Standing with Ukraine? An Experimental Test of the Main Arguments for and against Supporting Ukraine

25 Pages Posted: 30 Dec 2022 Last revised: 30 Nov 2023

See all articles by Troels Bøggild

Troels Bøggild

Aarhus University

Sascha Göbel

Goethe University Frankfurt

Philipp Lutscher

University of Oslo - Department of Political Science

Jacob Nyrup

University of Oslo - Department of Political Science

Date Written: November 27, 2023

Abstract

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is an attack on democracy, human rights, and the international order. While European democracies have supported their war-torn ally, Russia has sought to undermine
public support by stopping its gas supply and imposing economic costs on European citizens. In consequence, Europeans find themselves caught between economic self-interest and principles. We present a theoretical argument and test how corresponding arguments for and against continued backing of Ukraine affect citizens’ support using experimental and observational data collected while concerns with gas shortage and inflation mounted in Germany and Denmark. We find that support for Ukraine does not falter due to economic concerns. In contrast, citizens become more supportive when presented with arguments related to human rights, democracy, and respect for territorial boundaries. We discuss implications for understanding citizens’ responses to autocratic power strategies and how support likely depends on the type of ally and domestic elite rhetoric.

Keywords: Ukraine, political behavior, democracy, economic grievances, war

Suggested Citation

Bøggild, Troels and Göbel, Sascha and Lutscher, Philipp and Nyrup, Jacob, Standing with Ukraine? An Experimental Test of the Main Arguments for and against Supporting Ukraine (November 27, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4309413 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4309413

Troels Bøggild

Aarhus University ( email )

Sascha Göbel

Goethe University Frankfurt ( email )

Philipp Lutscher

University of Oslo - Department of Political Science ( email )

Jacob Nyrup (Contact Author)

University of Oslo - Department of Political Science ( email )

Eilert Sundts hus 7th floor
Moltke Moes vei 31
Oslo, 0851
Norway

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