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Starting with observations about the abandonment of bourgeois values in the late 1960S and early 1970s, a shift of political orientations towards the left, and a correspondence of left-right orientation with certain values, the article identifies basic components of both orientations and pursues the question of how self-placement on the left-right scale and the priorities attached to equality and social justice on the one hand, and decision-making freedom on the other, have developed in Germany since the mid-1970s. Results indicate that a leftward shift in the climate of opinion, such as occurred in Germany, will have a serious impact on the value system of a society. The fundamental contrast between the values of freedom and equality is identified as being at the root of the left-right division and its corresponding value systems.
   `He was convinced that there is a real contradiction between freedom and
   equality. That there can be a socialist path, which says that equality is
   important, and there can be a liberal path, which contends that freedom has
   top priority. Anyone who believes he or she can create harmony between the
   two without any contradictions is mistaken. Either we pay with our freedom
   or with equality. He was convinced that the choice between the two is of
   existential significance.'

   The Israeli journalist Avishai Margalit on his friend, the philosopher
   Isaiah Berlin of Oxford. Quoted from: Frankfurter Rundschau, December 6,

The concepts of left and right as categories of political orientation serve to illustrate two divergent research strategies. The first approach starts with hypotheses that are founded on theory and subsequently employs the methods of empirical social research to test whether these hypotheses are confirmed or not. Conversely, it is also possible to commence with some unexpected findings of empirical social research and try to develop a theory that explains the findings and links them to existing theories. As early as the late 1940s, in Chapters II and III of his classic work, Social Theory and Social Structure, Robert Merton (1949/1968) described the tense relationship between the advocates of these two methods of arriving at scientific insight.(1)

The latter of these two approaches is not commonly encountered in social research today. Nonetheless, progressing from empiricism to theory often proves more fruitful than the former approach, since it facilitates the analysis and theoretical treatment of surprising findings which might have gone unheeded had a research strategy based on a particular theory been utilized.

The present article adheres to the second principle, presenting the results of research derived from several unanticipated findings of empirical studies on value systems. Specifically, this systematic research was engendered by three surprising findings obtained in surveys by the Allensbach Institute:
   1 The discovery of the value change in Germany from 1967 to 1972, in other
   words, the abandonment of the bourgeois values that had characterized
   German society for the past 200 years.

   2 The detection of a pronounced leftward shift in the climate of opinion in
   Germany, as ascertained via self-placements on the left-right scale.

   3 The discovery that respondents' self-placements on the left or right of
   the political spectrum correspond with certain basic attitudes concerning
   value issues, thus allowing some values (e.g. social security, state
   welfare, and human closeness) to be clearly classified as belonging to the
   left, while others (for example, economic competition, domestic security,
   and religiousness) are plainly attributable to the right--a correlation
   which is found not only in Germany, but around the globe.

The latter discovery, i.e. that there are numerous values which are characteristically held by the left and the right around the world, ultimately gave rise to the following research question: What is at the heart of the divide between leftist and rightist values?

Any discussion of this question must necessarily adhere to a strategy of extreme simplification. It goes without saying that there are highly distinct currents within the political camps of left and right in many countries around the world. For example, in a number of countries, we can discern two different directions within the bourgeois-conservative spectrum: namely, those groupings which advocate minimal state intervention and a laissez faire economic policy, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, the paternalistic current, which calls for a considerably stronger and more vigilant state charged with protecting the citizens from incursions of all kinds.

The fact that many of the terms used to characterize various political currents have different meanings in different countries can also easily give rise to misunderstandings. A classic example of this is the term `liberal,' which is practically synonymous with `left' in the United States, yet signifies a bourgeois social concept associated with the political center in Europe and Canada.

The present study also completely excludes political extremism on both sides of the political spectrum, since specific extremist attitudes, such as the willingness to use or accept the use of force against people who hold different opinions, may in part eclipse or in some cases even stand in irreconcilable contradiction to the basic values analyzed in this discussion. The present article thus deals exclusively with the values of the democratic left and the democratic right.

This article does not intend to define, analyze, or even distinguish between the different variations within the two political camps of left and right. It is rather concerned with uncovering the basic components which are the prerequisites for assigning a political attitude or concept to the left or right. If the widespread classifications of left and right do indeed have a factual basis, these fundamental components should in principle be discernible, even if not equally pronounced, in all subcurrents within a particular political camp.

