|Why do citizens support or reject the idea of global authority? The paper addresses this question by examining individual attitudes about UN authority in a comparative perspective. According to the main argument put forward in this paper, we may think of the formation of citizens’ support for international authority as a two-step process. First, the paper theorizes the formation of global attitudes about the UN according to a process of cognitive mobilization. Using data from the fifth wave of the World Values Survey (2005-2007), I find strong empirical support for the role of individual attention to public cues for the relevance of the UN in rising global awareness of UN authority. In the second step, the paper examines how cognitively mobilized citizens use available information to make up their minds about UN authority. The analysis shows that global public support for UN authority largely depends on a cosmopolitan understanding of global interdependence and moral universalism. However, the analysis of contextual variables also suggests that a "particularist" calculus of national costs and benefits explains citizens' support for (and rejection of) UN authority to a remarkable extent.
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