Foreign policy and the rational public in comparative perspective

  • Isernia P
  • Juhász Z
  • Rattinger H
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Abstract

The aggregate changes in public opinion attitudes toward foreign policy issues in three West European countries during the cold war decades (1954-1990) are analyzed. The stability hypothesis is addressed from different angles to ascertain the amount of change in public opinion attitudes toward foreign policy issues in France, Germany, and Italy. Results reveal a low level of volatility in public opinion that corresponds with the findings for the American public. On the other hand, French, German, and Italian public opinion shows a somewhat higher level of fluctuation than in the United States. Attitudes toward NATO, the United States, and the Soviet Union closely reflect the evolution of world politics and therefore represent a reasonable reac- tion to international events and crises.

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Authors

  • Pierangelo Isernia

  • Zoltán Juhász

  • Hans Rattinger

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