Christian Welzel Do Moral Capacities Change With Improving Living Conditions?

Christian Welzel is Chair of Political Culture Research at the Centre for the Study of Democracy, Leuphana University of Lüneburg. Furthermore, he is Vice-President of the World Values Survey Association, Stockholm, and Foreign Director of the National Research University - Higher School of Economics, Moscow. His research interests include value formation, cultural change, and public opinion as well as social change and human empowerment. For his scientific work, he has received several awards, including the Alexander L. George Award for Freedom Rising (2013). He is also elected Member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and Fellow of the Center for the Study of Democracy, University of California, Irvine.

Area of Research

Political Science

since 2010

Chair in Political Culture Research

Leuphana University, Lüneburg

Center for the Study of Democracy

since 2010

Consultant and Foreign Director

National Research University - Higher School of Economics, Russia

since 2010

Adjunct Professor

Jacobs University Bremen

2006-2010

Full Professor of Political Science

Jacobs University Bremen

2009

Humboldt Fellow

University of California, Irvine

Center for the Study of Democracy

2009

POSCO Fellow

University of Hawaii

East West Center

2007

Visiting Professor

University of California, Irvine

Center for the Study of Democracy

2006

Visiting Professor

University of California, Irvine

Center for the Study of Democracy

2002-2005

Associate Professor of Political Science

Jacobs University Bremen

2001

Visiting Professor

University of Potsdam (Universität Potsdam)

1997-2000

Senior Research Fellow

Berlin Social Science Centre (WZB)

1993-1996

Research Fellow and Lecturer

University of Potsdam (Universität Potsdam)

1992

Research Fellow and Lecturer

Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz)

2000

Habilitation in Political Science

Free University of Berlin (Freie Universität Berlin)

1996

PhD in Political Science

University of Potsdam (Universität Potsdam)

1991

Magister Artium in Political Science and Economic History

Universität des Saarlandes

- World Values Survey Association, Sweden (President emer. and Vice-President)

- German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina

Prizes

- Stein Rokkan Prize (2014)

- Alexander L. George Award (2014)

- Leuphana Research Prize (2014)

- Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Award (2007)

We can see progress all over the world, such as technological transformations, or rising life expectancies and literacy rates. Are these improvements in material conditions accompanied by a change in moral standards? So far, such questions have mainly been discussed in the area of philosophy. CHRISTIAN WELZEL is interested in finding empirical evidence that allows tangible conclusions on this matter. As he explains in this video, his research team uses public opinion surveys, in particular, the World Values Survey, which questions people all over the world about their convictions and beliefs. They, then, compare these data with objective data about people’s living conditions. Their findings suggest an overarching organizing scheme that locates people’s mindsets between two poles: submissive instincts and emancipatory drives. They also found that mentalities in societies change over time depending on exterior conditions.

LT Video Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.21036/LTPUB10537

Freedom Rising

  • Christian Welzel
  • Published in 2013
Christian Welzel. Freedom Rising. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.