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The Laws of War and Public Opinion: An Experimental Study

Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, Vol. 171, No. 1, pp. 181-201, 2015

University of Chicago Coase-Sandor Institute for Law & Economics Research Paper No. 687

21 Pages Posted: 22 May 2014 Last revised: 19 Apr 2015

Adam S. Chilton

University of Chicago - Law School

Date Written: January 16, 2015

Abstract

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

Chilton, Adam S., The Laws of War and Public Opinion: An Experimental Study (January 16, 2015). Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, Vol. 171, No. 1, pp. 181-201, 2015; University of Chicago Coase-Sandor Institute for Law & Economics Research Paper No. 687. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2439428 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2439428

Adam S. Chilton (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.adamchilton.org

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