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Elite attitudes and the future of global governance

The idea of global governance and trust in international institutions are apparently getting into deep water. But is there a legitimacy crisis? Not according to international élites, as Jan Aart Scholte (Leiden University), Soetkin Verhaegen (Maastricht University) and Jonas Tallberg (Stockholm University) discovered. They found considerable support for, and a certain degree of confidence in, international institutions among élites worldwide. During 2017–2019 they studied six elite sectors (business, civil society, government bureaucracy, media, political parties, research) in six countries (Brazil, Germany, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, the United States) and a global group. Their findings show that contemporary leaders in politics and society are generally in favour of global-scale governance. Furthermore, these leaders hold medium-level confidence towards fourteen current global governance institutions. Scholte, Verhaegen and Tallberg also found that leaders generally agree on the importance of democracy in the procedures of these bodies and effectiveness in their performance. They recommend that international institutions should become more transparent in their operations and more impactful problem-solvers in their outcomes.

Jan Aart Scholte, Soetkin Verhaegen & Jonas Tallberg
27 May 2021
› International Affairs
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