This study uses survey data from 1994 and 1999 to examine the nature, causes, and consequences of Americans’ generalized beliefs about other nations during the decade prior to September 11, 2001—a relatively sedate era in international relations compared to the Cold War and post-September 11 periods. As was the case after the terrorist attacks, relatively few citizens expressed high levels of trust in other nations; more did in 1999 than in 1994, however. Partisanship, beliefs about government, age, and education were related to trust in other nations at the individual level, with some of these relationships varying over time. Trust in other nations, in turn, was related to preferences for diplomacy and support for military interventions. The strength of the former relationship varied over time, whereas the nature of the latter relationship depended on the nature of the intervention in question. The findings raise the question of why so few Americans trust other nations not only during periods of external threat but also during “quieter” times.
Political Behavior – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 15, 2004
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