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

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Almirall says comparing SMART designs will increase treatment quality for children with autism

Thompson says America must "unchoose" policies that have led to mass incarceration

Alter says lack of access to administrative data is "big drag on research"


Knodel honored by Thailand's Chulalongkorn University

Susan Murphy to speak at U-M kickoff for data science initiative, Oct 6, Rackham

Andrew Goodman-Bacon, former trainee, wins 2015 Nevins Prize for best dissertation in economic history

Deirdre Bloome wins ASA award for work on racial inequality and intergenerational transmission

Next Brown Bag

Monday, Oct 19 at noon, 6050 ISR
Rob Stephenson

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