Foreign Policy and the Electoral Connection

Posted: 10 Jan 2008

See all articles by John Aldrich

John Aldrich

Duke University - Department of Political Science

Christopher Gelpi

Ohio State University (OSU) - Mershon Center for International Security Studies; Ohio State University (OSU) - Department of Political Science

Peter Feaver

Duke University - Sanford School of Public Policy

Jason Reifler

Georgia State University - Department of Political Science

Kristin T. Sharp

Duke University - Department of Political Science

Abstract

Public opinion is central to representation, democratic accountability, and decision making. Yet, the public was long believed to be relatively uninterested in foreign affairs, absent an immediate threat to safety and welfare. It had become conventional to say that "voting ends at water's edge." We start the examination of the scholarly understanding of the role of foreign affairs in public opinion and voting at that low point of view. Much subsequent development saw an increasing degree of holding and using of attitudes and beliefs about foreign affairs among the public. Moving in parallel with developments in political psychology, theoretical and methodological advances led to an increasingly widely shared view that the public holds reasonably sensible and nuanced views, that these help shape their political behaviors, and that these, in turn, help shape and constrain foreign policy making.

Keywords: democratic accountability, foreign policy decision making, voting behavior, public opinion

Suggested Citation

Aldrich, John and Gelpi, Christopher and Feaver, Peter and Reifler, Jason and Sharp, Kristin T., Foreign Policy and the Electoral Connection. Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 9, June 2006, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1082073

John Aldrich (Contact Author)

Duke University - Department of Political Science ( email )

140 Science Drive (Gross Hall), 2nd floor
Duke University Mailcode: 90204
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States
919-660-4346 (Phone)

Christopher Gelpi

Ohio State University (OSU) - Mershon Center for International Security Studies ( email )

1501 Neil Ave.
Columbus, OH 43201
United States

Ohio State University (OSU) - Department of Political Science ( email )

Columbus, OH 43210
United States

Peter Feaver

Duke University - Sanford School of Public Policy ( email )

201 Science Drive
Box 90312
Durham, NC 27708-0239
United States

Jason Reifler

Georgia State University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Atlanta, GA 30302
United States

Kristin T. Sharp

Duke University - Department of Political Science ( email )

140 Science Drive (Gross Hall), 2nd floor
Duke University Mailcode: 90204
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

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