Home > Publications . Search All . Browse All . Country . Browse PSC Pubs . PSC Report Series

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Groves keynote speaker at MIDAS symposium, Nov 15-16: "Big Data: Advancing Science, Changing the World"

Shaefer says drop child tax credit in favor of universal, direct investment in American children

Buchmueller breaks down partisan views on Obamacare

More News


Gonzalez, Alter, and Dinov win NSF "Big Data Spokes" award for neuroscience network

Post-doc Melanie Wasserman wins dissertation award from Upjohn Institute

ISR kicks off DE&I initiative with lunchtime presentation: Oct 13, noon, 1430 ISR Thompson

U-M ranked #4 in USN&WR's top public universities

More Highlights

Next Brown Bag

Mon, Oct 24 at noon:
Academic innovation & the global public research university, James Hilton

Ronald F. Inglehart photo

Liberalism, Postmaterialism and the Growth of Freedom

Publication Abstract

Inglehart, Ronald F., and Christian Welzel. 2005. "Liberalism, Postmaterialism and the Growth of Freedom." International Review of Sociology, 15(1): 81-108.

An influential analysis by Przeworski and Limongi (1997) argued that a pro-democratic culture may help existing democracies survive, but political culture does not contribute to the process of democratization, which is entirely done by elites. We challenge this conclusion, arguing that it neglects the very nature of democratization. For (as Human Development theory argues), democratization is a liberating process that maximizes human freedom by establishing civil and political rights. Consequently, the aspect of political culture that is most relevant to democratization is mass aspirations for freedom - and if a given public emphasizes these values relatively strongly, democratization is likely to occur. To test this thesis, we use data from the Values Surveys, demonstrating that a specific component of postmaterialism ('liberty aspirations') had a major impact on the extent to which societies gained or lost freedom during the Third Wave of democratization. This effect holds up in tests of Granger causality, remaining strong when we control for prior levels of freedom. No other indicator, including GDP/capita and social capital, can explain away the impact of liberty aspirations on democratization. Mass liberty aspirations play a role in democratization that has been greatly underestimated.

DOI:10.1080/03906700500038579 (Full Text)

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next