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The Handbook of Political, Social, and Economic Transformation$
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Wolfgang Merkel, Raj Kollmorgen, and Hans-Jürgen Wagener

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198829911

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198829911.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 June 2021

Value Change

Value Change

(p.679) Chapter 80 Value Change
The Handbook of Political, Social, and Economic Transformation

Bernhard Weßels

Oxford University Press

Values are conceptions of what is desirable and thus contain moral (or normative) elements. Political values address general political principles, structures, and processes. Values are crucial for social life because they guide and therefore generate action. Values serve as a yardstick for the evaluation of situations and behaviour. Changing values thus imply changes in evaluation criteria. This is why political transformation and processes of democratization are often preceded by value change. With new values new demands arise. In their democratization model, Inglehart and Welzel explicitly mentioned value change as a force driving changes in public demand. This can be called the optimistic perspective on the sequence of human development and has high explanatory power when it comes to successful transformation. However, countermovements in some regions and countries show that transformation processes do not always follow this optimistic model of modernization theory.

Keywords:   norms, principles, transformation, human development, democratization, democratic culture

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