International high-level dialogue forum

Shaping a globalised world

Goodbye to elitism: Anchoring global governance in societies

25-26 September 2018

Report   Programme


Conference language: English

In Western democratic societies, burgeoning populist forces are currently adept at exploiting the public’s fears of a possible decline and loss of status for their own purposes. These fears stem from the actual or perceived negative consequences of seemingly relentless economic and cultural globalisation, depicted by populist politicians as a form of global cooperation which solely benefits a tiny elite.

The opponents of global cooperation touch a nerve when they talk about global governance as an elitist project. The democratisation of global governance has been the subject of intense debate and research since the early 1990s, and yet in practice, the embedding of global governance at a societal level remains relatively weak. In our International sef: Expert Workshop 2018, we therefore aim to identify new strategies which could contribute to the progressive anchoring of global governance in society. In light of a critical appraisal of the “cosmopolitan democracy” debate, we would like to analyse recent trends – such as the growing mobilisation of cities, the use of digital and social media in global politics, and more flexibility in global agreements – and discuss their potential to “counter elitism” in global governance.

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