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On the Road to Permissiveness?Change and Convergence of Moral Regulation in Europe$
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Christoph Knill, Christian Adam, and Steffen Hurka

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198743989

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198743989.001.0001

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Empirical trends and conventional explanations

Empirical trends and conventional explanations

some puzzling misfits

(p.32) 3 Empirical trends and conventional explanations
On the Road to Permissiveness?

Steffen Hurka

Christoph Knill

Christian Adam

Oxford University Press

The basic objective of this chapter is to provide an empirical overview on trends of moral regulation and morality policy change. Based on this analysis, the chapter shows that basic expectations on permissiveness trends derived from modernization theory are only partially supported by the aggregate data. Although moves towards liberal rules and/or lenient sanctions constitute a dominant feature, there are at the same time important trends that counterbalance these developments. At the same time, we find that classical country-specific explanations like varying degrees of Catholicism or party cleavages are of limited relevance in order to understand these tendencies. By contrast, the most important variable that makes a difference for trends of regulation is the type of morality policy. While manifest morality policies characterized by mere value cleavages show a clear trend towards permissiveness, latent morality policies, in which value conflicts overlap more strongly with instrumental considerations, reveal an opposite trend.

Keywords:   morality policy change, aggregate data, manifest morality policy, latent morality policy, party cleavage

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