## ABSTRACT

By 1989, that issue was settled (Zapf 1996). The idea that one could distinguish two major pathways of development – the modernization of Western liberal democracies in contrast to the development of state socialist societies – had collapsed. But if – with some minor remaining doubt in regard to China – socialism could not represent an alternative developmental goal and trajectory, then the assumption that advanced societies could be grouped together as changing in a broadly similar manner regained strength.