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An ‘A’ for Effort: Experimental Evidence on UN Security Council Engagement and Support for US Military Action in Japan

Abstract

Existing research emphasizes how United Nations Security Council (UNSC) approval helps convey information to domestic audiences that military action is conducted with good intentions, for desirable consequences and in a legitimate manner. This information transmission mechanism can also increase support for UNSC-endorsed military action in countries unlikely to provide major contributions to military actions. There is some cross-national evidence supporting the information transmission mechanism in the United States. Examining the causal mechanisms underlying foreign public support for US military action through a survey experiment with approximately 2,000 respondents in Japan shows that foreign public support varies depending on whether the military action has UNSC approval. The process of presenting draft resolutions to the UNSC also affects public support.

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Graduate School of Law, Kobe University (email: tago@dragon.kobe-u.ac.jp) and Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, University of Tokyo, respectively. The authors wish to thank Erik Gartzke, Kristian Skrede Gleditsch, Takeshi Iida, Yukiko Muramoto, Steve Pickering and participants of the Workshop on the Frontiers of Statistical Analysis and Formal Theory of Political Science 2013 (Gakushuin University) and the Kobe Sakura Meeting 2013 (Kobe University) for their comments and suggestions for this project. They are also grateful to the editor and reviewers of the Journal whose careful readings have greatly improved this article. This study is supported by the JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number: 24683004, Nomura Foundation and Suntory Foundation. Data replication materials and online appendices are available at http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1017/S0007123413000343. This study has been screened and approved by the institutional review board of the Department of Social Psychology, Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, University of Tokyo.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Thomas U Berger . 1993. From Sword to Chrysanthemum: Japan's Culture of Anti-militarism. International Security 17:119150.

Terrence L Chapman . 2007. International Security Institutions, Domestic Politics, and Institutional Legitimacy. Journal of Conflict Resolution 51:134166.

Songying Fang . 2008. The Informational Role of International Institutions and Domestic Politics. American Journal of Political Science 52:304321.

Joseph Grieco , Christopher Gelpi , Jason Reifler Peter Feaver . 2011. Let's Get a Second Opinion: International Institutions and American Public Support for War. International Studies Quarterly 55:563583.

Yusaku Horiuchi , Kosuke Imai Naoko Taniguchi . 2007. Designing and Analyzing Randomized Experiments: Application to a Japanese Election Survey Experiment. American Journal of Political Science 51:669687.

Atsushi Tago . 2005. Determinants of Multilateralism in US use of Force: State of Economy, Election Cycle, and Divided Government. Journal of Peace Research 42:585604.

Atsushi Tago . 2007. Why do States Join US-led Military Coalitions? The Compulsion of the Coalition's Missions and Legitimacy. International Relations of the Asia-Pacific 7:179202.

Alexander Thompson . 2006. Coercion through IOs: The Security Council and the Logic of Information Transmission. International Organization 60:134.

Alexander Thompson . 2009. Channels of Power: The UN Security Council and U.S. Statecraft in Iraq. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.

Erik Voeten . 2005. The Political Origins of the UN Security Council's Ability to Legitimize the Use of Force. International Organization 59:527557.

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British Journal of Political Science
  • ISSN: 0007-1234
  • EISSN: 1469-2112
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-political-science
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