Political values and attitudes

Shaun Wilson*, Kerstin Hermes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


All the chapters in Part I provide important background to, or associated reading for, this chapter. Representing the political values that people express is what democracy is supposed to be about, so this chapter has a strong relationship to Chapter 1. For behaviouralists, an individual's values and attitudes affect their political behaviour, and political scientists often study the two together (see Chapter 3). That people's political values and attitudes are associated with their level of trust in political institutions reflects a tendency to view politics in terms of the operation of political institutions (as is discussed in Chapter 2). Chapter 4 on critical theories provides a way into understanding the left-right distinction. Critical theories themselves can be understood as being on 'the left'. These theories also tend to associate leftist values and attitudes with subordinate groups, and rightist values and attitudes with dominant groups. Discourse theorists would explore left-centre-right in Australian discourse (Chapter 5), while international theorists would be interested in the ways in which values and attitudes help define the national interest or identity (Chapter 6).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContemporary politics in Australia
Subtitle of host publicationtheories, practices and issues
EditorsRodney Smith, Ariadne Vromen, Ian Cook
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press (CUP)
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9780521137539
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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