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Influence from Abroad
Foreign Voices, the Media, and U.S. Public Opinion

$85.00 (P)

  • Date Published: April 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107035522

$ 85.00 (P)

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About the Authors
  • In Influence from Abroad, Danny Hayes and Matt Guardino show that United States public opinion about American foreign policy can be shaped by foreign leaders and representatives of international organizations. By studying news coverage, elite debate, and public opinion prior to the Iraq War, the authors demonstrate that U.S. media outlets aired and published a significant amount of opposition to the invasion from official sources abroad, including British, French, and United Nations representatives. In turn, these foreign voices – to which millions of Americans were exposed – drove many Democrats and independents to signal opposition to the war, even as domestic elites supported it. Contrary to conventional wisdom that Americans care little about the views of foreigners, this book shows that international officials can alter domestic public opinion, but only when the media deem them newsworthy. Their conclusions raise significant questions about the democratic quality of United States foreign policy debates.

    • Overturns conventional wisdom by empirically demonstrating that foreign elite rhetoric can affect United States public opinion
    • Provides a theory with significant implications for understanding public opinion and its role in democratic politics in an increasingly globalized world
    • Comprehensively and rigorously analyzes US mainstream news coverage, elite debate, and public opinion in the lead-up to the 2003 Iraq war
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    Reviews & endorsements

    “Influence from Abroad overthrows the conventional wisdom that mass opinion during foreign policy crises follows only the views expressed by domestic elites. In the course of demonstrating why the dynamics of foreign policy opinion in the United States can be shaped as much by the norms of American journalists as by the voices of foreign leaders, Hayes and Guardino’s compelling analysis offers a pointed reminder that opinion researchers ignore media content at their peril. This accessible book is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding how American citizens make up their minds on the merits of going to war.”
    Scott L. Althaus, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

    “This is among the most important books written on public opinion as it is one of the only books to capture the reality of foreign influences. It is a must-read for all interested in American politics and international relations.”
    James N. Druckman, Northwestern University

    “Hayes and Guardino present a provocative thesis: when domestic opposition to war is timid, foreign voices exercise significant influence over US public opinion because the media invite them to play the opposition’s role. The authors have assembled an unusually comprehensive array of data on media coverage and public opinion to make their case. An important contribution to the study of political power and the news media.”
    Regina G. Lawrence, University of Texas, Austin

    "Influence from Abroad deserves an examination from those people in higher education interested in television news production, international news, and the relationship between the media and government. It might challenge past assumptions about which sources make it into news discourse. It also might be worthy of course adoption for upper-level journalism and communication courses."
    Anthony Moretti, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2013
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107035522
    • length: 202 pages
    • dimensions: 231 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.44kg
    • contains: 19 b/w illus. 3 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The puzzle of polarized opinion: elite discourse, mass media, and American foreign policy attitudes
    2. Us vs. them: domestic support and foreign opposition in media coverage of the Iraq War debate
    3. Byrd gets no word: journalistic norms and the replacement of domestic dissent with foreign opposition
    4. When foreign voices persuade: predispositions, partisanship, and international influence on US public opinion
    5. Conclusion: foreign voices, new media, and democratic accountability in US foreign policy
    Appendix A: variable information
    Appendix B: statistical models.

  • Authors

    Danny Hayes, George Washington University, Washington DC
    Danny Hayes is Assistant Professor of Political Science at George Washington University. Professor Hayes is a former journalist whose research focuses on how information from the media and other political actors influences citizens' attitudes during public policy debates and election campaigns. His work has been supported by the National Science Foundation and has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, Political Research Quarterly, Political Behavior, Political Communication, Politics and Gender, American Politics Research, and Presidential Studies Quarterly. He is a contributor to the Washington Post's Wonkblog.

    Matt Guardino, Providence College, Rhode Island
    Matt Guardino is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Providence College. Professor Guardino is a former journalist whose research focuses on the political-economic forces that shape news coverage of public policy debates, how media coverage affects public opinion, and how these dynamics impact the health of democracy. His work has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, Political Communication, and New Political Science.

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