Constitutional Political Economy

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 339–369 | Cite as

The political economy of Kulturkampf: evidence from imperial Prussia and republican Turkey

  • Ioannis N. Grigoriadis
  • Theocharis N. GrigoriadisEmail author
Original Paper


This paper analyzes the political incentives of Kulturkampf and the implementation of secularization in imperial Prussia and republican Turkey. A game-theoretic model defining Kulturkampf as a static game between priests and the executive is proposed. The willingness of priests to accept the government’s offer and be transformed into bureaucratic experts varies. Individualist priests are easier to recruit as they care more about their personal welfare than social distribution by the church, whereas the reverse holds for collectivist priests. Nevertheless, the long-run success of the Kulturkampf depends on the effective recruitment of collectivist priests and their entry into formal politics in favor of the executive.


Kulturkampf Prussia Turkey Secularism Protestantism Catholicism Islam Enforcement Bureaucracy Expertise 

JEL Classification

P16 P51 Z12 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political Science and Public AdministrationBilkent UniversityAnkaraTurkey
  2. 2.School of Business and Economics, Institute of East European StudiesFree University of BerlinBerlinGermany

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