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Title: Commanding Support: Values and Interests in the Rhetoric of Alliance Politics
Authors: Jonathan Chu
Jiyoung Ko
Issue Date: 2021
Citation: Jonathan Chu, Jiyoung Ko, LIU YAO (2021). Commanding Support: Values and Interests in the Rhetoric of Alliance Politics. International Interactions. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: How can democratic governments convince their citizens to support a costly military alliance? We theorize about two rhetorical tools that foreign policy leaders have historically used to achieve this goal: instrumental cues emphasizing national interests and ideational cues highlighting shared values. We then assess the effects of these appeals in various forms and contexts by analyzing two original survey experiments fielded in the United States. Our analysis shows that alliance rhetoric--whether positive or negative—can sway public support for alliances. Positive appeals to both interests and values raise citizen approval for maintaining a costly alliance during peace times. Alliance rhetoric changes mass opinion during an active crisis as well, though its effects are slightly muted. Negative rhetoric, for example, only erodes public support for peace-time alliance policies but not for coming to the defense of an ally during a crisis. The findings contribute to literatures on the domestic politics of international institutions and the role of political communication in foreign policy.
Source Title: International Interactions
ISSN: 03050629
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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