Political Theory

Catholic Liberalism



This paper explores the axiological convergence between classical liberalism and Catholic Social Thought (CST). The paper argues that CST and classical liberals should build on their complementary values to strengthen public support for liberal democracy and a free-market economy among Catholic voters and in society at large. Although populist regimes, in particular far-right conservative nationalists, portray liberalism as an antithesis of Catholicism, this paper shows that there is a broad consensus between the two traditions. Contrary to far-right populist positions, it is possible to maintain Catholic values in a liberal market democracy without denouncing one’s religious identity. The paper emphasizes the importance of re-constructing a centrist tradition of Catholic liberal thought to mitigate populist assault on political, economic, and social freedoms.


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Maciej Bazela is Associate Professor at the Department of Social & Political Environment at IPADE Business School and Academic Director of IPADE’s Open Enrollment Programs. His research interests cover geopolitics, liberal democracy and sustainability.


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