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A Human Development View on Value Change Trends (1981-2006) Christian Welzel Professor of Political Science International University Bremen (IUB)

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Presentation on theme: "A Human Development View on Value Change Trends (1981-2006) Christian Welzel Professor of Political Science International University Bremen (IUB)"— Presentation transcript:

1 A Human Development View on Value Change Trends ( ) Christian Welzel Professor of Political Science International University Bremen (IUB) ? Istanbul, November 03, 2006

2 Two Dimensions of Cross-Cultural Variation Variation in people‘s prevailing value orientations is enormous, yet in many aspects it can be boiled down to just two dimensions of cross-cultural variation: (1)Weak vs. strong SECULAR-RATIONAL Values: with secular-rational values getting weaker one approaches the mythical ideal of a sacred community, with these values getting stronger one approaches the rational ideal of a secular community. This polarity is about ideals of the COMMUNITY. (2) Weak vs. strong SELF-EXPRESSION Values: with self-expression values getting weaker one approaches the conformist ideal of a restrained individual, with these values getting stronger one approaches the ideal of an expressive individual. This polarity is about ideals of the INDIVIDUAL.

3 Weak vs. Strong Secular-Rational Values

4 Weak vs. Strong Self-Expression Values

5 The two value dimensions are partially distinct as they have different reference points, the community and the individual. Yet, the two dimensions also partially overlap: The weak poles of the two dimensions overlap on a common emphasis on human CONSTRAINT, the two strong poles overlap on a common emphasis on human CHOICE. In combination, weak secular-rational values and weak self- expression values pursue an ideal in which individuals are restrained by chaining them to survival communities. The commonality of this ideal is to emphasize human constraints. In combination, strong secular-rational values and strong self- expression values pursue an ideal in which individuals are free to express themselves by unchaining them from survival communities. The commonality of this ideal is to emphasize human choice. An Underlying Constraint vs. Choice Polarity

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7 The Two-Dimensional Value Space in Theory

8 The Two-Dimensional Value Space in Reality

9 Value Change Progressing from Constraint to Choice Value change progressing from constraint to choice is a central aspect of Human Development because this value change makes people mentally free, motivating them to develop, unfold, and actualize their inner human potentials.

10 A Human Development Model of Value Change or Maslowian Value Change (next slide)

11 PROSPERITY People experience their lives as self-directed More action resources available to people People experience their lives as safe and secure People perceive room to relieve from unchosen community ties Rising SECULAR-RATIONAL view on COMMUNITY ties People perceive room to develop their creative human potentials Rising SELF-EXPRESSIVE view on INDIVIDUAL potentials Growing Emphasis on HUMAN CHOICE People tend to value the choices they are capable to practice.

12 A Human Recession Model of Value Change Regressing from Choice to Constraint

13 MISERY People experience their lives as less self-directed Less action resources available to people People experience their lives as less safe and secure People perceive little room to relieve from unchosen community ties Receding SECULAR-RATIONAL view on COMMUNITY ties People perceive little room to develop their creative human potentials Receding SELF-EXPRESSIVE view on INDIVIDUAL potentials Growing Emphasis on HUMAN CONSTRAINT People tend to value the choices they are capable to practice.

14 Net Value Changes within Cultural Zones ( ) On average, the five cultural zones (for which data are available from 1981 to 2006) have been moving toward stronger self-expression values. Four of these five zones also moved toward stronger secular-rational values. But this move is less pronounced.

15 Cohort Differences throughout Cultural Zones Cohort differences indicate a long-term increase of secular- rational and self- expression values in all cultural zones except Africa.

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17 National Cohorts‘ Value Positions related to the Action Resources Available in their Formative Years More action resources in people‘s formative years raise their self- expression values. Yet, societies‘ trajectories on this growth path differ in their height. Note: Action resources measured by Vanhanen‘s index of power resources (0-100 scale).

18 Let‘s Focus on a Central Component of Self-Expression Values and Its Implications: Postmaterialistic Liberty Aspirations

19 The Democratic Implications of rising PLA Rising PLA let people place more emphasis on democracy but make them more critical of its presence, nurturing a democratic reform potential. Note: Scale range of one standard deviation around the mean shown.

20 Conclusion A central component of rising self-expression values, postmaterialistic liberty aspirations, generates a democratic reform potential by driving people to place more emphasis on democracy while making them more critical of the actual democratic performance.


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