The following question thus arises: Is the diametrical opposition between the concepts of left and right connected with a correspondingly antagonistic pair of values, meaning that whenever one of these two values is particularly dominant, the other is especially weak?

One possibly suitable pair of values in this context are the values of equality, understood in the sense of social justice, and freedom.

Starting from the assumption that an antagonistic relationship exists between these two values, a question was posed in German surveys to determine how much priority respondents attached to these two values. The corresponding dialog question was also incorporated in the questionnaire of the International Values Study in 1981 and in the replication of the study in 1990.

The findings ascertained both in Germany and internationally indicate that there is in fact a connection between respondents' positions on the left-right scale and their tendency to give preference to freedom or equality.

Our attention thus turned to the question of how self-placements on the left-right scale and the priority attached to equality or social justice and decision-making freedom have developed since the mid-1970s in West Germany and in both Western and Eastern Germany following reunification in 1990.


The data on which the present study is based derive from two types of sources.


The major share of the data comprises self-placements by the German population on a left-right scale. Since 1978, the Allensbach Institute has regularly included a question in its monthly omnibus surveys asking respondents to designate their political position on a scale from left to right. The question text is cited verbatim at a later point in this article. Today, data on left-right self-placements by the German population are available from a total of 241 surveys, each of which is based on a representative sample of the adult population aged 16 and over, with at least 1,000 interviews per survey. Sampling was completed using the quota method and the interviews were conducted face-to-face. Since German reunification in the fall of 1990, the 1,000 interviews completed within the framework of monthly omnibus surveys in Western Germany have been supplemented by another 1,000 interviews using identical questionnaires in Eastern Germany, the former GDR.

In connection with the question asking about their political self-placements, respondents are shown an illustration of a scale which resembles a ruler and which may be calibrated either in centimeters or inches. Like a ruler, the positions, `0,' `5,' `10,' and so forth are set off and numbered. In addition, the positions `0,' `50,' and `100' are labeled as left, middle-of-the-road, and right.

Since the surveys in which left-right self-placements were ascertained generally also comprised a variety of other questions concerning political attitudes, values and goals in life, numerous cross-connections can be drawn between respondents' left-right self-placements and their attitudes in various areas.


Another data set used in the present study stems from an internationally comparative study on value systems that was completed in two major waves in 1981/82 and 1990/91. The questionnaire used in numerous countries participating in the study was drafted at the Allensbach Institute with the assistance of Juan Linz in 1978. Many questions from the first wave of the survey were also replicated in the second wave completed in 1990. The survey investigated the populations in 37 countries on all continents around the world.(2)

In the value studies, left-right self-placements were measured via the ten-point scale, ranging from 1 to 10, developed by Inglehart and Klingemann (1976).(3)


The research project focusing on the concepts of left and right as categories of political orientation evolved from a series of three unexpected findings obtained in investigations by the Allensbach Institute on the subject of values.


As mentioned at the onset of this article, the first startling discovery was the value change that transpired in Germany from 1967 to 1972. In 1967, a representative sample of the West German population was asked the following question for the first time within the framework of basic research at the Allensbach Institute: `We have put together a list of things children should be taught for later in life, things they should learn at home. Which of these points do you consider especially important?'

The primary aim of this question was not to investigate the child-raising goals ostensibly being ascertained, but rather the underlying values of the German population. The question was thus intended, as already outlined by Durkheim in The Rules of Sociological Method (1895), to render a complex subject that is hardly ascertainable via direct questions accessible by means of suitable indicators that allow us to draw conclusions about the actual object of investigation. This approach was necessary in this case, since asking respondents directly about their value systems would have made them consciously aware of the subject and compelled them to define their own goals, along with their frequently conflicting principles of action--something which would have seriously overtaxed many respondents' powers of abstract thinking. Moreover, experiments with direct questions have established that social desirability has a relatively strong influence on response behavior in this area (Noelle-Neumann and Petersen 1996, pp. 515f.).

