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Christian Welzel


Chief Research Fellow,
Expert Council Member

                                      E-mail: cwelzel@googlemail.com

   CV | Personal Page

Christian Welzel  is a leading professor of LCSR. He is a Second Vice-President of World Values Survey Association (Stockholm, Sweden) and a Chair for Political Culture Research at the Leuphana University in Germany, as well as Adjunct Professor at Jacobs University (Bremen, Germany). He holds a Habilitation (“Higher Doctorate”) in Political Science from the Free University of Berlin in 2000, was appointed as a Professor of Political Science at the Jacobs University Bremen from 2002 till 2010, and was the president of WVSA in 2013. Christian Welzel's research focuses on the question of how ordinary people’s value orientations vary across the political cultures of contemporary societies in a global comparative perspective. In this wide field of interest, Welzel has published extensively about developmental processes that transform political cultures and how such transformations affect political institutions, especially democracy.

Education and academic positions: 

  • Vice President, World Values Survey Association, Stockholm, Sweden;
  • Affiliated Faculty, Center for the Study of Democracy, UC Irvine, USA;
  • Adjunct Professor, Jacobs University Bremen, GermanyEducation;
  • 2000- Habilitation (“Higher Doctorate”) in Political Science, Free University of Berlin;
  • 1996- Ph.D. in Political Science, University of Potsdam (Distinction);
  • 1991- M.A. in Political Science and Economic History, University of the Saarland.


  • 2014- Alexander L. George Award; 
  • 2014 - Stein Rokkan Prize;
  • Chair for Political Culture Research, Leuphana University Lueneburg, Germany;
  • Professor-pro-tempore, Higher School of Economics St. Petersburg, Russia.

Research projects:

"Genes, Security and Happiness" (completed)

Brief review of the project

In cooperation with Dr. Russell J. Dalton from the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD), University of California, Irvine (USA), this project conceptualizes a key transformation in the civic culture and civil society of postindustrial societies: the transition from a traditional model of “allegiant democratic citizens” to a new model of “assertive democratic citizens.” This model is examined in three dimensions of civic culture and civil society: pre-political value orientations, political orientations towards government and democracy, and styles of participation in civil society. Using data from the Global Democracy Barometer and the World Values Survey, the empirical implications of the “assertive citizen model” are tested on a worldwide comparative scale, using multi-level models to examine how a society’s cultural legacy, (un)democratic history, and economic development change the prevalent model of democratic citizenship and hence the character of civil society. This project is co-funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the CSD, UC Irvine and is supposed to result in an edited volume published by a distinguished university press.

"Emancipative Values and the Human Empowerment Process" (ongoing)


The research project “Emancipative Values and the Human Empowerment Process” advances conceptual work on the human empowerment framework by theorizing how emancipative values provide the central cultural component in the wider process of human empowerment, which also involves economic development, civil society, and democratic institutions. The empirical implications of the human empowerment concept are demonstrated through extensive quantitative analysis based on global evidence from the World Values Survey. The project is supposed to result in a monograph published by a reputed university press.

     "Repression, Mobilization, and Civil Society" (ongoing)


Together with Ronald Inglehart from the Institute of Social Research (IRS), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA and Franziska Deutsch (CSD, Lueneburg), the impact of emancipative values on ordinary citizens’ elite-challenging activities in global comparison is examined. This project tests the hypothesis that strong emancipative values are of such high “expressive utility” that demonstrating these values through elite-challenging actions overcomes even the repressive threats of the most undemocratic regimes. If this turns out to be true, emancipative values were identified as a major psychological force in the pro-democratic mobilization of civil society against non-democratic regimes.

This project it supposed to result in an international journal publication.   

"The Patriarchal Values of Muslims" (ongoing)


In cooperation with Amy C. Alexander (CSD, Lueneburg), professor Welzel is working on the project “The Patriarchal Values of Muslims.” Examining evidence from the World Values Survey, this project seeks to map differences in patriarchal values between Muslims and Non-Muslims in both predominantly Islamic and predominantly Non-Islamic societies. The aim is to identify social influences at both the individual level and country level that potentially diminish the apparent Muslim/Non-Muslim gap over questions of gender equality.

This project it supposed to result in an international journal publication. 

"Women Entering Civil Society as Agents of Democratization" (ongoing)


Linked to the previous project is another joint project with Amy C. Alexander. Here we analyze “Women Entering Civil Society as Agents of Democratization.” The idea is to examine in a global perspective how gender interacts with other social influences giving women a particularly “gender-equitable” understanding of democracy and under what conditions such an understanding motivates women to become politically active and enter civil society as agents of democratization. The impact of women’s civil societal involvement in a country’s actual gender-equitable performance will also be analyzed.

This project as well is supposed to result in an international journal publication.

Other presentations:

Other information about Professor Welzel:

  • Reviewer of 23 leading scientific journals in Sociology and Political Science.
  • Advisor to the number of executive committees and scientific advisory boards. 
  • Advisor to the expert group of the EU Commission on value orientations towards science and technology
  • Visiting professor at several German universities (Bremen, Potsdam) and also at the University of California.

Christian Welzel is the Vice President of World Values Survey Association and its official representative at the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR).