Same old, same old? Value change and stability in the Netherlands

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Following up on Loek Halman’s work on value change and stability, we investigate public opinion patterns between 1990 and 2017 in the Netherlands. While large-scale societal processes raise perceptions of severe value changes over time, prior research has shown that Dutch citizens generally rely on already existing values ingrained in Dutch society. Based on theories regarding fundamental differences between values, attitudes, and preferences, we propose different expectations regarding stability and change in public opinion. Based on regression analyses of European Values Study data (1990-2017), we find three main trends in the Dutch public opinion landscape: 1) conservatism and religiosity are declining, 2) preferences for government involvement grow, and 3) materialist values increasingly tend to be prioritized over post-materialist values. Given the revival of economic instability and the rise of cultural insecurity, we conclude that while circumstances change, people’s attitudinal reaction generally does not. With the addition of new waves, the European Values Study will continue to deepen our understanding of value development and its relation to changing environments.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReflections on European Values: Honouring Loek Halman's Contribution to the European Values Study
EditorsRuud Luijkx, Tim Reeskens, Inge Sieben
Place of PublicationTilburg
PublisherOpen Press TiU
ISBN (Print)9789403658773
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameEuropean Values Series


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