On replicating the question five years later in 1972, we discovered a dramatic change in the findings. The data indicated a rapid decline in those values which had traditionally been cultivated as bourgeois virtues. The decline was evident in all social strata--and was in all instances most radical among young people under the age of 30. The following two findings are illustrative of our discovery, which was subsequently interpreted as being part of a far-reaching process eventually known as `value change' (Wertewandel) in the public debate in Germany:

* In 1967, 81 percent of respondents under the age of 30 thought that parents should teach their children politeness and good manners; five years later, in 1972, only 50 percent thought the same.

* Whereas 71 percent of the younger generation believed in 1967 that children should be taught to do their work accurately and conscientiously, only 52 percent shared the same sentiment five years later.

For quite some time, this astonishing evidence of a value change met with disbelief in Germany, sparking an incensed public debate that was highly critical of social research.(4) Consequently, researchers at the Allensbach Institute resolved to continue observing trends in value orientations by including this and other questions regularly in monthly omnibus surveys.

In the late 1970s, the realization that a value change had taken place from 1967 to 1972 finally took hold in the public debate. Nevertheless, many anticipated a quick reversal of the trend, based on their belief that the value change involved nothing more than a short-term reaction to the student protests of 1968. This expectation, however, was not fulfilled. Granted, a few traditional bourgeois virtues were restored to their previous standing.(5) Other key virtues, however, declined even further over the course of the 1970s and 1980s. There were also practically no indications of any reversal in the early 1990s (Tables 1 and 2).

TABLE 1 Goals in child-raising

Question: `We have put together a list of things children should learn at home, things they should be taught for later in life. Which of these points do you consider especially important?' (Presentation of a list). Excerpt from the responses.
                                    Western Germany
                              1967   1977   1987   1996

To be thrifty with money       75     69     71     66
Ability to fit in, conform     61     51     51     40
To be modest and unassuming    37     28     28     31
Religious faith,
 strong religious ties         39     24     33     27

Source: Allensbach Archives, IfD Surveys 2032, 3051, 4087, 6024, Western Germany, Population 16 and over

TABLE 2 The five most important characteristics

Question to women: `What qualities do you especially appreciate in a man? Would you please take a look at the list I have here and tell me the five most important characteristics?' (Presentation of a list). Excerpt from the responses
                                Western German women
                                  naming qualities
                                       in men
                                   1970     1997

Competent, efficient worker         42       33
Thrift                              38       24
Orderliness                         16       13

Question to men: `What qualities do you especially appreciate in a woman? Would you please take a look at the list I have here and tell me the five most important characteristics?' (Presentation of a list)
              Western German men
               naming qualities
                  in women
                1970     1997

Thrift           57       33
Cleanliness      51       31
Diligence        36       26
Orderliness      25       16

Source: Allensbach Archives, IfD Surveys 2066, 6044, Western Germany, Population 16 and over.


The second discovery concerned the leftward shift of the climate of opinion in Germany. The starting point for this discovery was the inclusion of the following question asking for self-placements on the political spectrum in surveys by the Allensbach Institute: `Political parties are often divided according to whether they are to the left, middle-of-the-road, or to the right. Here is a sheet with a scale drawn on it.' (Interviewer presents an illustration of a scale) `How would you describe your own political position, where would you place yourself on this scale?' The scale showed values ranging from 0 = far left to 100 = far right. In the late 1980s, the distribution of respondents' self-placements from the year 1978 was for the first time compared with the distribution ascertained in 1989, revealing a clear leftward shift in the climate of opinion (Figure 1). The shift is even more pronounced when only the younger generation (under 30) is considered.



The third discovery was made in connection with the international value studies described previously. After initial preparations at the Allensbach Institute in 1977/78, the international study on value systems was conducted in 1981 and replicated using partially identical questions in 1990. Findings are available for a total of 37 countries on all continents around the world. The questionnaire also ascertained respondents' left-right self-placements using the same scale as was employed in the Eurobarometer surveys described in the preceding article. The scale ranged from 1 = far left to 10 = far right and contained no mid-point.

This scale facilitated the division of respondents into five categories based on their self-placements: far left, moderate left, center, moderate right, and far right. The investigation then focused on how the values upheld by these five groups differ. Surprisingly, it was found that respondents in all countries who placed themselves on the left unanimously voiced greater support for certain values than persons on the right did. Conversely, in all of the countries investigated, respondents located on the right unanimously supported other values to a greater extent than persons on the left did. These findings enabled us to outline a characteristic value profile for persons with leftist and rightist tendencies.

