WORKERS, FARMERS, AND CATHOLICISM: A HISTORY OF POLITICAL CLASS COALITIONS AND THE SOUTH-EUROPEAN WELFARE STATE REGIME
Palavras-chave:South European welfare state regime, Catholicism, Political class coalitions, Communist parties
The explanatory model behind Esping-Andersen’s ‘three regime’-typology points to the variance in ‘political coalition building in the transition from a rural economy to a middle-class society’, particularly to whether or not farmers and workers were able to form coalitions during this transition. The article reconsiders the relation between party systems and welfare state regimes. It highlights the systematic variation among European party systems with respect to the electoral success of communist parties. The electoral strength of communist parties is argued to be related to the intensity of past conflicts between the nation state and the Catholic Church in the mono-denominational countries of Europe’s South. These conflicts rendered a coalition between pious farmers and the anticlerical worker’s movement unthinkable and furthered the radicalization of the left. The article argues that the split on the left explains much of what is distinctive about southern Europe’s postwar Political Economies.