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Mapping Global Values

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Chapter Summary

This article maps cross-cultural variation using data from the World Values Surveys and European Values Surveys, which have measured the beliefs and values of most of the world's people. These surveys offer an unprecedentedly rich source of insight into the relationships between economic development and social and political change. They show that, even during the relatively brief time since the first wave of the Values Surveys was carried out in 1981, substantial changes have occurred in the values and beliefs of the publics of these societies. These changes are closely linked with the economic changes experienced by a given society. The article demonstrates that economic development is associated with predictable changes away from absolute norms and values, toward a syndrome of increasingly rational, tolerant, trusting, and post-industrial values. The authors find a correlation of 83 between survival/self-expression values and democracy; this is significant at a very high level.

Keywords: democracy; economic development; European Values Surveys; self-expression values; socioeconomic development; World Values Surveys



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