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Politics ex cathedra: Religious authority and the pope in modern international relations

Genovese, F (2015) 'Politics ex cathedra: Religious authority and the pope in modern international relations.' Research and Politics, 2 (4). ISSN 2053-1680

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Political scientists are increasingly interested in the impact of religious authority on modern politics. However, little attention has been paid to the conditions under which religious leaders are more likely to speak politically. Tackling this question, this article argues that religious authorities should issue political statements at the outbreak of international crises, when secular institutions are unwilling or incapable of taking clear political positions. I test this argument focusing on the Roman Vatican through a quantitative text analysis of the papal encyclicals from 1958 until today. Latent topic models indicate that political themes systematically emerge in the papal documents and that the timing of the more political encyclicals correlate with years in which international crises break out. The findings have implications for the understanding of the modern relations between state and church and the political mobilization of religion today.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Federica Genovese
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2015 13:52
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2021 00:15

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