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    Gartner, Scott Sigmund and Langlois, Catherine 2016. Unbalanced Policy Priorities and the Interrogation of Terror Suspects. Foreign Policy Analysis, p. orw020.

    Welch, Ryan M. 2015. National Human Rights Institutions: Domestic implementation of international human rights law. Journal of Human Rights, p. 1.

    Sutton, Barbara and Norgaard, Kari Marie 2013. Cultures of Denial: Avoiding Knowledge of State Violations of Human Rights in Argentina and the United States. Sociological Forum, Vol. 28, Issue. 3, p. 495.

    Wallace, Geoffrey P.R. 2013. International Law and Public Attitudes Toward Torture: An Experimental Study. International Organization, Vol. 67, Issue. 01, p. 105.

    Mayer, Jeremy D. and Armor, David J. 2012. Support for torture over time: Interrogating the American public about coercive tactics. The Social Science Journal, Vol. 49, Issue. 4, p. 439.

    Gutierrez, Brad A. DeCristofaro, Sarah and Woods, Michael 2011. What Americans think of international humanitarian law. International Review of the Red Cross, Vol. 93, Issue. 884, p. 1009.

    Miller, Peter 2011. Torture Approval in Comparative Perspective. Human Rights Review, Vol. 12, Issue. 4, p. 441.

    Moore, Will H. 2010. Incarceration, Interrogation, and Counterterror: Do (Liberal) Democratic Institutions Constrain Leviathan?. PS: Political Science & Politics, Vol. 43, Issue. 03, p. 421.


U.S. Public Opinion on Torture, 2001–2009

  • Paul Gronke (a1), Darius Rejali (a1), Dustin Drenguis (a1), James Hicks (a1), Peter Miller (a2) and Bryan Nakayama (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 June 2010

Many journalists and politicians believe that during the Bush administration, a majority of Americans supported torture if they were assured that it would prevent a terrorist attack. As Mark Danner wrote in the April 2009 New York Review of Books, “Polls tend to show that a majority of Americans are willing to support torture only when they are assured that it will ‘thwart a terrorist attack.’” This view was repeated frequently in both left- and right-leaning articles and blogs, as well as in European papers (Sharrock 2008; Judd 2008; Koppelman 2009; Liberation 2008). There was a consensus, in other words, that throughout the years of the Bush administration, public opinion surveys tended to show a pro-torture American majority.

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William S. Cleveland 1979. “Robust Locally Weighted Regression and Smoothing Scatterplots.” Journal of the American Statistical Association 74: 829–36.

Tien-Tsung Lee . 2005. “The Liberal Media Myth Revisited: An Examination of Factors Influencing Media Bias.” Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media 49 (1): 543–64.

L. Ross , D. Greene , and P. House . 1977. “The False Consensus Phenomenon: An Attributional Bias in Self-Perception and Social Perception Processes.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 13 (3): 279301.

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PS: Political Science & Politics
  • ISSN: 1049-0965
  • EISSN: 1537-5935
  • URL: /core/journals/ps-political-science-and-politics
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