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Reinventing the Kantean Peace: The Emerging Mass Basis of Global Security


  • Ronald Inglehart

    () (Higher School of Economics)

  • Christian Welzel

    () (Center for the Study of Democracy, Leuphana University, Scharnhorststr.)

  • Bi Puranen

    () (Institute of Future Studies (Stockholm).)


This article demonstrates that inter-state peace is underpinned by an increasingly solid mass basis: representative survey data from around the world evidence a massive decline in people’s willingness to sacrifice their lives in war. To explain this finding, we test and confirm Welzel’s Evolutionary Emancipation Theory (EET). When improving existential conditions in a society turn most people’s lives from a source of threats to suffer into a source of opportunities to thrive, people adopt ‘emancipative values’: to allow themselves and others to take advantage of life’s widened opportunities, people increasingly support and tolerate universal freedoms. This emancipatory trend is most significant in a field in which the fixation of traditional survival norms on high fertility erected the strongest resistance against emancipation: reproductive freedoms. As a direct consequence of the emancipatory trend, people’s willingness to sacrifice their own and other people’s lives in war has dramatically declined. Hence, the emancipatory trend is a pacifist force that makes it increasingly difficult for government—especially in democracies—to find public support for waging wars

Suggested Citation

  • Ronald Inglehart & Christian Welzel & Bi Puranen, 2013. "Reinventing the Kantean Peace: The Emerging Mass Basis of Global Security," HSE Working papers WP BRP 28/SOC/2013, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hig:wpaper:28/soc/2013

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    Evolutionary Emancipation Theory; World Values Survey; war and peace;

    JEL classification:

    • E11 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Marxian; Sraffian; Kaleckian

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