Regime Type, Post-Materialism, and International Public Opinion About U.S. Foreign Policy: The Afghan and Iraqi Wars
Japanese Journal of Political Science, 7(1), 23-39, Forthcoming
28 Pages Posted: 30 May 2015
Date Written: 2006
Previous research (e.g., Goldsmith, Horiuchi, and Inoguchi, 2005a) has shown some intriguing patterns of effects of several variables on international public opinion about U.S. foreign policy. But results for the theoretically appealing effects of regime type and post-materialist values have been weak or inconsistent. This paper takes a closer look at the relationship between these two variables and international public opinion about U.S. foreign policy. In particular, international reaction to the wars in Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003) are examined using two major multinational surveys. The conclusions of previous research are largely reinforced: neither regime type nor post-materialist values appears to robustly influence global opinion on these events. Rather, some central interests, including levels of trade with the U.S. and NATO membership, and key socialized factors, including a Muslim population, experience with terrorism, and the exceptional experiences of two states (Israel, Albania) emerge as the most important factors in the models. There is also a consistent backlash effect of security cooperation with the U.S. outside of NATO. A discussion of these preliminary results points to their theoretical implications and their significance for further investigation into the transnational dynamics of public opinion and foreign policy.
Keywords: Public opinion, US foreign policy, Afghanistan, Iraq, terrorism
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