Trust in international organizations: An empirical investigation focusing on the United Nations



The literature on social capital has strongly increased in the last two decades, but there still is a lack of substantial empirical evidence about the determinants of international trust. This empirical study analyzes a cross-section of individuals, using micro-data from the World Values Survey, covering 38 countries, to investigate trust in international organizations, specifically in the United Nations. In line with previous studies on international trust we find that political trust matters. We also find that social trust is relevant, but contrary to previous studies the results are less robust. Moreover, the paper goes beyond previous studies investigating also the impact of geographic identification, corruption and globalization. We find that a higher level of (perceived) corruption reduces the trust in the UN in developed countries, but increases trust in developing and transition countries. A stronger identification with the world as a whole also leads to a higher trust in the UN and a stronger capacity to act globally in economic and political environment increases trust in the UN.


International organizations United Nations International trust Political trust Social trust Corruption Globalization 


Codes Z130 D730 O190 



For advice and suggestions thanks are due to Doris Aebi and two anonymous referees.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Economics and FinanceQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.CREMA—Center for Research in Economics, Management and the ArtsBaselSwitzerland

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