“Cultural Evolution” argues that people’s values and behavior are shaped by the degree to which survival is secure; it was precarious for most of history, which encouraged a heavy emphasis on group solidarity, rejection of outsiders, and obedience to strong leaders.
Under extreme scarcity, xenophobia is realistic: if there is just enough land to support one tribe and another tribe tries to claim it, survival may literally be a choice between Us and Them.
Conversely, high levels of existential security encourage openness to change, diversity and new ideas. The unprecedented prosperity and security of the postwar era brought cultural change, the environmentalist movement, and the spread of democracy.
But in recent decades, diminishing job security and rising inequality have led to an authoritarian reaction.
Evidence from more than 100 countries demonstrates that people’s motivations and behavior reflect the extent to which they take survival for granted - and that modernization changes them in roughly predictable ways.
This book explains the rise of environmentalist parties, gender equality and same-sex marriage through a new, empirically-tested version of modernization theory.
Another Persian translation of “Cultural Evolution” by Mohammad Ammar-Mofid was published previously by the Mola publishing house.
Inglehart was a political scientist specializing in comparative politics.
He was director of the World Values Survey, a global network of social scientists who have carried out representative national surveys of the publics of over 100 societies on all six inhabited continents, containing 90 percent of the world’s population.
The first wave of surveys for this project was carried out in 1981 and the latest wave was completed in 2019.
From 2010, Inglehart also was co-director of the Laboratory for Comparative Social Research at the National Research University - Higher School of Economics in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
This laboratory has carried out surveys in Russia and eight ex-Soviet countries and is training Ph.D.-level students in quantitative cross-national research methods. Inglehart died in 2021.