Dr. Peter Schraeder

Department of Political Science, Loyola University Chicago

Title and Précis:

Render unto Caesar? State Regulation of Religion and the Role of Catholicism in Democratic Transitions and Consolidation

     The ‘third wave’ of democratization which began in 1974 was an overwhelmingly Catholic wave. By 2009, 67 percent of predominantly Catholic countries had emerged as democracies. This is partially attributable to the doctrinal revisions of Vatican II, but can also be analyzed by how autonomous a particular national Catholic Church was from the state.  This project will explore whether the degree of church autonomy from state control has affected the process of democratic transition and consolidation in the 47 predominantly Catholic countries during this third wave of democratization. It will also explore the role of state regulation of religion in relation to democratization. Statistical analysis and the construction of appropriate variables for understanding these relationships will be employed.


     Peter J. Schraeder is a professor and graduate program director in the Department of Political Science at Loyola University Chicago.  His research interests include comparative foreign policy theory, United States and European foreign policies toward Africa and the Middle East, African politics and foreign policy (including North Africa), and intervention in world politics and international democracy promotion. His scholarship is published in African Affairs, The Journal of Modern African Studies, The Journal of Politics, Political Science Quarterly, Middle East Journal, Politique Africaine, and World Politics. He is the author or editor of ten books and is currently working on two new books, African Foreign Policy: Democratization and its Impacts and The Cross, the Crescent and the Ballot Box: Catholic and Islamic Perspectives on International Democracy Promotion.