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Love Thy Neighbo(u)r? Political Attitudes, Proximity and the Mutual Perceptions of the Canadian and American Publics

  • Timothy B. Gravelle (a1)

There has been renewed interest in recent years in both the foreign perceptions of the United States as well as the foreign policy attitudes of the American public. In this light, it is interesting to observe that there is a substantial body of research on Canadian public opinion toward the United States but relatively little on American public opinion toward Canada. Further, most literature neglects the effect of spatial proximity to the other country on perceptions. This article addresses both shortcomings in the literature. It investigates the mutual perceptions of the Canadian and American publics drawing on public opinion data from both Canada and the US. The explanation of attitudes toward the other country has three main foci: the roles of political party identification and political ideology; the role of spatial proximity to the Canada–US border; and the interactive relationship between political attitudes and border proximity.


Au cours des dernières années, on a observé un intérêt renouvelé dans les perceptions étrangères des États-Unis ainsi que les attitudes du public américain dans le domaine de la politique étrangère. En considération de ce principe, il est intéressant d'observer la longue lignée de recherches sur l'opinion publique canadienne envers les États-Unis, mais relativement peu sur l'opinion publique américaine envers le Canada. En outre, la plupart des recherches négligent l'effet de la proximité spatiale à autre pays sur les perceptions. Cet article tente de corriger ces deux lacunes dans les recherches. Il examine les perceptions mutuelles des publics canadiens et américains en se fondant sur les données de l'opinion publique des deux pays. L'explication des attitudes envers l'autre pays a trois axes principaux : les rôles de l'identification de parti politique et l'idéologie politique; le rôle de la proximité à la frontière canado-américaine ; et la relation interactive entre les attitudes politiques et la proximité de la frontière.

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