Postmaterialist Social Constituencies and Political Triggers: Explaining Bill of Rights Genesis in Internally Stable, Advanced Democracies
Political Research Quarterly, 2009
40 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2011
Date Written: December 1, 2009
This paper forwards a new Postmaterialist Trigger Theory (PTT) of the origins of bills of rights in stable, advanced democracies. Socially, such projects are linked to the postmaterialist growth of ‘cultural left’ forces such as civil libertarians and social equality seekers. Additionally, a focusing trigger providing an immediate political rationale for change is also generally required. This trigger determines the precise timing of any change and also influences its shape. Such a trigger need not be strategic or prospective in nature. Instead, political elites may embrace bill of rights genesis as part of a backward-looking 'aversive' reaction to prior negative political experiences during opposition.
Keywords: Canada, United Kingdom, human rights, bills of rights, postmaterialism, left liberalism, political triggers, social equality, civil liberty
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