(De-)Legitimation Survey (DLegS)

In the second half of its funding period (2018–2024), the KHK/GCR21 is focusing on the topic 'Legitimation and Delegitimation in Global Cooperation' as one of its four thematic fields. The core question currently addressed is which processes promote or undermine the social recognition of global governance institutions (GGIs) as normatively legitimate. In this context, the KHK/GCR21 explicitly focuses on individual citizens as essential instances of social legitimacy, whose support is becoming increasingly important for the success and failure of global cooperation. This applies not least to the areas of climate, peacebuilding, migration and internet policy focused on by the KHK/GCR21, in which the legitimacy of central cooperation projects regularly becomes the subject of political campaigns and controversial public debates – for example in the case of the UN migration pact, the Paris climate agreement or the EU directive on digital copyright. An exciting field of survey-based research has been established in recent years on the conditions under which such projects are perceived by the public and evaluated as legitimate. However, significant gaps remain, which the KHK/GCR21 aims to address in close cooperation with the research group Legitimacy in Global Governance (LegGov) at the universities in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Lund (https://www.statsvet.su.se/leggov/). The collaboration foregrounds population surveys (including survey experiments) focused on three themes of (de)legitimation:

  1. The ideological embeddedness of legitimacy beliefs: How do broader ideological divides such as left-right and cosmopolitan vs. communitarian informs people’s reasoning on GGIs as well as substantive definitions of problems and policies GGIs advocate?
  2. The digital embeddedness of GGI (de)legitimation: To what extent does the (de)legitimation of GGIs depend on processes of social conformity and the perception of “what peers think” online?
  3. The legitimatory power of the “nongovernmental” in/of GGIs: How does the perceived inclusion of nonstate actors shape citizen beliefs in the legitimacy of GGIs?