As with Muslims today, Catholics were once suspected of being antidemocratic, oppressive of women, and supportive of extremist political violence. By the end of the twentieth century, Catholics were considered normal and sometimes valorized as exemplary citizens. Can other ethnic, racial, and religious minorities follow the same path? Minorities and Reconstructive Coalitions provides an answer by comparing the stories of ethnic Catholics’ political incorporation in Australia, Canada, and the United States. Through comparative and historical analysis, the book shows that reconstructive coalitions, such as labor and pan-Christian moral movements, can bring Catholics and Protestants together under new identities, significantly improving Catholic standing. Not all coalitions are reconstructive or successful, and institutional structures such as regional autonomy can enhance or inhibit the formation of these coalitions. The book provides overviews of the history of Catholics in the three countries, reorients the historiography of Catholic incorporation in the United States, uncovers the phenomenon of minority overrepresentation in politics, and advances unique arguments about the impact of coalitions on minority politics.

chapter 1|13 pages

The multiplicity of the Catholic past

chapter 2|11 pages

Transubstantiating the body politic

A theory of reconstructive coalitions

chapter 4|19 pages

Working with Catholicism in Australia

chapter 6|20 pages

Provincializing Catholicism in Canada

chapter 10|19 pages

The Catholic past as prologue?

The future of ethnic, racial, and religious minority incorporation