Published online by Cambridge University Press: 28 June 2019
compares cosmopolitan vs communitarian issue positions of national, European and global elites. It is important to go beyond the national elite focus since the prototypical members of a cosmopolitan elite are thought to be no longer attached to one national context but to have an entire region or even the ‘global village’ as their point of reference. Our empirical analysis supports this expectation: The positions of European-level elites turn out to be even more strongly cosmopolitan than those of national elites, which indicates that a particularly large gap exists between the cosmopolitanism of European elites and the more communitarian orientation of mass publics. Cultural explanations - measured by embeddedness in transnational networks - have the greatest explanatory power. Those elites who have more transnational contacts and travel experience are more cosmopolitan with regard to trade, immigration and supranational integration. However, economic explanations help us to explain within-elite variance in cosmopolitanism. In particular, we find that business and labour union elites diverge strongly in their positions on international trade and supranational integration.