Public Opinion and American Foreign Policy

By Ole Rudolf Holsti,

Book cover of Public Opinion and American Foreign Policy

Book description

One of the central issues in democratic theory is the proper role of public opinion in the conduct of international affairs. The capacity of the public to make informed judgments about these complex issues which are often far removed from their experience has been questioned. In addition, the impact of…

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Why read it?

1 author picked Public Opinion and American Foreign Policy as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This is my go-to reference book about American public opinion on all things foreign policy. Holsti is one of the most important public opinion scholars of the 20th Century and arguably this is his most important book. I assign it in all of my undergraduate classes on the subject. He explains not only what the public believes about foreign policy—through case studies ranging from international trade to all major U.S. military conflicts in the post-World War II era—but also does a brilliant job of synthesizing decades of research on human information processing, learning, and ideological reasoning to explain in…

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