The third discovery thus pertained to the unexpected agreement of leftist values and rightist values in all countries in which the International Values Study was conducted.

Briefly summarized, the findings of this international survey reveal a number of characteristics that apply to the value orientations of the populations in all countries, depending on whether respondents are politically inclined to the `left,' `center,' or `right.'

In all countries, values such as:

* economic growth and economic stability are much more pronounced among persons who identify with the right.

* Maintaining law and order is another value that tends to be held by persons who lean to the right.

Respondents with a leftist orientation strongly advocate:

* disarmament, the peace movement;

* giving the broad population a greater say in things, greater influence on the government's decisions;

* a more humane society, more human rights;

* more equality, opposition to apartheid in any form, equal rights for women and homosexuals.

A few examples of rightist and leftist value orientations are depicted in Figures 2 and 3.(6) An additional example is presented in Table 3.


TABLE 3 Political values held by the left and the right: an international comparison

Question: `There is a lot of talk these days about what the aims of this country should be for the next ten years. On this card are listed some of the goals which different people would give top priority. Would you please say which one of these you yourself consider the most important?' (Presentation of a list)

Feel the most important goal is: `Maintaining a high level of economic growth'
                 Total           Political position
                            Left                   Right
                            1-2   3-4   5-6   7-8   9-10

West Germany       45        27    31    51    59    52
France             51        34    55    56    65    52
Spain              39        33    38    43    53    43
USA                52        37    47    56    54    47
Canada             55        36    35    57    66    59

Feel the most important goal is: `Seeing that people have more say about how things are done at their jobs and in their communities'
                 Total           Political position
                            Left                   Right
                            1-2   3-4   5-6   7-8   9-10

West Germany       31        54    48    27    17     16
France             35        60    35    32    21     22
Spain              35        50    41    33    26     25
USA                25        49    37    24    20     18
Canada             33        52    53    32    25     28

Note: The assessment of the respondents' own political position was made using a scale from 1 = left to 10 = right.

Source: International Values Study 1990/91, IfD Surveys 2287/3201. Population 18 and over.

A summary of the findings obtained for Europe, on the one hand, and for the United States and Canada, on the other, also demonstrates a high degree of correspondence between the values which are of central significance to the left and those which are important to the right.

On comparing the data in this manner, the total findings do in fact indicate considerable differences between Europeans and North Americans in individual areas, particularly with regard to religiousness.(7) Nevertheless, the overall pattern of the different value orientations of the political right and the political left following a uniform scheme in all of the countries analyzed is still clearly evident in an aggregation of this kind.

To cite a few examples: in six European countries--Western Germany, the Netherlands, England, France, Spain, and Italy--the statement, `One does not have the duty to respect and love parents who have not earned it by their behavior and attitudes,' is supported by an average of 43 percent of respondents who identify with the left and by only 21 percent of those situated on the right. In the United States and Canada, the same sentiment is expressed by 41 percent of those on the left and by 25 percent of those on the right.

On average, 46 percent of the Europeans who lean to the left describe themselves as religious persons, as compared to 79 percent of those with rightist inclinations. In the United States and Canada, 65 percent of respondents who place themselves on the left and 84 percent of those located on the right profess to be religious persons.

The marked differences between leftist and rightist value constellations world-wide necessarily leads to the conclusion that leftward movements in the climate of opinion, like the shift that has been irrefutably documented by survey findings in Germany, also have a serious impact on the value system of the society involved.


This gives rise to an additional question: Do the values held by the left and the right represent a coincidental collection of unrelated values, or do leftist values and, respectively, rightist values have a common denominator? Are they bound by a common root?

