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By Marco Verweij (auth.)

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They are confronted with many different beliefs, norms and values. This makes it possible for the inductive analyst to always find a norm, value or belief that can explain behaviour. A possible solution to the methodological problems highlighted by Kowert and Legro is to delineate norms and values in a more deductive manner than in the inductive way that has been followed most often. This more deductive method would consist of distinguishing norms and values a priori, for instance on the basis of an existing theory about the mindsets of actors.

The former set of attributes offers adherents to different ways of 30 Theory life a basis for forming political coalitions among each other. The latter set of characteristics tends to unravel parties and governments based on a coalition of different ways of life. Therefore, an additional way in which grid-group theory can contribute to the explanation of political change is by identifying the attractors and repellents that underlie shifting coalitions among cultures. Agents and structures Grid-group theory provides a possible, partial answer to the agentstructure puzzle in social theory.

If, on the contrary, actors mixed and mingled elements from different ways of life in each distinctive social domain, then the four cultures set out by the Douglas school would lose much of its potential explanatory power. Eero Olli has recently provided some empirical insight into the matter. 40 In his statistical research on environmentalism in Norway he makes a distinction between the ‘coherent individual’ (who follows a single, internally coherent cultural bias in all social contexts), the ‘sequential individual’ (who has different cultural biases for different contexts) and the ‘synthetic individual’ (who has a single rationality for all contexts, but one that includes elements from alternative ways of life).

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