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Department of Comparative Politics
New Ph.D.

The evangelical church in Guatemalan politics

Maren Christensen Bjune defended her ph.d. thesis "Religious change and political continuity. The evangelical church in Guatemalan politics" on Friday 20th May.

Disputas
From left: Gunnar Grendstad, Bruce M. Wilson, Lise Rakner, Timothy J. Steigenga, Maren Christensen Bjune

The thesis explores the development of the role of the evangelical church in political arenas and decision-making processes in Guatemala in a period characterized by civil war, military dictatorship and fragile peace- and democratization processes. The thesis finds that the evangelical church has established itself as a political factor that has acted as an uncritical supporter for the conservative political elite of Guatemala. The political participation of the church has supported the continuation of a conservative and exclusionary political regime. 

The first opponent under the disputation was Professor Timothy J. Steigenga from Wilkes Honors College of Florida Atlantic University, Florida Atlantic University. Professor Bruce M. Wilson from the Department of Political Science, University of Central Florida was second opponent. The third member of the committee was Professor Lise Rakner from the Department of Comparative Politics, University of Bergen. The disputation was led by Professor Gunnar Grendstad.

After the disputation, a reception for Bjune was held at the Department of Comparative Politics with the committee, colleagues, family and friends.