Category Archives: Central Team

Past, Present and Future of the study of European Values

The venue: University of Bergamo, Italy

The Italian team of the European Values Study/World Values Survey hosts the annual General Assembly of EVS, the meeting of the Liaison Committee of EVS-WVS, and the international scientific event “European Values and the Values of Europe” alongside the Third Italian conference of EVS/WVS data users “Crisis after Crisis: Values Change in Italy”.

The event takes place at the University of Bergamo on (28)- 29-30 September 2022 with a rich program for the sessions open to the public.

On September 29th, the keynote session “European values and social identities” with Dr. Plamen Akaliyski and Dr. Simona Guglielmi, addresses relevant issues in current Europe societies, such as cultural integration and national and European identity. Later, during the roundtable on “Studying Values in Turbolent Europe“, Dr. Michale Ochsner (FORS, EVS Standing Group) chairs the discussion on current challenges and future prospects for values research with Ruud Luijks (EVS), Kseniya Kizilova (WVS/WAPOR), Andrea Bonaccorsi (University of Pisa and IRVAPP-FBK), and Gabi Lombardo (European Alliance for Social Sciences and Humanities).

On 29th afternoon and on 30th, the Third Italian conference of EVS/WVS data users takes place with selected presentations (sessions in English/Italian).

The event takes place in person.

Organizing Committee
Vera Lomazzi (University of Bergamo), Ferruccio Biolcati (University of Milan), Giancarlo Rovati (Catholic University of Milan), Ruud Luijkx (Tilburg University, University of Trento)


Thank you, Loek Halman!

A highlight of the European Values Conference 2022 was the farewell to Loek Halman. Loek, who has been part of the EVS community for decades, retired from Tilburg University in September 2021. Because public life in the Netherlands, alike most countries of the Western hemisphere, were hampered with COVID-19 restrictions, his close colleagues were unable to organize an appropriate farewell party to Loek at that time. The local organizing team (consisting of Ruud Luijkx, Quita Muis, Tim Reeskens and Inge Sieben) decided that the European Values Conference 2022 was the most suitable moment to celebrate Loek Halman and his contribution to European Values Study.

Preceding Loek’s farewell, the Dutch EVS team has secretly been working to bring together a so-called ‘Liber Amicorum’, a book of friends. For this book, they invited several EVS national program directors, Loek’s colleagues at Tilburg University, and his ‘compagnons de route’ to submit a chapter of approx. 3,000 words; the only request was to rely on EVS data or inspire the study of European values. In the end, 32 chapters and a preface by Wim van de Donk (Rector Magnificus at Tilburg University) were written around five main themes that reflect Loek Halman’s scholarly interest. First of all, several chapters discuss theoretical and methodological challenges in the study of values. A second line of research revolves around the sociology of religion. A third stream of papers presented comparative studies. Studies on the Netherlands composed the fourth part of the book. And last but not least, the final section presented additional country case studies.

Before the official presentation of the book, Inge Sieben opened the session by reflecting on the work and life of Loek Halman. Ruud Luijkx then continued to discuss the importance of Loek to the European Values Study. David Voas was invited to give a keynote lecture on the parental transmission of religiosity. David gave an inspiring lecture with an overview of decades of research into the socialization of religiosity, combining several of his recent insights and also bridging to the EVS and Loek’s research interests. Part of David’s presentation can also be retrieved in his chapter (coauthored with Ingrid Storm) in the Liber Amicorum. With a speech reflecting on Loek’s academic life, Wim van de Donk, Rector Magnificus at Tilburg University, presented the first copy of the Liber Amicorum, titled Reflections on European Values: Honouring Loek Halmans’ Contribution to the European Values Study, to Loek. Tim Reeskens then briefly gave an overview of the content of this book. Last but not least, Loek gave a speech in which he reflected on his academic life, with not only memories to the decades he was committed to the EVS, but also how the EVS inspired his teaching activities.

The farewell to Loek Halman then continued with informal drinks followed by a dinner at Tilburg University’s Faculty Club. All his colleagues, several dressed in checked shirt (to many this was Loek’s dress code), were eager to share fond memories with Loek. It was a great and inspiring day!

Both the Liber Amicorum Reflections on European Values: Honouring Loek Halman, dedicated to Loek Halman, and the Atlas of European Values: Change and Continuity in Turbulent Times, Loek’s final publication, are published in an Open Access format by Open Press TiU. The books can be downloaded and/or ordered from the website www.evseries.eu. Pictures of the conference can be retrieved from this link.

European Values Conference 2022/05/10 – Keynote David Voas and Farewell to Loek Halman

The new Atlas of European Values

Do Europeans really feel European? Do they trust each other and are they solidary? What do they think of immigration and refugee influx? Do they want a greener and more sustainable Europe, and at what cost? Are democracy and human rights ingrained in Europe or are they under pressure?

A new edition (2022) of the ‘Atlas of European Values’ answers these and other questions related to pressing topics such as migration, democracy, sustainability, welfare, identity, and solidarity in an attractive, visual way. In the The Atlas of European Values: Change and Continuity in Turbulent Times (authors: Loek Halman, Tim Reeskens, Inge Sieben and Marga van Zundert), the reader will find maps, charts and graphs based on data from the European Values Study, combined with data from other scientific sources. Texts on current social theories and interviews with European scholars and thinkers clarify the findings. The foreword to the Atlas was written by President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.

This third edition of the Atlas of European Values has been published in the new European Values Series, open access at Open Press Tilburg University. This means that the Atlas is freely accessible to everyone and easily downloadable (in pdf-format).

The first copy of the Atlas of European Values was presented on Europe Day, 9 May 2022, in the House of the Dutch Provinces in Brussels by the authors and TiU rector magnificus Wim van de Donk to Robert de Groot, permanent representative of the Netherlands to the European Union. De Groot said that this Atlas is more important than ever: how are we going to unite on a continent that is so diverse and how can we ensure that we come out stronger from the war that is currently raging in Ukraine? According to him, the Atlas can help answer these pressing questions.

More information on the Atlas 2022, previous editions, and related projects can be found here.

Improving measurements by survey infrastructures synergies: insights from the revised gender role attitudes scale in EVS2017

In this recent article published in Quality & Quantity, Vera Lomazzi (secretary of the Executive Committee of EVS) uses the revised scale of gender role attitudes (GRA) surveyed in the fifth wave of the European Values Study (EVS2017) as an example to explore how cooperation between survey programmes can produce improved measurements in a context of methodological innovation.

Lomazzi, V. Improving measurements by survey infrastructures synergies: insights from the revised gender role attitudes scale in the european values study 2017Qual Quant (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11135-021-01312-6

Why Measurement Invariance Testing is Important in Comparative Values Research

In the upcoming webinar of the Monthly Multidisciplinary Webinars on Culture and Values organized by Plamen Akaliysky, Bart Meuleman member the EVS methodology group will address relevant issues concerning comparability in cross-cultural values research.

to register, fill this form.

Why Measurement Invariance Testing is Important in Comparative Values Research: Between Statistical Dogmatism and Anything Goes

Presenter: Bart Meuleman (KU Leuven)

Time: May 26 (Thu), 12:00-13:30 (CET).

Abstract: Over the past decades, tests for measurement equivalence have become increasingly popular in cross-national and cross-cultural research. Among various techniques (see van de Vijver et al. 2019 for an overview), multigroup confirmatory factor analysis (MGCFA) has become the method of choice to assess whether survey instruments can successfully travel linguistic and cultural borders (Davidov et al. 2014). The spread of this technique has contributed importantly to the concern for and understanding of the issue of comparability of measurements.

At the same time, however, the increased popularity of assessing measurement equivalence has brought along several challenges. First of all, many frequently-used instruments are found to violate (stricter levels of) equivalence, leaving researchers with puzzlement about the comparability of their valued survey data, and with uncertainty as to whether they could safely perform cross-group comparisons. Second, the rather technical nature of equivalence testing has stimulated the measurement literature to focus almost exclusively on statistical details, while neglecting the question of theoretical validity. As a reaction to these trends, some voices have called for ‘a paradigm shift’ away from the current practice of MGCFA-based equivalence testing (Welzel & Inglehart 2016; Welzel, Brunkert, Kruse & Inglehart, 2021).

In this contribution, I argue that testing for measurement invariance is still important for comparative value researchers; but that it is nevertheless useful to revisit the logic of equivalence testing. The presentation outlines the epistemological foundations of equivalence testing and its operationalization into concrete statistical procedures. By doing so, I show that some criticisms are based on misconceptions about measurement, while others can be addressed within the current framework of measurement equivalence.

References

Davidov, E., Meuleman, B., Cieciuch, J., Schmidt, P., & Billiet, J. (2014). Measurement equivalence in cross-national research. Annual review of sociology, 40, 55-75.

Meuleman, B., Żółtak, T., Pokropek, A., Davidov, E., Muthén, B., Oberski, D. L., … & Schmidt, P. (2022). Why Measurement Invariance is Important in Comparative Research. A Response to Welzel et al. (2021). Sociological Methods & Research, 00491241221091755.

Van de Vijver, F. J., Avvisati, F., Davidov, E., Eid, M., Fox, J. P., Le Donné, N., Lek, K., Meuleman, B., Paccagnella, M. & van de Schoot, R. (2019). Invariance analyses in large-scale studies. OECD Education Working Paper 201.

Welzel, C., & Inglehart, R. F. (2016). Misconceptions of measurement equivalence: Time for a paradigm shift. Comparative Political Studies, 49(8), 1068-1094.

Welzel, C., Brunkert, L., Kruse, S., & Inglehart, R. F. (2021). Non-invariance? An overstated problem with misconceived causes. Sociological Methods & Research, 0049124121995521.

EVS Webinar Series

The EVS Webinar Series is a regular activity aimed at offering occasions for scientific exchange among values scholars. The focus of the series is the discussion over topical issues related to European values.

The first EVS webinar “Values, Polarization, and Cultural Backlash?” focuses on polarization of democratic values, political trust and political values orientations and takes place on March 4th, 2022 at 14 CET.

Our speakers are Prof. Frédéric Gonthier, presenting his recently published paper (with Tristan Guerra): How Party Polarization Shapes the Structuring of Policy Preferences in Europe and Dr. Marlene Mauk, presenting her paper Rebuilding Trust in Broken Systems? Populist Party Success and Citizens’ Trust in Democratic Institutions. Read more about this webinar here.

The discussion will be chaired by Morten Frederiksen.

The EVS Webinar Series is organized by Morten Frederiksen, Vera Lomazzi, Natalia Soboleva

To participate, you need to register: Fill this form by March 3rd.

Improving Measurements by Survey Infrastructures Synergies

Vera Lomazzi will present her work on the topic: “Improving Measurements by Survey Infrastructures Synergies: Insights from the Revised Gender Role Attitudes Scale in the European Values Study 2017” at the next regular seminar of the Ronald F. Inglehart Laboratory for Comparative Social Research, which will be held as a Zoom session on February, 10 at 16-30 p.m. (GMT+3). 

A link to Zoom session is available by request via natsobol@gmail.com.

Abstract. Survey infrastructure synergies can support the sustainability of existing European survey programmes by maximising resources and expertise. The study uses the scale of gender role attitudes (GRA) surveyed in the fifth wave of the European Values Study (EVS2017) as an example to explore how such cooperation could produce improved measurements in a context of methodological innovation. The EVS implemented tools and strategies that may affect cross-sectional comparability, such as the translation approach and the use of mixed-modes as well as the increased standardisation of the procedures, documentation and monitoring.  After describing the revision of the GRA scale of EVS2017 and assessing its content validity, the study discusses its comparability. By applying multi-group confirmatory factor analysis and the recently established alignment method, measurement equivalence is reached both cross-sectionally and across modes of data collection.

The working language is English.

CFP: European Values Conference 2022

More than 40 years ago, the first wave of the European Values Study (EVS) was collected to monitor values change across Europe. At present, the EVS has collected five waves of survey data representative of the European population to respond to many questions that the European continent is facing today. Novel insights from four decades of EVS data will be presented in the Atlas of European Values at an event in Brussels on Monday May 9, 2022. Subsequently, on Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 May 2022, the Department of Sociology at Tilburg University organizes a scientific conference that brings together social scientists with a vast interest in explaining values differences across Europe.

Call for papers

For this conference, we would like to invite papers that either analyze the EVS or use alternative methods or data sets to advance the understanding of values in Europe. We particularly but not solely welcome contributions that exploit the longitudinal and/or comparative character of the survey. Panels will be organized in thematic streams, with among other topics a focus on attitudes towards migration, solidarity, democracy, trust, environmentalism, and identity; we further invite papers that clarify the link between politics and values, study societal polarization, contribute to didactics and implementations of values education, or make methodological contributions in the field of values research.

Abstract not longer than 500 words can be submitted using this form, not later than January 15, 2022. Deadline extended: February 5, 2022. In the course of January, more information will appear on that website, including information about the venue, hotels, and conference fee. A preliminary program, with keynote speakers, will be announced by March 1, 2022. Accepted papers are expected by April 29, 2022.

More information on the webpage of the conference: : www.valuesconference.eu

Organization committee at Tilburg University: Tim Reeskens, Inge Sieben, Quita Muis, Ruud Luijkx

Contact: europeanvaluesconference@tilburguniversity.edu

CESSDA’s Podcast on EVS data

CESSDA’s podcast series offers an episode dedicated to the Eutopean Values Study data, available also throught the CESSDA Catalogue.

The CESSDA podcast series explores the important world of data archiving and sharing and our researchers across disciplines and countries are benefitting from the CESSDA Data Catalogue. This CESSDA podcast zooms in on the role of the European Values Study in sociology, political science and civil society, with insights from Prof. Ruud Luijkx, Tilburg University and Chair of the Methodology Study. The European Values Studies is a repeated, large-scale, cross-section survey research programme yielding insights into the ideas, beliefs, attitudes, preferences, values and opinions of citizens all over Europe.

Prof. Luijkx highlights evolving values in Europe since the early 1980s in what can be described as a “silent revolution” across the generations bringing implicit changes in attitudes and ideas. The European Values Study is an ideal starting point for understanding differences between the surveyed countries at any point in time, with researchers sharing more detailed information in publications. The datasets from the combined World and European Values Studies are a joint asset in the CESSDA Data Catalogue, which gives researchers direct access to all this insightful data without having to navigate across all the archives.

Enjoy the podcast!

Values and Identities – a policymaker’s guide

The Joint Research Center (JRC) published in November 2021 the report “Values and Identities – a policymaker’s guide“.

This report presents the state-of-the-art scientific knowledge on Values and Identities from an interdisciplinary perspective. Values are said to be the dominating forces in life and Identities represent who we are and to whom we belong. Both shape the political landscape in democracies and have gained in importance in recent decades. The report contains important insights for policymakers to adapt their work to the challenges of our time, including a dedicated toolbox section. The scientific review and toolbox are complemented by findings from a dedicated Eurobarometer on Values and Identities commissioned for this purpose.

To develop the report, the JRC involved several scholars from different disciplines, including values scholars from the EVS: Loek Halman and Frederic Gonthier, who contributed to the panel of academics.

The JRC’s report is available here.

Source: Scharfbillig, M., Smillie, L., Mair, D., Sienkiewicz, M., Keimer, J., Pinho Dos Santos, R., Vinagreiro Alves, H., Vecchione, E. and Scheunemann, L., Values and Identities – a policymaker’s guide, EUR 30800 EN, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2021, ISBN 978-92-76-40965-6, doi:10.2760/349527, JRC126150.

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