Nathan Fleischaker

Department of Political Science

Forward Basing, Tripwires, Surprise Attack and Domestic Audience Costs

To what degree is American public opinion about the use of force affected by features of the international environment?  Key theories about how a state’s leaders can make credible threats are based on domestic opinion about the threat and (failure) to follow through on the use of force.  In a series of survey experiments, I build upon existing work by exploring the sensitivity of U.S. public opinion to key features of the environment including whether the U.S. president is responding to a coercive threat or a fait accompli and the presence of forward based U.S. troops in the region. In addition to considering overall approval at the end of a crisis, I also examine whether there are domestic incentives to make threats in the first place and explore the mechanisms and ideological dispositions that affects these opinions about the threat and use of force.

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