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Who follows whom? A coincidence analysis of military action, public opinion and threats

Tim Haesebrouck (UGent)
(2019) JOURNAL OF PEACE RESEARCH. 56(6). p.753-766
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Abstract
Does public opinion act as a constraint on military action, are ordinary citizens the easily manipulated targets of the public relations efforts of their governments, or does the general public react as assertively to threats as decisionmakers? This article examines the causal connection between military action, public opinion and threats. Empirically, it focuses on the pattern of EU member state participation in two recent military operations: the 2011 intervention in Libya and the operation against the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS). Three competing causal models on the relationship between threats, public opinion and military action were derived from the scholarly literature and tested with coincidence analysis. The results of the analysis show that public opinion acted as a constraint on executives during the Libya operation. However, there was no direct causal link between public opinion and military participation in the operation against IS, in which both military action and public support were an effect of threat. More generally, the results suggest that the context of the intervention is decisive for the relation between threat, military action and public support. More specifically, whether public opinion constitutes a constraint on military action or is an effect of threats to national interests depends on whether these threats are clear and tangible.
Keywords
Political Science and International Relations, Sociology and Political Science, Safety Research, FOREIGN-POLICY, PRETTY PRUDENT, DOMESTIC STRUCTURE, DEMOCRATIC PEACE, AMERICAN OPINION, WAR, SUPPORT, INTERVENTION, CONSTRAINTS, AFGHANISTAN, coincidence analysis, military intervention, public opinion

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Citation

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MLA
Haesebrouck, Tim. “Who Follows Whom? A Coincidence Analysis of Military Action, Public Opinion and Threats.” JOURNAL OF PEACE RESEARCH, vol. 56, no. 6, 2019, pp. 753–66.
APA
Haesebrouck, T. (2019). Who follows whom? A coincidence analysis of military action, public opinion and threats. JOURNAL OF PEACE RESEARCH, 56(6), 753–766.
Chicago author-date
Haesebrouck, Tim. 2019. “Who Follows Whom? A Coincidence Analysis of Military Action, Public Opinion and Threats.” JOURNAL OF PEACE RESEARCH 56 (6): 753–66.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Haesebrouck, Tim. 2019. “Who Follows Whom? A Coincidence Analysis of Military Action, Public Opinion and Threats.” JOURNAL OF PEACE RESEARCH 56 (6): 753–766.
Vancouver
1.
Haesebrouck T. Who follows whom? A coincidence analysis of military action, public opinion and threats. JOURNAL OF PEACE RESEARCH. 2019;56(6):753–66.
IEEE
[1]
T. Haesebrouck, “Who follows whom? A coincidence analysis of military action, public opinion and threats,” JOURNAL OF PEACE RESEARCH, vol. 56, no. 6, pp. 753–766, 2019.
@article{8633848,
  abstract     = {Does public opinion act as a constraint on military action, are ordinary citizens the easily manipulated targets of the public relations efforts of their governments, or does the general public react as assertively to threats as decisionmakers? This article examines the causal connection between military action, public opinion and threats. Empirically, it focuses on the pattern of EU member state participation in two recent military operations: the 2011 intervention in Libya and the operation against the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS). Three competing causal models on the relationship between threats, public opinion and military action were derived from the scholarly literature and tested with coincidence analysis. The results of the analysis show that public opinion acted as a constraint on executives during the Libya operation. However, there was no direct causal link between public opinion and military participation in the operation against IS, in which both military action and public support were an effect of threat. More generally, the results suggest that the context of the intervention is decisive for the relation between threat, military action and public support. More specifically, whether public opinion constitutes a constraint on military action or is an effect of threats to national interests depends on whether these threats are clear and tangible.},
  author       = {Haesebrouck, Tim},
  issn         = {0022-3433},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF PEACE RESEARCH},
  keywords     = {Political Science and International Relations,Sociology and Political Science,Safety Research,FOREIGN-POLICY,PRETTY PRUDENT,DOMESTIC STRUCTURE,DEMOCRATIC PEACE,AMERICAN OPINION,WAR,SUPPORT,INTERVENTION,CONSTRAINTS,AFGHANISTAN,coincidence analysis,military intervention,public opinion},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {753--766},
  title        = {Who follows whom? A coincidence analysis of military action, public opinion and threats},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0022343319854787},
  volume       = {56},
  year         = {2019},
}

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