Does Russian Election Interference Damage Support for U.S. Alliances?

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See all articles by Benjamin E. Goldsmith

Benjamin E. Goldsmith

School of Politics & International Relations - Australian National University

Yusaku Horiuchi

Dartmouth College - Department of Government

Date Written: May 11, 2020

Abstract

We examine whether election interference by Russia, and its perceived impact on American democracy, damage foreign public opinion about the U.S. in allied countries. The results of our survey experiment in Japan provide some evidence of weakened faith in the U.S. among foreign citizens. Specifically, information about the erosion of American democracy due to interference, compared to information about the absence of such a consequence, reduces both trust in the U.S. as an ally and belief in U.S. capacity to defend Japan. Comparison with similar experiments in Australia and the United Kingdom suggests how context conditions the effects. Our study sheds light on the connections between the image of the U.S. as a democracy---a core part of its “soft power”---and the foreign public’s attitudes toward U.S. alliances, with both theoretical and practical implications.

Keywords: alliance, soft power, electoral meddling, trust, Trump, Russia, Japan

JEL Classification: C91, D74, D78, D83

Suggested Citation

Goldsmith, Benjamin E. and Horiuchi, Yusaku, Does Russian Election Interference Damage Support for U.S. Alliances? (May 11, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=

Benjamin E. Goldsmith

School of Politics & International Relations - Australian National University ( email )

Canberra
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://researchers.anu.edu.au/researchers/goldsmith-b

Yusaku Horiuchi (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College - Department of Government ( email )

204 Silsby Hall
HB 6108
Hanover, NH 03755
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.dartmouth.edu/horiuchi/

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