Type of Document Master's Thesis Author Nickens, Bradley Harrison Author's Email Address email@example.com URN etd-05082004-115347 Title Postmaterialism and Democracy: What Does the Postmaterialist Value Shift Mean for Democracy? Degree Master of Arts Department Political Science Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Taylor, Charles Lewis Committee Chair Brians, Craig Leonard Committee Member Luke, Timothy W. Committee Member Keywords
- United States
- Western Europe
- Ronald Inglehart
- direct democracy
- political participation
- value change
- World Values Survey
Date of Defense 2004-04-29 Availability unrestricted AbstractThis thesis explores the possible impact of a postmaterialist value shift on the future of
democracy in advanced industrial democratic countries.
Research over the past few decades has questioned the responsiveness of representative
democratic institutions in advanced industrial democracies to individual and communal
needs in society. Radical democratic theorists have called for direct action, structural
reform, and other social and political changes to make democracy “stronger.” Increased
education levels brought on by continued economic and physical security in advanced
industrial societies has led to a change in the ability of citizens to access the political
process. How the relationship between the citizen and the state is altered as a result of
continued prosperity is a primary motivation for this research.
Working with World Values Survey data, I examine individual and societal level
relationships between postmaterial values and direct political participation and
acceptance of participatory values. Empirical evidence supports the hypotheses that
postmaterial values are positively associated with direct political participation and as the
level of Postmaterialists increases in a given society the level of participatory behavior
and acceptance of participatory values will also increase. Substantive analysis suggests
that increase in the level of postmaterialism in a country will lead to increases in
alternative political activity and other forms of direct participation.
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