American Foreign Policy and Global Opinion: Who Supported the War in Afghanistan?
Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 49, No. 3, pp. 408-429, June 2005
Posted: 28 Sep 2011 Last revised: 2 Jun 2015
Date Written: June 1, 2005
What affects global public opinion about U.S. foreign policy? The authors examine this question using a cross-national survey conducted during and immediately after the 2001 U.S.-led war in Afghanistan. They propose three models of global public opinion — interests, socialization, and influence — and discuss their empirical validity. Socialization variables (e.g., Muslim population and past terrorist incidents) tend to exhibit significant effects. A variable measuring shared security interests, North Atlantic Treaty Organization membership, has significant effects in favor of U.S. policy, but other mutual defense pacts with the U.S. have a backlash effect. Shared economic interests, represented by levels of trade, also have a positive influence. Variables measuring conflicting security interests as well as those measuring U.S. efforts to influence foreign public opinion have insignificant or weak effects.
Keywords: foreign policy, global public opinion, terrorism, Afghanistan, United States
JEL Classification: D74
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation