Christian Welzel

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Christian Welzel

Christian Welzel (born 1964) is a German political scientist at the Leuphana University Lueneburg and director of research at the World Values Survey Association. He is known for the model of cultural dimensions which measures emancipative values and secular values.

University education and career[edit]

Welzel obtained his Magister Artium (M.A.) degree in political science and economic history at the Saarland University in 1991 and continued with a doctorate at the University of Potsdam. For his monograph Democratic Elite Change: The Renewal of East German Elites from the Perspective of Democratic Sociology he was awarded a PhD with distinction in 1996. He worked as a senior research fellow in the department of “Institutions and Social Change” of the Social Science Research Center Berlin and qualified as professor at the Free University of Berlin.

Following the publication of Vantage Point ‘Human Development’: On the Roots of Democracy and the Causes of its Diffusion he became associate professor and started working as visiting professor at the University of Potsdam in 2000. In 2002, he moved to Bremen University as associate professor of political science. In 2006 Welzel was promoted to full professor. Having spent eight years in Bremen, he took a new job as professor of political culture research at the Institute of Political Science and Center for the Study of Democracy at the Leuphana University in 2010. In the same year, he became research professor at the Higher School of Economics (HSE) in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Welzel also spends much time in the United States, where he maintains close ties with researchers and professors from the Center for the Study of Democracy at the University of California, Irvine.[1]

In 2015 he became a member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.[2]

Areas of academic interest[edit]

Value orientation, value change and World Values Survey[edit]

Since Welzel joined the Center for the Study of Democracy at the Leuphana University in Lueneburg, work on the World Values Survey project has been an important part of the center’s research activities. Welzel is responsible for the German part of the survey, which involves 2000 face-to-face interviews. In recent years, Welzel has focused largely on the effect that emancipative values have on the emergence and stability of democratic regimes and developed a well-reasoned theory of emancipation. In his latest book Freedom Rising he presents an all-embracing theory of “why human freedom gave way to increasing oppression since the invention of states - and why this trend began to reverse itself more recently, leading to a rapid expansion of universal freedoms and democracy.”[3]



  • Welzel, Christian (2013), Freedom Rising: Human Empowerment and the Quest for Emancipation, New York: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 9781107034709.
  • Inglehart, Ronald & Welzel, Christian (2005), Modernization, Cultural Change and Democracy: The Human Development Sequence, New York: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 9780521846950.
  • Welzel, Christian (2002), Fluchtpunkt Humanentwicklung: Über die Grundlagen der Demokratie und die Ursachen ihrer Ausbreitung [Vantage Point 'Human Development': On the Roots of Democracy and the Causes of its Diffusion], Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag, ISBN 3531136089.
  • Welzel, Christian (1997), Demokratischer Elitenwandel: Die Erneuerung der ostdeutschen Elite aus demokratie-soziologischer Sicht [Democratic Elite Change: The Renewal of East German Elites from the Perspective of Democratic Sociology], Opladen: Leske und Budrich, doi:10.1007/978-3-663-09587-3, ISBN 9783663095880.

Edited Volumes

  • Dalton, Russel J. & Welzel, Christian (2014), The Civic Culture Transformed. From Allegiant to Assertive Citizens, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 9781107039261.
  • Haerpfer, Christian; Bernhagen, Patrick; Inglehart, Ronald & Welzel, Christian (2009), Democratization, Oxford: Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780199233021.
  • Lauth, Hans-Joachim; Pickel, Gert & Welzel, Christian (2000), Demokratiemessung: Konzepte und Befunde im internationalen Vergleich [Measuring Democracy: Concepts and Findings], Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag, doi:10.1007/978-3-322-89590-5, ISBN 9783531134383.

Scientific articles


  1. ^ Christian Welzel' Curriculum Vitae Archived 2014-02-22 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Christian Welzel". German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. Retrieved 26 May 2021.
  3. ^ Quote from

External links[edit]