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Why national and international legitimacy beliefs are linked: Social trust as an antecedent factor
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History and International Relations. (International Relations)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1298-8525
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2018 (English)In: The Review of International Organizations, ISSN 1559-7431, E-ISSN 1559-744XArticle in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Recent public opinion research has established an empirical regularity of unusual stability and strength: citizen beliefs in the legitimacy of national and international institutions are highly linked. The dominant interpretation of this link holds that citizens draw on their perceptions of national institutions as a heuristic when forming opinions about international institutions. This article proposes an alternative mechanism, privileging social trust as an antecedent factor contributing to both national and international legitimacy beliefs. Using original survey data on citizen attitudes toward four international institutions in three countries, the article provides evidence for social trust as an antecedent factor, while granting no support for the dominant interpretation. The article suggests three broader implications: social trust has more far-reaching consequences for international cooperation than previously understood; political efforts to affect the legitimacy of international institutions are constrained by individual predispositions; and a comparative approach is central to the study of public attitudes toward international institutions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
National Category
Globalisation Studies
Research subject
International Relations
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-164015DOI: 10.1007/s11558-018-9339-yOAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-164015DiVA, id: diva2:1277713
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilRiksbankens JubileumsfondAvailable from: 2019-01-11 Created: 2019-01-11 Last updated: 2019-01-11Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttps://doi.org/10.1007/s11558-018-9339-y

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