"Pretty prudent" or Rhetorically responsive? The American public's support for military action

A. Cooper Drury, L. Marvin Overby, Adrian Ang, Yitan Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the United States, public support can play a crucial role in the decisions to initiate and terminate military action. Some scholars argue that the public holds "prudent" opinions regarding the use of the military-supporting efforts to stop aggression but not to engage in nation building. We argue that what seems like a "prudent" opinion may be driven more by the White House's rhetoric. Experimental tests show that the rhetorical complexity has a more powerful impact on the respondent's support for military action than the actual policy goal, although this result is substantially tempered by political awareness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-96
Number of pages14
JournalPolitical Research Quarterly
Volume63
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

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