Magazine article Foreign Affairs

Cultural Evolution: People's Motivations Are Changing, and Reshaping the World

Magazine article Foreign Affairs

Cultural Evolution: People's Motivations Are Changing, and Reshaping the World

Article excerpt

Cultural Evolution: People's Motivations Are Changing, and Reshaping the World BY RONALD F. INGLEHART. Cambridge University Press, 2018, 288 pp.

Inglehart is one of the last great postwar exponents of modernization theory, which sees economic development as leading to shifts in society toward liberal democracy. Modernization theory has gone in and out of fashion over the years, as critics have questioned its Western biases and its vision of universal pathways of development. Yet in previous work using data from the World Values Survey, Inglehart has identified systematic connections between long-term economic changes and shifts in attitudes on gender equality, religion, and democratic values. In this book, Inglehart offers a restatement of modernization theory, focusing on the links between economic and physical security and tolerance of outsiders and openness to new ideas. …

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