International Affairs Blog

Contemporary society confronts major global transformations and governance challenges, including pandemics, ecological changes, economic restructuring, financial crises, migration, peacebuilding, cybersecurity and so on. Yet, we are commonly told, current prospects for global governance are grim, hampered by institutional shortcomings, dissatisfaction among emerging powers, the rise of economic nationalism and rejection of globalism by populists. But what is the actual situation, if we consider the attitudes of the people who most directly influence whether and how global governance happens, namely elites? Our recent article in International Affairs sought to find out.
We chose to study elites — defined as people in leading positions in key organizations in society that strive to be politically influential — because systematic research on elite views of global governance institutions (GGIs) is lacking. We concluded that it is not a lack of interest in the topic, but a lack of appropriate data that causes this gap in the literature.
We attempted to fill this gap by conducting a large-scale survey exercise with 860 individuals from six elite sectors (researchers, civil society, bureaucrats, media, business elites, and elites in political parties) in six countries (Brazil, Germany, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa and the United States), as well as an international group. To explore our findings, we recommend that you read the article itself.
In this blogpost, we will share the challenges and solutions we discovered in carrying out this survey, in the hope that sharing our experiences will aid future research.

Read the entire blog here.

Soetkin Verhaegen, Jan Aart Scholte, Jonas Tallberg