At this point, allow me to hypothesize that the polarity between left and right must correspond to two antagonistic values whose relationship is such that the higher one of these two values is ranked in a society, the lower the other is ranked, and vice versa. This is precisely the case when it comes to the values of equality and freedom, as has been described by poets, philosophers, and analysts over the past decades, from Max Horkheimer to Isaiah Berlin.(8)

On comparing the values preferred by the left, as determined in empirical surveys completed around the globe, with this antagonistic pair of values, it is immediately apparent that leftist values support equality, which is understood in the sense of social justice--not equality of opportunity, as is often contended, but true equality: equality of social rank, equality of income, equality of outward appearance, to name just a few aspects. We soon realize that we are obviously dealing with an ancient, human ideal here, as expressed in the various utopias that have been devised throughout the history of man, from Lycurgos' utopia in the year 900 BC (see Der kleine Pauly 1979, vol. 3, p. 823), Thomas More's Utopia in the sixteenth century (Morus 15 16, Oncken 1922), up to the communist utopia of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

At the other end of the political polarity, the affinity between the values held by the right and the basic value of freedom is unmistakable, albeit not as immediately apparent as the correspondence between leftist values and the value of equality. All societal models which afford the individual the greatest possible decision-making freedom--e.g, competition, protection of private property, accepting responsibility for one's own actions, taking risks, emphasizing differences in rank, exclusiveness, differences in religious faith--reflect rightist values, although we must clearly distinguish at this point between the values of democrats who lean to the right--and who are the subject of this article--and the right-wing-extremist world view, which for the most part rests on fundamentally different basic values. Initially, the notion that there is a connection between freedom and rightist values such as religion, family, law and order, and hierarchy may seem surprising. Yet precisely these values are the prerequisites for realizing a high degree of individual freedom and differentiation within a social unit.

In the early 1970s, Max Horkheimer stated: `The more freedom there is, the less justice; the more justice, the less freedom.' Later, the same idea was powerfully expressed many times by eminent personalities such as the Swiss playwright, Friedrich Durrenmatt (1990), a few months before his death.

To test these assumptions, researchers at the Allensbach Institute developed a dialog question in 1973 which was designed to measure whether respondents attached greatest priority to equality and social justice, on the one hand, or to freedom, on the other. The question reads: `Two people are talking here about what is ultimately more important, freedom or as much equality, as much social justice as possible. Would you please read this and tell me which of the two comes closest to saying what you think too?' One opinion reads: `I think that freedom and as much equality, as much social justice as possible are equally important. But if I had to choose between the two, I would say personal freedom is more important, that is, for people to be able to live in freedom and not be restricted in their development.' The other opinion reads: `Certainly both freedom and as much equality, as much social justice as possible are equally important. But if I had to choose between the two, I would consider as much equality as possible to be more important, that is, for no one to be underprivileged and class differences not to be so strong.'

Starting in 1976, the question revealed a gradual increase in the percentage of respondents who attached top priority to the value of `freedom' in West Germany, a trend which, however, has clearly reversed since German reunification in 1990, to the point where the value of `equality, social justice' ultimately surpassed `freedom' at the start of the 1998 federal election year (Figure 4, upper panel).


In Eastern Germany, the percentage of respondents who gave top priority to freedom plummeted from 46 to 25 percent in the years from 1990 to early 1998, whereas the percentage who gave priority to `equality, social justice' increased from 43 to 61 percent (Figure 4, center panel).

Surprisingly, however, the findings ascertained in the fall of 1998 indicate a slight reversal of the trend in both Western and Eastern Germany, so that the combined data for Germany as a whole (Figure 4, lower panel) lead us to wonder whether a turnaround in the climate of opinion between left and right is imminent.

The same dialog question was posed in numerous countries participating in the International Values Studies of 1981 and 1990. The findings tend to confirm that, at both points in time and in the absolute majority of the countries investigated, equality and social justice were preferred by persons located on the left, whereas freedom was favored by those who leaned to the right. Figure 5 shows the degree of priority attached to freedom by the populations in seven countries, with the findings broken down according to self-placements on the left-right scale. When the same is done for equality, the different preferences of the left and the right show up in a largely corresponding manner, as one would expect (data not shown).


