public opinion

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    People are more likely to describe a violent event as terrorism if the perpetrator is Muslim and has policy goals

People are more likely to describe a violent event as terrorism if the perpetrator is Muslim and has policy goals

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Recent mass shootings in the US have provoked debate over what should be considered to be “terrorism”. In new research Connor Huff and Joshua D. Kertzer explore these public debates via a survey which seeks to determine which kinds of incidents – and perpetrators – mean that people are more likely to classify an event as terrorism. They […]

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    ‘Mine is a likable rogue, yours is a degenerate criminal.’ When it comes to ‘dirty campaign tricks’ partisans tend to ignore bad news about their own

‘Mine is a likable rogue, yours is a degenerate criminal.’ When it comes to ‘dirty campaign tricks’ partisans tend to ignore bad news about their own

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Pundits appear eager to portray the partisan battles waged during the 2016 U.S. presidential election as reaching new lows where dirty politics were concerned. Yet despite massive media interest in dirty politics and academic investigations into many aspects of this soft underbelly of democratic elections, very little is known about the way the public responds to news about dirty politics—whether […]

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    Unsurprisingly, Mexicans held a much more favourable view towards the United States before Trump

Unsurprisingly, Mexicans held a much more favourable view towards the United States before Trump

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Within the last 30 years pro-American tendencies, from both Mexican authorities and the general public, brought the United States to be one of the most favored countries of Mexico. However, recent findings from Jesús Velasco show this tendency has reversed due to Donald Trump’s statements about Mexico during his presidential campaign. Today Mexicans are highly anti-Trump, and anti-American. Whether […]

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    Political parties shape public opinion, but their influence is limited.

Political parties shape public opinion, but their influence is limited.

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Do people’s opinions on policy debates follow those of the political party they support? In new research using a nationally representative survey, Kevin J. Mullinix finds that knowing that their party supports certain legislation means that people are more likely to support that legislation, and that this effect is more pronounced when parties are highly polarized. This effect is […]

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    Protests against Trump’s immigration executive order may have helped shift public opinion against it.          

Protests against Trump’s immigration executive order may have helped shift public opinion against it.          

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Donald Trump’s executive order preventing the entry of refugees and those from seven Muslim-majority countries has sparked protests across the country and the world. But have those protests had an effect on public opinion? Loren Collingwood, Nazita Lajevardi, and Kassra Oskooii present preliminary findings from a survey conducted before and after President Trump’s executive order. They find that after […]

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    Positive views of immigration are linked to more favorable views about welfare among Americans.

Positive views of immigration are linked to more favorable views about welfare among Americans.

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Whether immigrants to the US are a negative or positive influence on US society has been the source of much debate in recent years. In new research, James Garand, Ping Xu, and Belinda C. Davis examine the relationship between people’s attitudes towards immigration and welfare. Using election data, they find that those who are in favor of immigration are […]

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    Racial cues not only change the opinions people have, but also the public political actions they take.

Racial cues not only change the opinions people have, but also the public political actions they take.

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The use of racially charged imagery and messages has a long history in US politics. But how do such racial cues affect how Americans participate politically beyond holding opinions? In new research, Hans Hassell and Neil Visalvanich find that whites are less likely to participate politically when prompted by minority advocacy. They argue because of race’s influence on political […]

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    Book Review: The Media and Public Life: A History by John Nerone

Book Review: The Media and Public Life: A History by John Nerone

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In The Media and Public Life: A History, John Nerone details the emergence of journalism as a practice grounded in the representation of public opinion, positing a number of key transformative moments in its evolution. Exploring the tensions between the ideal of the journalist as a public intellectual and the realities that jeopardise this role, Nerone presents an interesting and thought-provoking […]

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    Why not trying to lead public opinion can be an effective presidential strategy.

Why not trying to lead public opinion can be an effective presidential strategy.

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Should presidents try to lead public opinion?  Many scholars argue presidents are the most important leaders of public opinion.  However, presidents may lose votes if they push issues which are unpopular among voters.   Michael Bailey and Clyde Wilcox find that support for President Bush moved in response to voter views of the Iraq War Bush promoted.  The implication is […]

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    Book Review: War and Democratic Constraint: How the Public Influences Foreign Policy

Book Review: War and Democratic Constraint: How the Public Influences Foreign Policy

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The book presents an original and engaging argument for the necessity for further analysis into choices democracies make prior to engaging in conflict, and the impact of the media and the public on decision makers, writes Gemma Bird.

War and Democratic Constraint: How the Public Influences Foreign Policy. Matthew A. Baum and Philip B. K. Potter.  Princeton University Press. 2015.

War and […]

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