Beyond Rokeach's equality-freedom model: two-dimensional values in a one-dimensional world




Braithwaite, Valerie

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Administration, Compliance & Governability Program, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University


This paper supports Rokeach' s (1973) two-value model of political ideology through the validation of two value orientation scales, international harmony and equality and national strength and order. Drawing on data from five samples, these value orientations are shown to be independent and robust and predictably related to other value constructs, social attitudes, voting behaviour and political activism. Furthermore, they are highly integrated within the value system, being the most important values in shaping political attitudes and actions.- The two-dimensional model is reconciled with the ubiquitous left-right attitudinal continuum through differentiating between the psychological world of ideas and the political world of action. Political institutions have traditionally imposed a trade-off mentality on decision-making behaviour, and the left-right dichotomy is a useful heuristic for making trade-offs when other options are not apparent. This paper argues that individuals prefer a different framework for thinking about their lives than that imposed by political institutions. Their preferred framework allows both security conscious and protective values to be held alongside humanitarian and sharing values, and their liberalism-conservatism can be predicted by the degree to which one value orientation outweighs the other. The middle ground on liberalism-conservatism, therefore, is not solely the domain of the politically naive. It is also the domain of those with balanced, yet strong social value commitments who are likely to experience lack of engagement with left-right political discourse.



Social Values, Political Psychology





Working/Technical Paper

Book Title

Entity type

Access Statement

Open Access

License Rights


Restricted until