On an international level, however, there is a need for more extensive research. One point that must be clarified, for instance, is the issue of what meaning or meanings, beyond the definition presented in the dialog question itself, respondents attach to the concept of freedom when answering the question. In an initial attempt to clarify this point, respondents in a representative survey of the German population conducted in July 1998 were presented with three possible definitions of freedom and asked to decide which definition came closest to their own conception of freedom. The findings indicated that respondents situated on the left side of the political spectrum tend to understand freedom in the sense of freedom from material want and unemployment(9) (37 percent of those on the left vs. 25 percent on the right), whereas respondents located on the right lean towards a different concept of freedom, i.e. freedom in the sense of self-determination (54 percent of those on the right vs. 46 percent on the left).(10)


On comparing the present investigation and Knutsen's (1998) study, we find a number of common results. For instance, both studies demonstrate the continued validity of left and right as categories of political orientation, something which has frequently been disputed in the recent political debate. In the Federal Republic of Germany, where findings are available from 1976 to the present, as well as in all other countries in which the left-right scale was ascertained in 1981 and 1990, the great majority of respondents were able to place themselves at a specific point on the left-right continuum with great confidence.

Moreover, the inclusion of various indicators of political attitudes and respondents' value systems in the data sets analyzed also enabled us to establish that respondents in various countries around the world who placed themselves at similar positions on the left-right scale also had similar political views and value orientations.

Knutsen also determines that religious values, so-called `liberalist economic values' and `materialist values'--for example, `maintaining order in the nation' tend to be associated with the right, whereas `secular values, economic leftist values' and so-called post-materialistic values--such as `protecting freedom of speech'--are generally attributed to the left (Knutsen 1998, see also Knutsen 1995, 1997).

Taking this observation one step further, the present essay demonstrates that the same connection is found not only in countries that belong to the European Union, but in other European countries as well and--a finding which is of particular interest--in various countries on other continents around the world, thus imbueing classifications on the left-right continuum with global significance. At the same time, by taking an unexpected discovery from the findings of empirical social research as its point of departure, rather than hypotheses founded on theory, the study by the Allensbach Institute also exemplifies an investigative approach which Robert K. Merton characterized using the concept of `serendipity.'

The key finding emphasized and analyzed by the author of the preceding essay is the movement to the political center. In contrast, the data obtained for Germany in the present study document a dramatic shift from right to left.

Furthermore, the findings indicate that the shift in self-placements from right to left has been accompanied by a corresponding societal value change, specifically, by the abandonment of the value of freedom in favor of the antagonistic value of equality and social justice.

In this sense, a connection can also be drawn between the present study and other research addressing the implications of giving top priority to freedom, on the one hand, or to equality and social justice, on the other. A few examples include Samuel Huntington's (1994) democracy research, along with psychological investigations by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi of the University of Chicago and studies by the Allensbach Institute on the subject of psychological well-being. The sociopolitical consequences of attaching top priority to one or the other of these two antagonistic values thus represent a highly intriguing topic for future research.

(1) See Chapter II, `The Bearing of Sociological Theory on Empirical Research,' and Chapter III, `The Bearing of Empirical Research on Sociological Theory.'

(2) The study was primarily supported by the Benevolentia Foundation of Holland. The findings are stored in the Allensbach Archives and are available for research purposes (IfD Surveys 2287 and 3201). Some of the findings obtained are discussed, for example, in Noelle-Neumann and Kocher (1987).

(3) The scale developed by Inglehart and Klingemann is distinguished by the fact that no mid-point (5.5) is provided as a possible response category. Respondents are thus compelled to take a position leaning to the left (5) or to the right (6). A middle category, it was feared, would be used by many respondents as an easy way to avoid responding. In return, the scale's developers were forced to accept a relatively high nonresponse rate (Inglehart and Klingemann 1976, p. 247). On comparing the scale from 1 to 10 and the scale from o to 100, with 50 as mid-point, in two representative subsamples, the Allensbach Institute determined that the 10-point scale tends to overemphasize the center-left and center-right positions and thus--in relation, for example, to the relatively highly correlated party preferences--apparently leads to greater distortions than the 100-point scale from 0 to 100. (Allensbach Archives, IfD Survey 6048, October 1997.)

(4) The debate was initiated by Noelle-Neumann (1975), a two-part article series published in the weekly The Zeit.

(5) In 1996, values such as politeness and good manners, and working accurately and conscientiously were again considered to be important child-raising goals by almost the same percentage of respondents as was the case in 1967. (Allensbach Archives, IfD Surveys 2032, 6024.)

(6) A detailed discussion of the findings is contained in Noelle-Neumann and Kocher (1987).

