The Impact of Values

The Impact of Values

The Impact of Values

The Impact of Values


Declining religiosity, waning class values, rising postmaterialism, along with Green values, postmodernism, feminism, are indicative of profound and widespread change in the values of citizens. This volume tracks these changes and analyses their impact on political efficacy, interest, activity, trust, voting, and involvement in new social movements.


From the outset, the study of values was part of the research design for Beliefs in Government. As a large-scale, longitudinal, and comparative project on the attitudes and behaviour of citizens in Western Europe, it was clear that we had to examine political values and value change. Our research group was formed to study 'The Impact of Values', and this is reflected in the title of our book.

Studying developments in several countries over a relatively long period of time requires serious commitments from a number of people. A wide variety of experience, research interests, and knowledge of social and political developments in different countries is represented by the contributors to this volume. We worked together closely between 1990 and 1994, discussing our plans, findings, and draft chapters in detail. This volume, then, is the result of a truly collaborative effort and the willingness of each member of the group to stimulate and help other members.

A work of this kind, however, cannot be completed by a group of thirteen social scientists without assistance from other people. When the first drafts of the contributions were completed, Ronald Inglehart and Helmut Klages kindly agreed to discuss our work in detail. Their stimulating comments proved very useful when it came to revising our manuscripts. So did the many suggestions offered to us by the directors of the project.

During the time our research group worked together, a number of people and institutes provided us with much valued support. The Zentralarchiv in Cologne compiled several cross-national and longitudinal data sets for our use, while the ZUMA institute in Mannheim kindly hosted us for a data confrontation seminar. Secretarial and organizational assistance was provided at the home institutes of several members of our group. In later stages of the project Christine Wilkinson, Helen Sibley, and Sharon Duthie at Essex University, and Carmelita Verbeet at Nijmegen University, succeeded in producing a decent manuscript from a large number of folders with drafts, revisions, revisions of revisions, final drafts and very final drafts. Much patience and forebearance was needed to ensure the accurate presentation of . . .

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