Influence from Abroad: Foreign Voices, the Media, and U.S. Public Opinion

Influence from Abroad: Foreign Voices, the Media, and U.S. Public Opinion

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Danny Hayes
Cambridge University Press, 5/24/2013
EAN 9781107691025, ISBN10: 1107691028

Paperback, 200 pages, 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.2 cm
Language: English

In Influence from Abroad, Danny Hayes and Matt Guardino show that United States public opinion about American foreign policy can be shaped by foreign leaders and representatives of international organizations. By studying news coverage, elite debate, and public opinion prior to the Iraq War, the authors demonstrate that US media outlets aired and published a significant amount of opposition to the invasion from official sources abroad, including British, French, and United Nations representatives. In turn, these foreign voices - to which millions of Americans were exposed - drove many Democrats and independents to signal opposition to the war, even as domestic elites supported it. Contrary to conventional wisdom that Americans care little about the views of foreigners, this book shows that international officials can alter domestic public opinion, but only when the media deem them newsworthy. Their conclusions raise significant questions about the democratic quality of United States foreign policy debates.

1. The puzzle of polarized opinion
elite discourse, mass media, and American foreign policy attitudes
2. Us vs. them
domestic support and foreign opposition in media coverage of the Iraq War debate
3. Byrd gets no word
journalistic norms and the replacement of domestic dissent with foreign opposition
4. When foreign voices persuade
predispositions, partisanship, and international influence on US public opinion
5. Conclusion
foreign voices, new media, and democratic accountability in US foreign policy
Appendix A
variable information
Appendix B
statistical models.

“Influence from Abroad overthrows the conventional wisdom that mass opinion during foreign policy crises follows only the views expressed by domestic elites. In the course of demonstrating why the dynamics of foreign policy opinion in the United States can be shaped as much by the norms of American journalists as by the voices of foreign leaders, Hayes and Guardino’s compelling analysis offers a pointed reminder that opinion researchers ignore media content at their peril. This accessible book is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding how American citizens make up their minds on the merits of going to war.” – Scott L. Althaus, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

“This is among the most important books written on public opinion as it is one of the only books to capture the reality of foreign influences. It is a must-read for all interested in American politics and international relations.” – James N. Druckman, Northwestern University

“Hayes and Guardino present a provocative thesis: when domestic opposition to war is timid, foreign voices exercise significant influence over U.S. public opinion because the media invite them to play the opposition’s role. The authors have assembled an unusually comprehensive array of data on media coverage and public opinion to make their case. An important contribution to the study of political power and the news media.” – Regina G. Lawrence, The University of Texas at Austin