Towards an Era of Development
The Globalization of Socialism & Christian Democracy

KADOC Studies on Religion, Culture & Society, No. 5

By Peter van Kemseke
December 2006
Leuven University Press
ISBN: 9789058675606
324 pages, Illustrated, 6 7/8 x 9 3/8"
$75.00 Paper Original

A world of difference separates global politics in 1945 from 1965. In the twenty years after the second world war, a ‘Third World’ was added to the Cold War concepts of the ‘First’ and ‘Second’ worlds, and post-war decolonization had ushered in an ‘era of development’. For the first time ever, theories and policies to eradicate underdevelopment became prominent on the global agenda and advanced to the top priority on the United Nations’ agenda.

This international evolution inevitably had a dramatic impact on Socialism and Christian Democracy, two major ideologies which had their roots in Western Europe. Both became part of the global political dialogues taking place beyond Europe’s borders. The result was a fascinating clash of Western and non-Western belief systems. But was it only that? Or were these political ideologies being used as vehicles for promoting national interests? Was the expansion of both ideologies beyond Europe driven, or even manipulated by realpolitical considerations or can ideologies truly wield autonomous international momentum capable of influencing global politics on their own? And how successful were these ideologies in expanding beyond their European home base? These are questions that seem more relevant to explore today than ever before.

Peter Van Kemseke studied history at the K.U.Leuven (Belgium) and the University of Hull (UK), and obtained a Master of Arts in International Relations' at CSU Los Angeles (US). In 2001, he obtained a PhD degree in history with a study on 'The Cold War and the Discovery of the Third World in international socialism and international Christian Democracy'. He currently works as a Belgian diplomat at the Permanent Representation of Belgium to the United Nations in New York.

Political Science

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