Post-materialist values in Parliamentary Elites in Latin America

GT 3.6 Perfiles y trayectorias: la profesionalización de las élites en América Latina

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Sesión 1
Día: miércoles,18 de septiembre de 2013
Hora: 15:00 a 17:30
Lugar: E11SEM05

In the seventies, the sociologist, Ronald Inglehart, devised a set of concepts and indicators, in order to analyse the values of democratic industrialised societies and their transformations and, subsequently, to observe changes from a “Materialist” cultural trend to a cultural trend with Post-Materialist values. That is, from societal values focused on physical and economic security to values centred on freedom and autonomy, self- expression and quality of life.The importance of highlighting the existence of these values lies in the fact that these values can, in the long term, bring about a re-structuring of the political cleavages and even a shift in the meaning of a region’s traditional political division into Left and Right. However, it is important to note that, although there is still a relationship between Post- Materialist values and the strengthening of democratic politics, this does not mean that these values alone are enough to produce results of a democratic nature. In this sense, it would be appropriate to make reference to Diamond, Linz and Lipset (1989:2- 10), according to whom the study of democracies in developing countries cannot ignore the historical factors affecting each country. The aim of this paper is to analyse the values of latinamerican congressmen. Amongst the conclusions put forward by this study, it has been found that, in the Latin- American region, the development and maintenance of democracy have been facilitated by the elites’ values and behaviour, such as commitment, flexibility, tolerance, conciliation, moderation and self-control .

Palabras clave: Elites, Latin America, Post-materialist values