The political space in Western Europe in general, and in Switzerland in particular, is said to be best reflected by a two-dimensional space with a cultural and an economic dimension as proposed by Lipset and Rokkan. However, since the end of 1960 it has been challenged by a value change when new issues of gender equality, environmental protection, pacifism and liberal civil rights appeared on the political agenda. Inglehart, Flanagan, Kitschelt and Kriesi try to explain the same phenomenon of value change, but they differ substantially in terms of the value concepts they use. This paper argues that the value concepts of the ‘new social movement’ values refer indeed to the same underlying change. However, the paper will also show that the extent to which the value concepts consistently capture the same type of change depends on individual political knowledge, change over time, and on the regional culture into which individuals are embedded.