Faculty Publications


Church–state relations and the decline of Catholic parties in Latin America.

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

Luis Felipe Mantilla

Document Type


Publication Date


Date Issued

January 2016

Date Available

August 2016




The decline of Catholic parties across Latin America appears as an interesting exception to the global political resurgence of religion. Catholic parties, once important players in the region’s politics, have become less distinctive or failed altogether. While many explanations focus on social secularization or the instability of regional politics, this article emphasizes the role of shifting relationship between the Catholic Church and Latin American states. Specifically, it argues that the emergence of flexible accommodation, an arrangement whereby religious politics is managed by individual bishops, politicians and officials, has undermined the functionality and appeal of programmatic religious parties for elites and voters alike. As a result, Catholic religious politics remains vibrant, but is increasingly channeled outside the electoral arena.


Citation only. Full-text article is available through licensed access provided by the publisher. Published in Journal of Religious and Political Practice, 2(2), 231-248, doi: 10.1080/20566093.2016.1181383. Members of the USF System may access the full-text of the article through the authenticated link provided.





Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.