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2 - Why Are Elites More Cosmopolitan than Masses?

from Part I - Domestic Impacts

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 June 2019

Pieter de Wilde
Affiliation:
Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim
Ruud Koopmans
Affiliation:
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Wolfgang Merkel
Affiliation:
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Oliver Strijbis
Affiliation:
Universitat Zurich
Michael Zürn
Affiliation:
Freie Universität Berlin
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Summary

compares cosmopolitan versus communitarian issue positions by mass publics and elites across our study. We investigate whether there is an attitude gap between elites, who tend to adhere to cosmopolitan positions, and mass publics with more communitarian leanings. Contrasting mass opinion surveys with results from our own elite survey, we show that the mass-elite divide on globalization issues is indeed pervasive and found in all five countries of study. We consider both economic causes in the shape of diverging material interests and cultural ones, the latter pointing towards cultural capital and symbolic boundaries defining transnational cosmopolitan class consciousness. The results align more with the cultural than with the economic explanation. Political elites in the five countries display convergent cosmopolitan positions across issues as varied as international trade, climate change, migration and supranational integration. Mass publics are much more divided on these issues. Also, education alone does not explain the mass-elite gap because the elites are still significantly more cosmopolitan than highly educated members of mass publics, even within the same country.

Type
Chapter
Information
The Struggle Over Borders
Cosmopolitanism and Communitarianism
, pp. 37 - 64
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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