This publication, intended for policy-makers, but highly relevant and recommended to ESD and citizenship educators, brings together interdisciplinary insights from the social and behavioural sciences on values and identities in the political process. Co-created with academia and policymakers, it has benefited from formal and informal input from other many experts.

Policymaking in democracies seeks to change behaviour for the greater good of society. What citizens desire is strongly influenced by what they perceive to be valuable. Valuable in this sense cannot be solely determined in monetary terms. Understanding what the greater good means requires not only an understanding of the facts and what is possible but also what is desired by citizens. There are political and financial consequences for policymaking if the values shaping policies fail to correspond with citizens’ values.

Credits: Joint Research Centre (European Commission), 2021

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