Votes and Votive Candles: Modernization, Secularization, Vatican II, and the Decline of Religious Voting in Italy: 1953–1992.

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    • Abstract:
      The authors examine the effects of modernization and secularization on the vote for the religious party in the Italian First Republic (1948–1992). In addition to modernization and secularization, they also introduce two new factors to the analysis: the importance of institutionalized Church and effects of the Church’s Vatican II reforms. Italy is of particular relevance because of the centrality of the Catholic religion in the Italian society and politics, and the domination of the religious party—the Christian Democracy (Democrazia Cristiana; DC) in the country’s party system until 1992. The authors analyze the impact on the DC vote of a series of indicators of modernization and secularization and of Church organization and reform. The uniqueness of the analysis rests on the exceptional detailed and historical data for the Italian commune (N = 6,140) across this time period and the use of advanced quantitative techniques. The analysis confirms the traditional interpretation of secularization but also stresses effects of the failure of the Church’s reforms of Vatican II. These reforms, which deemphasized the institutionalized Church in favor of a more individualized, spiritual view, were intended as a response to modernization. Instead, the reforms hastened the decline affiliated organizations and the religious party. [ABSTRACT FROM PUBLISHER]
    • Abstract:
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