The Laws of War and Public Opinion: An Experimental Study
Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, Vol. 171, No. 1, pp. 181-201, 2015
21 Pages Posted: 22 May 2014 Last revised: 19 Apr 2015
Date Written: January 16, 2015
Research examining whether the laws of war change state behavior has produced conflicting results, and limitations of observational studies have stalled progress on the topic. To bring new evidence to the debate, I have conducted a survey experiment that directly tests whether one mechanism hypothesized to drive compliance with international law — changes in public opinion — creates pressure to comply with the laws of war. The results provide qualified support to research suggesting that democracies may comply with the laws of war when there is the expectation of reciprocity.
Keywords: Laws of War, International Humanitarian Law, Public Opinion, Survey Experiment
JEL Classification: K330, F530, F510
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation