Public Opinion and International Intervention: Lessons from the Iraq War

Public Opinion and International Intervention: Lessons from the Iraq War


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Rarely has a foreign policy event spawned such interest in international public opinion as has the Iraq War. What does this war indicate about the extent to which public opinion influences foreign policy leaders? Have leaders’ decisions about participating in the Iraq Coalition reflected the willingness of their citizens to do so? Are leaders of some countries more responsive to public opinion than others?The editors address these questions using select case studies that explore the extent to which leaders and people in democracies that are capable of participating in the Iraq War Coalition have willingly done so. Each chapter is based on the premise that democracies are most responsive to public opinion and that the wealthiest democracies would be most capable, though not necessarily most willing, to participate in the Iraq War.The editors have assembled contributions that build on the successful model of Richard Sobel’s International Public Opinion and the Bosnia Crisis. In this Iraq volume, leading scholars debate the role of public opinion in particular countries’ decisions to participate—or not—in an international conflict, making it an essential text for any foreign policy course.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781597974936
Publisher: Potomac Books
Publication date: 05/31/2012
Pages: 322
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

RICHARD SOBEL has pioneered research on public opinion and foreign policy. He has taught at Princeton, Smith, Harvard, and Northwestern, and been a Fellow at Shorenstein Center for Press, Politics, and Public Policy, Harvard’s Kennedy School, and Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard Law School. His books include The Impact of Public Opinion on U.S. Foreign Policy Since Vietnam (Oxford Univesity Press, 2001).

Table of Contents

Foreword James M. Lindsay ix

Preface Richard Sobel xiii

Introduction Peter Furia Bethany Barratt 1

Part I Participant Nations: "The Coalition of the Willing"

1 The United States Ole R. Holsti 11

2 The United Kingdom Stephen Benedict Dyson 35

3 Australia Murray Goot Benjamin E. Goldsmith 47

4 Poland Elizabeth Radziszewski Wojtek M. Wolfe 69

5 The Netherlands Philip Everts 83

6 Japan Wilhelm M. Vosse 109

Part II Nonparticipant Nations: "The Coalition of the Unwilling"

7 Germany Karin L. Johnston 137

8 France Natalie La Balme 157

9 Mexico Jorge A. Schiavon Irina Alberro Behocary 169

10 India Nicolas Blarel Manjeet S. Pardesi 187

11 Turkey Özgür ÖZdamar Zeynep Taydas 201

12 Canada Marc J. O'Reilly Richard Vengroff 219

Conclusion Peter Furia Bethany Barratt 231

Afterword Kathy Roth-Douquet 243

Notes 247

Selected Bibliography 285

Acknowledgments 287

Index 289

The Editors and Contributors 301

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