The Church in Globalization: A World-Systems Analysis on the Influence of Liberalism in Modern Catholic Social Thought

Title: The Church in Globalization: A World-Systems Analysis on the Influence of Liberalism in Modern Catholic Social Thought
Authors: Pump, Andrew
Date: 2016
Abstract: It is within the realm of the international civil society that religions play out their important public roles as charities and advocacy organizations in globalization. World governance models in the post-Cold War era stress the important role that civil society plays in building and sustaining democracy. Indeed, the participation of the Catholic Church in the "third wave of democratization" confirms this. Yet, twenty-five years after the collapse of international socialism, problems with American-led models of development have come to the fore in glaring ways. Growing wealth inequality and what Gayatri Spivak calls "sustainable underdevelopment" are the norm, and these problems highlight the dangers and instability of liberal economic policies. Religious organizations, and proponents of the Catholic social tradition in particular, have been the strongest voices for advocating social justice and advancing policies that pursue "the common good." Both working to alleviate poverty as charities ([i]NGOs and FBOs) and using their voices as a "public religion" (José Casanova) in civil society, Catholic institutions navigate the historically constructed and contingent boundaries among the three spheres of the state, the market, and civil society. Studying this interplay has provided fruitful theories deconstructing the religious/secular binary. In light of these theories, this thesis applies the critique of liberalism supplied by world-systems analysis to the development of Catholic social thought, in the process highlighting a complex history of complicity and dissent with U.S. liberalism's unfolding hegemony. In circulating Catholic social thought through the economic focused paradigm of world-systems analysis, I explore the possibilities of seeing religion and globalization outside a culturally focused framework. How the social magisterium is responding to the problems of economic globalization in an increasingly unstable world will affect its future legitimacy. I explore where the Church has been and its capacity to be a continuingly proactive force for "social justice" and "the common good."
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -