Futuribles Journal n° 443

Institutions - Population - Société, modes de vie

The Development of Tolerance in Europe: The Contrast between Ethical and Civic Issues


As mentioned in the previous two articles in this dossier on the evolution of Europeans’ values, Futuribles has been interested for many years in how value systems develop and in studying their transformation — particularly from the surveys carried out every 9-10 years as part of the European Values Study. After Pierre Bréchon’s article on the major lessons to be learned from the last round of surveys (2017-18) when compared with earlier ones (1990, 1999 and 2008), and Gilles Ivaldi’s article on the rise of populism, Raul Magni Berton examines the stance Europeans take toward a number of ethical (marriage, sexuality etc.) and civic questions (fraud, corruption etc.), the cultural and geographical characteristics that emerge from this and the broad trends the analysis reveals. In so doing, he highlights a generalized progression towards more tolerance with regard to the behaviour of others, but a twofold division between, on the one hand, the countries of Eastern and Western Europe (with the fact of their being EU members or not adding a further distinct coloration) and, on the other, between ethical issues (where there is greater tolerance) and civic ones (on which intolerance is more evident). Lastly, by comparison with past developments, the trend within the European Union is clearly towards a homogenization of the values of tolerance.

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