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Democratic peace or clash of civilizations? Target states and support for war in Britain and the United States

Johns, R and Davies, GAM (2012) 'Democratic peace or clash of civilizations? Target states and support for war in Britain and the United States.' Journal of Politics, 74 (4). 1038 - 1052. ISSN 0022-3816

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Abstract

Research on public support for war shows that citizens are responsive to various aspects of strategic context. Less attention has been paid to the core characteristics of the target state. In this comparative study we report survey experiments manipulating two such characteristics, regime type and dominant faith, to test whether the "democratic peace" and the "clash of civilizations" theses are reflected in U.S. and British public opinion. The basic findings show small differences across the two cases: both publics were somewhat more inclined to use force against dictatorships than against democracies and against Islamic than against Christian countries. Respondent religion played no moderating role in Britain: Christians and nonbelievers were alike readier to attack Islamic states. However, in the United States, the dominant faith effect was driven entirely by Christians. Together, our results imply that public judgments are driven as much by images and identities as by strategic calculations of threat. Copyright © 2012 Southern Political Science Association.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2013 11:11
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2019 23:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/6061

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