(7) For a discussion of the differences between the United States and Europe with regard to basic political and social issues, see Lipset (1996).

(8) A relatively early attempt at a similar equation is found in a standard textbook on social psychology: `By Left we shall mean advocating social change in the direction of greater equality--political, economic or social; by Right we shall mean supporting a traditional, more or less hierarchical social order, and opposing change toward greater equality.' (Lipset et al. 1954, p. 1135).

(9) Item wording: `Freedom means being free of social want, free of poverty, homelessness and unemployment'.

(10) Item wording: `Freedom means taking responsibility for yourself, being free to choose a particular occupation, a region or city in which you want to live, and being able to apply yourself to achieving a desired goal'. The third item, `Freedom means being able to do whatever you want to do', was chosen by 23 percent on the right and 20 percent on the left.


Der kleine Pauly. Lexikon der Antike in 5 Banden (1979), Munich, dtv.

Durkheim, Emile (1895): Les regles de la methode sociologique, Paris; English translation: The Rules of Sociological Method, Glencoe, Ill., The Free Press, 1958.

Durrenmatt, Friedrich (1990): `Schweiz ein Gerfangnis,' in Kants Hoffnung, Zurich, Diogenes.

Huntington, Samuel P. (1994): `Will More Countries Become Democracies?' Political Science Quarterly, 99, 193-218.

Inglehart, Ronald and Hans-Dieter Klingemann (1976): `Party Identification, Ideological Preference and the Left-right Dimension among Western Mass Publics,' in Ian Budge et al. (eds.) Party Identification and Beyond. Representation of Voting and Party Competition, London, Wiley, pp. 240-73.

Knutsen, Oddbjorn (1995): `Value Orientations, Political Conflicts and Left-right Identification: A Comparative Study,' International Journal of Political Research, 28, 63-93.

Knutsen, Oddbjorn 0997): `The Partisan and the Value-based Components of Left-Right Self-Placement: A Comparative Study', International Political Science Review, 18, 191-225.

Knutsen, Oddbjorn (1998): `Europeans Move towards the Center: A Comparative Longitudinal Study of Left-right Self-Placement in Western Europe,' International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 10, 292-316.

Lipset, Seymour Martin (1996): American Exceptionalism: A Double-Edged Sword, New York/London, W. W. Norton.

Lipset, Seymour Martin, Paul F. Lazarsfeld, Allen H. Barton, and Juan Linz (1954): `The Psychology of Voting: An Analysis of Political Behavior.' In Gardner Lindzey (ed.) Handbook of Social Psychology, vol. 2, Reading, MA, Addison-Wesley.

Merton, Robert K. (1949/1968): Social Theory and Social Structure: Toward the Codification of Theory and Research, New York, The Free Press.

Morus, Thomas (1516): De optimo rei publicae statu deque nova insula Utopia, Leuven.

Noelle-Neumann, Elisabeth (1975): `Werden wir alle Proletarier? Ungewohnliche Wandlungen im BewuBsein der Bevolkerung,' in Die Zeit, no. 25 (June 13), p. 4 and no. 26 (June 20), p. 7; reprinted in: Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann, Werden wir alle Proletarier? Wertewandel in unserer Gesellschaft (= Texte und Thesen, vol. 102), Zurich, Edition Interfrom, 1978, 2nd edn 1979.

Noelle-Neumann, Elisabeth and Renate Kocher (1987): Die verletzte Nation. Uber den Versuch der Deutschen, ihren Charakter zu andern, Stuttgart, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt.

Noelle-Neumann, Elisabeth and Thomas Petersen (i996): Alle, nicht jeder. Einfuhrung in die Methoden der Demoskopie, Munich, Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag (dtv).

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Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann is the founder and director of the Institut fur Demoskopie Allensbach, Germany, and a professor of journalism at Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz. She is a former president of WAPOR and has been one of the co-editors of IJPOR since its beginning.

Address: Institut fur Demoskopie Allensbach, 78472 Allensbach, Germany. Tel: 49-7533-8050, fax: 49-7533-3048, E-mail:
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Author:Noelle-Neumann, Elisabeth
Publication:International Journal of Public Opinion Research
Geographic Code:4EUGE
Date:Dec 22, 1998

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