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Home > Catalog > Modernization, Cultural Change, and Democracy
Modernization, Cultural Change, and Democracy


  • 57 b/w illus. 28 tables
  • Page extent: 344 pages
  • Size: 234 x 156 mm
  • Weight: 0.52 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9780521609715 | ISBN-10: 0521609712)

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

$39.99 (P)

This book demonstrates that people's basic values and beliefs are changing, in ways that affect their political, sexual, economic, and religious behavior. These changes are roughly predictable because they can be interpreted on the basis of a revised version of modernization theory presented here. Drawing on a massive body of evidence from societies containing 85% of the world's population, the authors demonstrate that modernization is a process of human development, in which economic development triggers cultural changes that make individual autonomy, gender equality, and democracy increasingly likely.


Part I. The Forces Shaping Value Change: 1. A revised theory of modernization; 2. Value change and the persistence of cultural traditions; 3. Exploring the unknown: predicting mass responses; 4. Intergenerational value change; 5. Value changes over time; 6. Individualism, self-expression, and civic virtues; Part II. Consequences of Value Change: 7. The causal link between democratic values and democratic institutions: theoretical discussion; 8. The causal link between democratic values and democratic institutions: empirical analyses; 9. Social forces, collective action, and international events; 10. Individual level values and system level democracy: the problem of cross-level analysis; 11. Elements of a pro-democratic civic culture; 12. Gender equality, emancipative values, and democracy; 13. The Implications of human development; Conclusion: an emancipative theory of democracy.


"Modernization, Cultural Change, and Democracy is the crowning achievement of three decades of research on the origins, evolution, and consequences of human values. Bold in its theorizing, pathbreaking in its methods, breathtaking in its empirical scope, and stunning in its findings, this book is one of the most important social science works ever produced on the relationship between values, development, and political regimes. Inglehart and Welzel make a compelling case for viewing development as the expansion of human autonomy and choice, and for political freedom and democracy as the consequence of economic development and cultural change. Anyone who thinks modernization theory is dead will have to grapple with the powerful logic of their evidence and argument."
-Larry Diamond, Stanford University

"This book is a landmark in the study of political culture and democratization. It will polarize opinion, provoking both strong acclaim and fierce critique. For this work presents powerful evidence contradicting several major schools of thought in the social sciences. It will be debated and cited now, and in years to come."
-Hans-Dieter Klingemann, Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques, Paris

"Inglehart and Welzel's book is a tour de force. Its comprehensive theory of how social modernization shapes human development makes a major contribution to our understanding of political development. This theory is tested by a rich analysis of peopleas opinions and values from all four waves of the World Values Survey--an unprecedented social science resource that covers 85 percent of the world's population. They conclude that social modernization shapes the human condition in predictable ways, and that the cultural consequences of modernization are a major force driving democratization. Culture matters--in nurturing the conditions for democracy to develop and in shaping the workings of the democratic process."
-Russell J. Dalton, University of California, Irvine

"Good books raise important questions after they have answered other important ones. Readers interested in political culture research and its contribution to understanding democratization processes will profit greatly from this book and, in addition, they will become acquainted with a professionally managed large-scale survey research project that offers many opportunities for further research."
-Franz Urban Pappi, Universitat Mannheim, American Journal of Sociology

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