This work argues that economic development, cultural change and political change go together in coherent and even, to some extent, predictable patterns. It implies that some trajectories of socioeconomic change are more likely than others, and consequently that certain changes are foreseeable. Once a society has embarked on industrialization, for example, a whole syndrome of related changes, from mass mobilization to diminishing differences in gender roles, is likely to appear. Advanced industrial society leads to a basic shift in values, de-emphasizing the instrumental rationality that characterized modern society. Postmodern values then bring new societal changes, including democratic political institutions and the decline of state socialist regimes. To demonstrate the links between belief systems and political and socioeconomic variables, this book draws on a database, the "World Values Surveys". It covers a broad range for looking at the impact of mass publics on political and social life.
It provides information from societies representing 70 per cent of the world's population from societies with per capita incomes as low as USD300 per year to those with per capita incomes 100 t
Ronald Inglehart is Professor of Political Science and Program Director at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. Among his books are The Silent Revolution: Changing Values and Political Styles among Western Publics and Culture Shift in Advanced Industrial Society, both published by Princeton University Press.