The structure of belief systems in the Dutch general public

Hanspeter Kriesi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

2 Citations (Scopus)


Several new concepts and measures for the analysis of political belief systems of citizens in liberal democracies are proposed. These concepts make a systematic distinction between values and beliefs about the status quo, and between the differentiation and integration of political belief systems. Applying the proposed instruments to the Dutch general public, the political beliefs of the average Dutch turn out to be fragmented, but not inconsistent. Traces of the two classic dimensions of ideological space could still be identified, as could indications of the existence of a third, ‘new’ dimension concerning political conflicts in ‘new’ issue areas. Moreover, even if the belief structures to be found are predominantly fragmented ones, taking them into account allows for more parsimonious explanations of important aspects of political attitudes and political behavior. The results are consistent with the present state of ideological flux in the Netherlands
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)165-180
JournalEuropean sociological review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • IR-61114

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