Universiteit Leiden

nl en


Citizens, Elites, and the Legitimacy of Global Governance

Jan Aart Scholte, Professor Global Transformations and Governance Challenges, is a co-author of this book that offers the first full comparative study of citizen and elite legitimacy beliefs toward global governance.

Lisa Dellmuth, Jan Aart Scholte, Jonas Tallberg, and Soetkin Verhaegen
28 July 2022
Read the book (open acces) here

Empirically, this book provides a comprehensive analysis of public and elite opinion toward global governance, building on two uniquely coordinated surveys covering multiple countries and international organizations. Theoretically, it develops an individual-level approach, exploring how a person's characteristics in respect of socioeconomic status, political values, geographical identification, and institutional trust shape legitimacy beliefs toward global governance.

The book's central findings are three-fold. First, there is a notable and general elite-citizen gap in legitimacy beliefs toward global governance. While elites on average hold moderately high levels of legitimacy toward international organizations, the general public is decidedly more skeptical. Second, individual-level differences in interests, values, identities, and trust dispositions provide significant drivers of citizen and elite legitimacy beliefs toward global governance, as well as the gap between them. Most important on the whole are differences in the extent to which citizens and elites trust domestic political institutions, which systematically shape how they assess the legitimacy of international organizations. Third, both patterns and sources of citizen and elite legitimacy beliefs vary across organizations and countries. These variations suggest that institutional and societal contexts condition attitudes toward global governance. The book's findings shed important light on future opportunities and constraints in international cooperation, suggesting that current levels of legitimacy point neither to a general crisis of global governance nor to a general readiness for its expansion.

This website uses cookies.  More information.