Communist Bloc

Debates on the role of Christian Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe too often remain strongly tied to national historiographies. With the edited collection the contributing authors aim to reconstruct Christian Democracy’s role in the fall of Communism from a bird's-eye perspective by covering the entire region and by taking “third-way” options in the broader political imaginary of late-Cold War Europe into account. The book’s twelve chapters present the most recent insights on this topic and connect scholarship on the Iron Curtain’s collapse with scholarship on political Catholicism.

Christian Democracy and the Fall of Communism offers the reader a two-fold perspective. The first approach examines the efforts undertaken by Western European actors who wanted to foster or support Christian Democratic initiatives in Central and Eastern Europe. The second approach is devoted to the (re-)emergence of homegrown Christian Democratic formations in the 1980s and 1990s. One of the volume’s seminal contributions lies in its documentation of the decisive role that Christian Democracy played in supporting the political and anti-political forces that engineered the collapse of Communism from within between 1989 and 1991.

Contributors: Andrea Brait (University of Innsbruck), Alexander Brakel (Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Israel), Ladislav Cabada (Metropolitan University Prague), Giovanni Mario Ceci (Università degli Studi Roma Tre / IES-Rome), Kim Christiaens (KU Leuven), Michael Gehler (University of Hildesheim), Thomas Gronier (UMR SIRICE), Piotr H. Kosicki (University of Maryland), Sławomir Łukasiewicz (John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin), Anton Pelinka (Central European University in Budapest), Johannes Schönner (Karl von Vogelsang Institute), Artūras Svarauskas (Lithuanian University of Educational Science), Helmut Wohnout (Austrian Federal Chancellery / Karl von Vogelsang Institute)

This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).
Foreword 
Renato Moro

Acknowledgments 
Michael Gehler, Piotr H. Kosicki and Helmut Wohnout

Introduction
Michael Gehler

SECTION I: CHRISTIAN DEMOCRACY IN THE INTERNATIONAL SYSTEM: INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS AND THE GROUNDWORK FOR 1989
1 The Failure of a Third Way: The World Confederation of Labor and the Globalization of Solidarność during the 1980s
Kim Christiaens
2 The CSCE Vienna Follow-up Meeting and Alois Mock, 1986–1989 
Andrea Brait and Michael Gehler
3 “Helping Hands” across the Fence: The Stance of the European Democrat Union toward Developments behind the Iron Curtain
Michael Gehler and Johannes Schönner

SECTION II: FROM WEST TO EAST: CROSS-IRON CURTAIN MOVEMENT-BUILDING EFFORTS
4 The Community of Taizé and the Revolutions in Europe in 1989
Thomas Gronier
5 “To restore dignity to the people in the communist dictatorships”: ÖVP Contacts with the Political Opposition in Central and Eastern Europe until 1989–1990
Helmut Wohnout
6 Finding Partners in the East: Helmut Kohl and the Fledgling Center-Right in Central and Eastern Europe
Alexander Brakel
7 The Italian Christian Democratic Party Confronts the Revolutions of 1989
Giovanni Mario Ceci

SECTION III: MADE BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN: HOMEGROWN CATHOLIC POLITICS AND THE RISE AND FALL OF CHRISTIAN DEMOCRACY IN EASTERN EUROPE
8 The Christian Democrat Who Wasn’t: Tadeusz Mazowiecki and the End of Catholic Politics in Poland
Piotr H. Kosicki
9 Hungary: A Decisive Transition – But a Revolution? 
Anton Pelinka
10 Among the Hussites, Communists, and Neo-liberals: Christian Democratic Political Actors in Communist Czechoslovakia and the Democratic Transition
Ladislav Cabada
11 The Restoration of Christian Democracy in Lithuania, 1989–1990: Continuities and Ruptures
Artūras Svarauskas
12 Abandoned Patterns: 1989 and the Discontinuation of Cold War Cooperation among Emigré Central and Eastern European Christian Democrats
Sławomir Łukasiewicz

Conclusion: Beyond 1989: The Disappointed Hopes of Christian Democracy in Post-Communist Central and Eastern Europe
Piotr H. Kosicki

List of Abbreviations 
Bibliography 
List of Contributors
Index of Persons 
Colophon

Format: Edited volume - hardback

Size: 234 × 156 × 25 mm

352 pages

ISBN: 9789462702165

Publication: November 20, 2019

Series: Civitas. Studies in Christian Democracy 1

Languages: English

Stock item number: 132012

Helmut Wohnout is Department Head in the Austrian Federal Chancellery, and since 1993, Director of the Karl von Vogelsang Institute Vienna.
Michael Gehler is Professor of Modern German and European History at the Institute of History at the University of Hildesheim.
Piotr H. Kosicki is Associate Professor of History at the University of Maryland.