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Studying the Media, Public Opinion, and Foreign Policy in International Crises: The United States and the Bosnian Crisis, 1992—1995

Studying the Media, Public Opinion, and Foreign Policy in International Crises: The United States and the Bosnian Crisis, 1992—1995

Abstract

This study presents an integrative model of the press, public opinion, and foreign policy relations during times of international crises. It combines theories of mass communications and international relations, with emphasis on the various stages of the crisis, the roles and functions of the media, and the different positions adopted by the press and the public vis-à-vis government foreign policy. The model is then applied to the United States during the Bosnian crisis (1992—1995), by examining commentary and editorials from The Washington Post and Wall Street Journal , news headlines from USA Today and Washington Times , and public opinion data.The findings and conclusions regarding strong and significant correlations among media content, public opinion, and policy clarify the different roles of the press during various stages of an international crisis. They shed new light on scholars' and practitioners' understanding of the complex nature of theses relationships, during both times of crisis and more generally.
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