The new politics, culture wars, and the authoritarian-libertarian value change in advanced industrial democracies

Scott C. Flanagan, Aie Rie Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

152 Scopus citations

Abstract

The plurality of conflicting worldviews that are now found in the Western advanced industrial democracies has created values and belief systems that are markedly at odds with each other, which in turn has projected a whole new set of new politics or culture war issues onto the political agenda. The authors have empirically identified an authoritarian-libertarian dimension of value change that captures an important dimension of this shift. They demonstrate that the shift from authoritarian to libertarian values is related to (a) growing levels of social and political alienation along a number of key attitudinal dimensions; (b) a dramatic shift in positions on the key culture wars issues; and (c) higher participatory levels and more assertive modes of political involvement, yielding asymmetric mobilization around the culture wars issues. The study is based on the 1990 wave of the World Values Survey in the 12 largest and most affluent Western nations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-270
Number of pages36
JournalComparative Political Studies
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2003

Keywords

  • Authoritarian-libertarian value change
  • Culture wars
  • New politics issues
  • Political involvement
  • Protest potential

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