GLOBPOL – Citizens’ perception and attitudes towards globalization in multi-level settings


Combining resources, the FNRS-MIS project “GLOBPOL” investigates citizens’ perceptions and attitudes towards globalization (understood as the global integration of the economic, political, and cultural areas of society) and how these relate to citizens’ perceptions of legitimacy of the various governance levels they are subject to (subnational, national, European, and global).

When only scratching the surface, one may argue that globalisation plays but a minor role in political debates, and represents an issue of relatively low salience for most citizens. Yet, when unpacking the concept, we see that economic, political and cultural globalization have moved to the centre of public attention during the Covid-19 pandemic, the global financial crisis, global climate strikes, and the Black Lives Matter protests that spread around the world. This research project assumes that the current context constitutes a rare opportunity to study citizens’ perceptions of globalization as the different dimensions (economic, political and cultural) of globalization arguably gained momentum in political debates at this occasion.

The GLOBPOL project proceeds in two steps. First, the project will analyse how citizens perceive globalization. In a second step, GLOBPOL will assess how these different perceptions may influence citizens’ political attitudes and behaviour. To analyse perceptions of globalization, the project relies on a mixed-method approach. It builds on the reanalysis of qualitative comparative (4 countries) and diachronic (1995-2019) data to develop a comprehensive understanding of how citizens perceive globalization, and what words they use to talk about the issue. Based on this preliminary work, it develops an original cross-sectional comparative survey to complement the secondary qualitative analysis with open and closed questions to analyse how these perceptions are systematically structured and how they translate into political attitudes and electoral choices within diverse national contexts. This representative survey will cover 6 European countries. Countries are selected so as to vary, on the one hand, in the extent to which multilevel governance is developed (ranging from unitary to federal states) and contested (ranging from countries with strong regionalist or Eurosceptic movements and parties, to countries where the devolution or Europeanisation of competences is hardly debated). On the other hand, selected countries cover variation in terms of economic globalization (ranging from countries with strong openness toward international trade and capital and less integrated countries).

The research team is led by Prof. Virginie Van Ingelgom (UCLouvain) and Prof. Soetkin Verhaegen (Maastricht University) as principal investigators. Alban Versailles (UCLouvain) is postdoctoral researcher on the project (from August/September 2021), and Dr Ferdinand Teuber assists the team as Project Coordinator. Previously, from January to April 2021, Dr Cal Le Gall (Wien Universität) was postdoc fellow in the framework of the GLOBPOL project.

The project is funded for two years by an F.R.S-FNRS MIS grant (F.4549.21), and hosted at the Institut de sciences politiques Louvain-Europe (CESPOL-ISPOLE).

Contact: Virginie Van Ingelgom (, Soetkin Verhaegen (, Ferdinand Teuber ( Alban Versailles (

Call for applications
Postdoctoral researcher in Political Science at UCLouvain for the project “GLOBPOL – Citizens’ perception and attitudes towards globalization in a context of multilevel governance”