Presentation of the report Elite attitudes toward global governance

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The presentation of the report «Elite attitudes toward global governance» took place at IMEMO on 18th of November 2019. The report presents overview findings of a survey conducted in 2017-2019 by the researchers of Stockholm and Gothenburg universities (Sweden) with the participation of IMEMO, State University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and the University of Pretoria (South Africa).

Director of IMEMO Feodor Voitolovsky opened the event. He congratulated the organizers and participants of the project on its successful completion and welcomed scientific cooperation between IMEMO and foreign universities. He also stressed the topicality of the subject of the study, according to which IMEMO published in 2015 the monograph “Global governance: possibilities and risks”.

The main reports on the concept, methodology and results of the study were made by Jan Aart Scholte, D.Phil, professor in Peace and development at the School of global studies, (University of Gothenburg) and by Soetkin Verhaegen, Ph. D (Politics), Postdoctoral researcher (Stockholm University). IMEMO researchers Pavel Timofeev and Maria Khorolskaya (Department for European Political Studies) presented specifics and results for the survey conducted among Russian elites.

The presentation was followed by the discussion on the following issues: 
1) What are global governance institutions and how does the emergence of new institutions reflect changes in the world order?
2) What elites influence global governance?
3) What methodology is optimal for studying the attitude of elites to global governance institutions?
4) How would elite positions affect global governance prospects?

The discussion was moderated by IMEMO Deputy Director for Scientific Work Irina Semenenko. The discussants included Feodor Voitolovsky; Deputy Director of the Institute for African Studies RAS Leonid Fituni, academician, head of research of IMEMO Natalya Ivanova, Head of Department for European Political Studies Nadezhda Arbatova, director of IMEMO (interim) Alexey Kuznetsov, senior researcher of MGIMO Kirill Petrov, junior research fellow of IMEMO Nikolai Kardava.

The participants in the discussion expressed interest in the nature and results of the study, noting its novelty and non-triviality. At the same time, they drew attention to the difficulties in the conducting of this work, since there is no generally accepted definition of the concept of “global governance institutions” in the world and the line between “global governance” and international organizations is unclear. In addition, it is not easy to unambiguously interpret the concepts that are studied in the report (for example, the concept of “fairness”) with regard to the work of organizations. Discussants noted that the sample of six countries where the elite survey was conducted does not fully reflect the civilizational diversity in the world - it does not include China, India, Muslim countries, and Muslim organizations in the selection of institutions -, thus, these samples mainly reflect Western perceptions of global governance. It was suggested that while for the Western elites the work of global governance institutions is given great importance to form, then for elites of Russia, Brazil, South Africa, substance is more important. The participants also emphasized that Russia is not so much interested in the results of the work of multilateral organizations, as in principle of equality with the West. Discussants agreed that, without diminishing the significance of the presented results, work in this direction requires further fundamental research, and agreed to maintain contacts in this field.

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