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Determinants of Popular Support for Iran’s Nuclear Program: Insights from a Nationally Representative Survey

Contemporary Security Policy, Vol. 29, No. 3, pp.538 -558, 2008

28 Pages Posted: 25 May 2010 Last revised: 29 Dec 2013

C. Christine Fair

Georgetown University

Stephen M. Shellman

College of William and Mary

Date Written: August 20, 2008

Abstract

This article explores data relating to public support for Iran’s nuclear program, using data from 2006 collected by Fair working with a consortium of institutional partners. The authors evaluate a few general hypotheses from the literature regarding support for nuclear programs using these new data from Iran. Before presenting empirical results, they first provide some background to this poll and some of the challenges that the team encountered. This discussion illuminates both the strengths and weaknesses of the data that undergrid this study. Second, they address some of the questions about the relevance and integrity of data collected by the consortium and used in this analysis. They address forthrightly whether or not public opinion matters in a country like Iran and whether polling of Iranians is a useful exercise given the degree of coercion which is ascribed to the regime. They present the top-line results of questions germane to Iranian support for its country’s program and some reasons cited for this support as well as results from logistic regressions, which focuses on key outcome measures which allows them to identify independent variables that explain variation in selected dependent variables. They proffer several analytical lessons that can be drawn from this exercise.

Keywords: Iran, public opinion, nuclear program

Suggested Citation

Fair, C. Christine and Shellman, Stephen M., Determinants of Popular Support for Iran’s Nuclear Program: Insights from a Nationally Representative Survey (August 20, 2008). Contemporary Security Policy, Vol. 29, No. 3, pp.538 -558, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1615743

C. Christine Fair (Contact Author)

Georgetown University ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

Stephen M. Shellman

College of William and Mary

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