'Freedom From' and 'Freedom To' Across Countries

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5 Scopus citations


It has been over 70 years since Erich Fromm wrote "Escape From Freedom." He defined two types of freedom: freedom from (negative) and freedom to (positive). Fromm's masterpiece, however, does not measure the two types of freedom, and this is not surprising-there were no freedom data at the time. Now, there are plenty of data, and Fromm's concepts of freedom can be operationalized across countries. The two types of freedom, positive and negative, correlate at below 0.5, and such low correlation is surprising-I discuss outliers and point out that freedom is an end in itself, as recognized, for instance, by Amartya Sen. Furthermore, while we acknowledge the importance of freedom from, we forget that freedom from is not fully realized without freedom to: it's great to be free; but it's even better to feel free as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1009-1029
Number of pages21
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)


  • Fraser Institute
  • Freedom
  • Freedom house
  • WVS


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